Have you ever listened to catchy pop song, bopping along and humming to its familiar tune, completely unaware of what you're actually vibing to? Listen, it's a good song, we don't have to know every daunting lyric to appreciate its manufactured bubblegum pop genius. Whether we're singing "all the lonely Starbucks lovers" in Taylor Swift's "Blank Space," or mumbling along to The 1975's "Chocolate" (we know it's difficult to understand him, but Matty Healy isn't really singing about chocolate, folks), lyrics sometimes have a way of escaping us.
Well, what if one of your favorite pop songs slipped in an unpalatable lyric about an infamous serial killer? Casually, of course. Is it a commentary on true crime's chokehold on pop culture? Or is it purely for giggles? In the case of Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" featuring rapper Juicy J — from her 2013 album Prism — a frivolous (and totally unnecessary) lyric mentioning Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is getting a rise out of people in 2022.
See, in September 2022, Jeffrey Dahmer — who murdered and dismembered at least 17 boys and young men between 1978 and 1991 — has reentered the pop culture landscape, for better or for worse. We know, it's a sensitive topic. With the Sept. 21 release of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan's Netflix miniseries Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the cannibalistic serial killer is back on everyone's minds.
Twitter is criticizing Katy Perry's out-of-place Jeffrey Dahmer lyric in "Dark Horse."
In the wake of the Netflix series, Dahmer is at the forefront of people's minds, causing Katy Perry's controversial lyric to be unearthed from the ruins of the 2010s. Apparently some people are just learning of the Milwaukee Monster's depraved crimes.
The lyric — which was actually spewed by Juicy J — goes like this: "Uh, she's a beast / I call her Karma (come back) / She eats your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer (whoa!)."
"Dark Horse" boasts layers of controversy, as the music video features the white songstress as Egyptian queen and undeniable femme fatale Cleopatra. But that's besides the point.
"Dear @katyperry as a fan of yours [for] more than 10 years now, I ask you to please upload a solo version of 'Dark Horse' or edit the lyrics about Jeffrey Dahmer, he is not a hero or a good person to keep in such an excellent and incredible song. Thanks," wrote Twitter user Andy Geeve.
And while many are pointing to the fact that the lyric is all around distasteful and disrespectful to Jeffrey Dahmer's victims and their families, others are simply shocked that the lyric is gaining traction almost 10 years later.
"I don't know if it's desensitization through years of listening to death metal songs about murder, but I really don't think Katy Perry having a line in a song from 9 years ago referencing Jeffrey Dahmer is that big of a deal hey," tweeted @shreddievedder1.
And of course, let us not forget that Kesha, too, has a song referencing the abominable serial killer — a more macabre song at that. From her 2010 album of the same name, "Cannibal" is literally a song all about devouring boys for "breakfast and lunch." The 13-year-old song is truly giving Jennifer's Body.
"Be too sweet, and you'll be a goner / (Yeah) I'll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer," the "Cannibal" lyric reads. Though the song is merely a metaphor for extreme, almost carnivorous attraction to someone, it's indubitably oozing with a need to shock.
But, in all honesty, we're not too sure that criticizing Katy Perry and Kesha over silly decade-old songs is all that productive (there are bigger problems to conquer). However, if you feel that strongly about "Dark Horse" and "Cannibal," don't listen to them!