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Music with Natalie: Lady Gaga "911"

By Natalie Daniels

Originally on Lady Gaga’s new album Chromatica, “911” is Gaga’s recent single released on September 18th.

The Euro disco, synth-pop, and electropop song lyrics discuss Gagas’ struggles with mental illness. When sitting down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, she says that the song captures how she “can't always control things that her brain does” and that she has to “take medication to stop the process that occurs.”

The song has an 80s inspired dance beat added to Gaga’s synthesized vocals. If no one is paying close attention to lyrics, you’ll miss the real heartbreak of this song. For instance, some of the lyrics include “keep repeating self-hating phrases” and “my mood’s shifting to manic places.” Gaga has been open before about her battle with PTSD. As she continues throughout the song she sings “I can’t see me cry” to highlight how taking antipsychotic medication decreases emotional responses.

Along with the single, Gaga released a short film to go with the song. It begins with Gaga lying in the desert with a red blindfold covering her eyes. As she wakes, she follows a man dressed in black riding a horse to a village. Eccentric characters emerge dressed in all different colors. It’s like Gaga has stepped into another world. Clips of an illustrated car crash interspersedly cut in between the characters and Gaga. Eventually, the characters look like they are reenacting a car crash scene with yellow tape and oxygen masks with Gaga in the center feeling distressed. Then we arrive at the scene where Gaga has just woken up from a dangerous car crash, on the ground. The characters from before are cops, drivers, firefighters, medical examiners, and onlookers. Gaga cries out “I didn’t take my pills” and “I don’t want to die.”

The whole music video metaphorically represents how Gaga continues to battle with her mental illness. She shows a glimpse into her mind when she hasn’t taken her medication and how destructive that can be.

Gaga has always been outspoken about her mental health in the public and helps others come to terms with their own. This song and video are just more proof of how powerful her storytelling is. She sings every song and creates every music video to the best of her ability.

While Chromatica is not my favorite album by Gaga--I’m more of a Joanne and Born this Way girl--I find this song a masterpiece. If one thing is for sure, it’s that Gaga never does anything halfway, and that is what I love most about her.

Natalie Daniels is an editorial intern for Dreamlette. She is a journalism major at Emerson College with a love of storytelling. Her favorite topics include entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, social issues, and music.


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