Rita Ora's new song 'Girls' is a slam-dunk summer bop, but is its bisexual statement authentic?

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Is Rita Ora on track already to claim the song of summer 2018? Based on the response to her latest single, “Girls,” which dropped Friday, things just may be looking in that direction.

Ora’s teamed up with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX for “Girls,” a song that can be interpreted as either a straight-out bisexual announcement or just a squad anthem about partying (there are numerous shoutouts to marijuana and alcohol).

Rita Ora and Charli XCX attend Variety Power of Young Hollywood at Tao Los Angeles, Aug. 8, 2017. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

However, with lyrics such as “I’m open-minded, I’m 50-50,” “She getting down with me, yeah,” “Tonight I don’t want a dog, I want a kitten,” and a chorus of “I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls,” it’s hard not to lean toward the former.

Whatever the degree of seriousness is as a legitimate LGBTQ statement, fans seem to be delighted with the catchy jam, as well as the undeniably lighthearted titillation. All the elements add up to make the perfect summertime party / cruising / road trip / girls’ night out tune.

The song, however, is coming under some criticism for misappropriating a true bisexual or lesbian statement. Ora noted that the song was inspired by Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” which received fire for what some saw as piggybacking onto gay culture for attention (Perry has stated recently that she acknowledges the stereotypes she promoted with the song and would rewrite the lyrics today if she had the opportunity).

“Girls” is the fourth single from Ora’s sophomore album, which she put out after a two-year hiatus. This isn’t the first time that Charli XCX has worked with Ora — the two previously teamed up on Ora’s 2014 track “Doing It.” Cardi B released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, earlier this month.

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