With tongue planted firmly in cheek, John Duff’s brand new and endlessly infectious single ‘I Hate L.A.’ speaks of everything the artist loathes about the City of Angels. The negative feelings that Duff feels is not for the city of Los Angeles necessarily though; “It isn’t about Los Angeles, though – it’s about what Los Angeles represents ideologically. It’s about the product being sold – all in all, it’s about lack mentality.” Duff says.
Instead of sitting in the negativity, Duff wanted to craft art from it. “I wanted to create something out of my negativity that sounded anthemic and proud,” Duff goes on to say. “We all have negative thoughts; that isn’t unhealthy or unusual. So long as you don’t judge yourself for your feelings, there’s no inherent problem.”
Co-written with Aaron Pfeifer and produced by Koil PreAmple and Daniel Schaub,the video for ‘I Hate L.A.’ is directed by both Duff himself and video director du jour Brad Hammer. While it would have been easy to play into the tropes of fast drugs or reality show starlets, Duff was careful to depict Los Angeles in his own devilishly clever vision. “I didn’t want the video to be about people doing coke, or the Kardashian’s; we’ve seen that, and it’s tired. I wanted the video to catch the reflection of the glaring hypocrisy. L.A. is a paradox. It’s this liberal paradise with the grossest wealth inequality. It’s morally corrupt” Duff pointedly said.
Throughout the video, Duff made it purposeful to display what he sees as the “perceived ugliness” of Los Angeles. Duff plays into the all too familiar stereotypes that people associated with the West Coast mecca, with a wink and a nod. Everything from riding in a $130,000 G-wagon filled with plastic bottles from on-trend juice spots, donned with an I Voted sticker to a certain scene that is a clearly pointed jab at the beauty industry and influencers of Tinseltown.
As for what people interpret from ‘I Hate L.A’., the endlessly unapologetic pop star is as always, direct; “I encourage listeners to extract from ‘I Hate L.A’ what they want. If they simply want to hear it as a fun pop song with a colorful video, great. If they want to listen to the lyrics and read into the symbolism in the video, that’s cool, too. Either way, my job is done, so take whatever you want; just remember to tag me!”
John Duff’s ‘I Hate L.A.’ is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms.
Follow John Duff on Facebook and Instagram @iamjohnduff