We didn’t think Dua Lipa could top herself after she released the chart-topping “New Rules” last summer. But the British songstress just dropped a music video that made us realize “IDGAF” is the self-love anthem we need to survive 2018.
“IDGAF,” the fifth single off Dua Lipa’s debut studio album, has technically been out for over half a year. And if you visit Genius, AZLyrics, MetroLyrics, or any other website you have bookmarked for when you need a song translation or interpretation, it seems like your average breakup track. “Go find a girl who wants to listen / ‘Cause if you think I was born yesterday, you have got me wrong”—Lipa’s obviously talking to a guy who broke her heart, right?
Maybe not. In the recently released “IDGAF” music video, Lipa and her crew of extremely talented backup dancers stare down doubles of themselves, one side wearing royal blue suit jackets and the other wearing bright orange ones. All of them are serving up Annie Lennox realness, which starts to make more sense as the video goes on. It becomes apparent that Lipa might not be talking to a boy at all when she delivers lines like “So I cut you off / I don’t need your love / ‘Cause I already cried enough / I’ve been done.”
By the end of the video, the blue and orange Lipas reconcile, breaking down the invisible wall that separates one side from the other and dancing with each other instead of against each other. Directed by Henry Scholfield, who also oversaw Lipa’s “New Rules” and “Lost in Your Light” music videos, “IDGAF” is a visually captivating and technically impressive piece of work—according to Lipa herself, the video (which was recorded using a single continuous tracking shot) took 22 hours to shoot.
But it also encourages Lipa fans to question whether “IDGAF” is directed at an ex or at Lipa herself. Instead of telling a male dancer that she doesn’t “give a damn,” blue Lipa delivers that message to orange Lipa. And according to Billboard, both Lipa and Scholfield have confirmed that the video is about “your stronger and weaker side fighting with each other only to realize that self-love is what will help you overcome any negativity that comes your way.” Lipa doesn’t need her ex in the room to come to terms with a breakup or messy relationship—all she needs is herself.
Both “IDGAF” and “New Rules” indicate the possibility of a bright new future where breakup songs urge listeners to use their heartache to make them stronger. They emphasize the feelings of anger and frustration one might experience after a particularly painful breakup, emotions that singers like Alanis Morisette, Pink, and Demi Lovato have channeled in the past but that many singers forgo in favour of wallowing in grief and sorrow. Taking time to acknowledge one’s grief is important, but turning that grief into something positive and empowering is essential. Dua Lipa clearly understands that, and hopefully other musicians do, too.
Check out the mesmerizing “IDGAF” music video below.