Lana Del Rey Glorifies Miami Drug Scene In 'Florida Kilos'

The following article first appeared in The Fix. Also on TheFix.com: The New RecoveryNo Drugs, No Drink, No Problem—Straight Edge, Then and Now;CNN Reporter Clearly High While Talking to Anderson Cooper


Lana Del Rey’s new Ultraviolence album includes a bonus track called “Florida Kilos,” which romanticizes cocaine dealing and the drug scene in South Florida.

Inspired by legendary drug documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, which was produced by the Miami-based media studio Rakontur, the lyrics to the song read like a celebration of cocaine. Although the original documentary explored the cocaine-fueled crime epidemic that ripped Miami apart in the 1970s and the 1980s, Del Rey's track reflects only a glorified nostalgia for those dark days.

The song was co-written by Harmony Korine, the infamous scribe of Kids and the director of Spring Breakers, and has been designed as the theme song for the planned Spring Breakers sequel. In an interview, Del Rey claimed to have written the lyrics on her own after watching the documentary. “I was inspired by a documentary called Cocaine Cowboysspeaking of traffickers in Miami in the 70s," she said. "I attract those who use illegal methods to get what they want. When I was a kid I thought I had the right to have whatever I wanted at any cost. I like the idea of getting to the top with your method, it is legal or illegal.”

On YouTube, the song can be heard with the lyrics rolling over a murky picture of cocaine being cut on a mirror, revealing a romanticized story of cooking crack and snorting lines of coke, among other criminal exploits:

White lines, pretty baby, tattoos,
Don't know what they mean,
They're special, just for you.
White palms, baking powder on the stove,
Cookin' up a dream,
Turnin' diamonds into snow.


Combining such lyrics with the infantilized sexualization of Del Rey’s vocals, the song is bound to raise a storm once released as a single. Of course, Del Rey is no stranger to controversy. Recently, she caused a stir for saying "I wish I was dead already" in talking about musical heroes Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain in an interview with The Guardian. Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, tweeted a response to Del Rey, saying "the death of young musicians isn't something to romanticize...I'll never know my father because he died young, and it becomes a desirable feat because people like you think it's 'cool.' Well, it's f**king not."

Here is the YouTube video of "Florida Kilos":

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"580148","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.