The Grammy award-winning hip-hop rap legend Doja Cat recently stopped by for a chat with the popular US YouTube talk show, ‘Hot Ones‘, to promote her latest album, ‘Scarlet‘, and it’s global number one, the record-breaking single, “Paint The Town Red“.

During the show appearance, Doja Cat was asked by the show host, Sean Evans, question’s about her ‘cartoonish’ animated visuals and what inspired her artistically. Doja Cat then revealed that amongst other greats from hip-hop during the 90’s including Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott, she was also inspired by the late, great, and often underrated, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

Doja Cat ‘Hot Pink’ promo (2019)

Sean praised Doja Cat for returning to her rap roots on her latest album after she received some criticism from critics claiming that she isn’t a rapper, as she effortlessly blends her bars with her singing skills on the majority of her hits, including the number one single, “Say So“, amongst many others.

He then quoted a 2019 interview she did with Elle magazine, in which Doja Cat reveals that her mom is responsible for her TLC inspiration. “My mom loves music and it poured into my childhood”, she recalls. “She played Jamiroquai over and over, the same damn song. What was it? ‘Virtual Insanity?’ She played a lot of Black Eyed Peas, a lot of India Arie, Erykah Badu, a lot of TLC.”

Doja Cat performs at Victoria’s Secret (2023)

In response to her wish to take things back to the 90’s when artists took more of an animated approach to their visuals, Doja Cat said, “Rap back in the day was a lot more [camp] — I don’t even know if it was better then or better now, I just get very excited when I see rappers that are interested in their visuals in a way that they are ready to so something new and twist things, and do something camp”.

Doja Cat then detailed who she found most inspirational from that magical 90’s era. “I feel like Busta [Rhymes] was a pioneer. His fashion back in the day was just ridiculously good and cool. I don’t know if he knows, but he’s cool. I feel like Missy [Elliott] is another big one, Left Eye is a big one — I feel like everyone was doing it really, really well back in the day, those were just a few I could name from the top of my head”.

Doja Cat in ‘Demons’ (2023)

Interestingly enough, Doja Cat’s left eye began to leak, leading her to comment, “I’m crying, and it’s just my left eye, and it had to happen on this day, too — and it’s not the [hot] wings”. Some fans believe this was a sign from Left Eye to signify her appreciation for being identified as one of Doja Cat’s inspirations. Who knows?

Doja Cat has given nods of homage to TLC in the past. She previously gave us “No Scrubs”-styled visuals in her music video, “Get Into It (Yuh)” in 2021. She was also styled like T-Boz in the video, with rhinestones on her face and bright red hair. This similarity was confirmed by her stylist.

Check out Doja Cat’s latest studio album, ‘Scarlet‘ out now!

Tickets to ‘The Scarlet Tour‘ are also on sale now!