Has anyone talked to Kesha about the 2020 election recently? Based on the new track she dropped on Monday, she is mad as hell and ready for change. “Rich, White, Straight Men” is a droll, tongue-in-cheek critique of the United States’ treatment of women, immigrants, and same-sex couples who want to get married. Kesha also takes serious issue with the country’s reluctance to adopt universal healthcare and free college for all. The message is clear! (Is she voting Warren?)
Sonically, this song is unlike any other Kesha’s ever released; there are no thumping club beats or glittery opening chords. This is far from the perfectly manicured pop songs that were once her calling card. “Rich, White, Straight Men” opens with the unsettling sound of cashiers opening and coins falling, and then Kesha begins to dryly check off a list of policies that would materially improve our lives, if only the people in power would enact them. The best part, though, is the song’s literal chorus of voices demanding to know “What if the rich, white, straight men didn’t rule the world anymore?” The melody is almost… swashbuckling? Burlesque? Kesha’s voice uncharacteristically slides up and down as she sings “Guess what, God is a woman, I know her.” The whole thing feels slightly uncomfortable, I guess rather like the political climate. It’s an unprecedented and ultimately enjoyable change for her; what would it sound like if this Kesha made a whole album? I look forward to finding out.