Being the nerdy, hipster, hip hop head trash that I am, you already know how I feel about Lady Gaga’s music. I think it sucks! When I first heard “Just Dance” on the radio and learned that Akon signed her, I thought, “Akon, what the hell are you doing?” To this day, I feel the same way.
Despite not liking Gaga’s music, I can admit I admire her artistry. She is a prolific pianist, eclectically versed, and has a creative, edgy brand like no other. Serendipitously while visiting a friend, I watched her documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, and it was great. You get to see Gaga behind her various masks: her liberating response to turning 30, her preparation for her Super Bowl 51 halftime show, her recent denouncement of her glam pop image, her selfies with fans, her debilitating hip pain. Through this documentary, you get to see Gaga’s naked face that’s been hidden for nearly a decade.
After watching Gaga: Five Foot Two, I’ve come to understand that Gaga is a pretty atypical pop star. Most pop stars (e.g. Madonna, whom of which Gaga references in the documentary) follow a certain archetype: being attractive, dance moves, catchy choruses. Gaga follows those archetypes, but on top of that, her taste in music is eclectic (most of her aesthetics is taken from the late, great David Bowie), she’s a multi-instrumentalist, and appreciates the mundane aspects of life. Also, not only is she subversive to society, she’s also subversive to her former self. Sure, most of Gaga’s song are the typical, cliched four-chords songs that we’ve come to expect from pop stars, but her image and personality are a bit different.
Gaga goes on stage, singing along to elaborate choreographed moves, but she can also sit on a piano bench and serenade a classy audience, as shown in the documentary. This dualism makes Gaga stand out amongst those in her genre and makes me respect her despite not being a fan.