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“Thou shall not lie”: Why Karma is the Worst Song Released this Year

Elisandra Hampton
Monty Siwa following in JoJo Siwa’s footsteps.

Imagine you’re stranded on an island. Trapped with no way back to civilization, you desperately gather wood to construct a raft. After hours of grueling labor, you hear music coming from the ocean. At first, you believe you’re hallucinating from exhaustion. Suddenly, you feel a surge of terror as a shark’s head pops out of the water. However, it’s not a shark — it’s JoJo Siwa. 

Siwa, decked out in jagged eye makeup and a black bodysuit, leads her army of backup dancers as they crawl onto the beach like insects. As she aggressively dances off-beat to the chorus of her new single and violently gyrates onto her lover, you shrivel into a ball of confusion, desperately wishing to be returned to the safety of your couch.

This scenario depicts the bewilderment, shock, and second-hand embarrassment felt by casual music listeners while watching Karma, JoJo Siwa’s newest music video. Karma attempts to shed Siwa’s youthful image and represent her transition into adulthood. However, the cheesy lyrics, uninspired song production, exaggerated dancing, and try-hard visuals make Karma the most unintentionally hilarious song released this year.

Before the release of Karma, JoJo Siwa was known as a youth icon. Her vibrant music videos were full of sparkles, balloons, and colorful bows. Siwa’s releases, such as Boomerang and Kid In A Candy Store, featured innocent themes like ignoring haters and looking at the bright side of life. In 2021, she came out as queer, and her social media content slowly became less child-focused. Releasing Karma was the final nail in the coffin for her PG image. 

Although Siwa intended to shock fans with Karma’s sexuality and vulgarity, the song’s lyrics are tame and half-hearted. The song’s chorus contains the line “Karma’s a b—h.” The impact of the chorus is immediately nullified by the following line: “I would’ve never effed around,” which avoids using cuss words for no reason. Other lyrics in Karma are funny when compared to her previous childlike image. The song starts with the lyric “I was a bad girl, I did some bad things,” which seems inauthentic considering her love of glitter and rainbows. Siwa later says: “I was a wild child, you always knew it.” This drastically contrasts with the fact that her face is inescapable in every kids’ toy aisle.

On the other hand, the music video of Karma fails because of its audacity. Throughout the video, Siwa repeatedly hip thrusts on several women. Although the music video attempts to showcase her sexuality as a queer woman, the visuals are passionless and unintentionally silly, as Siwa appears at risk of breaking her pelvis several times.

The choreography is similarly excessive. In the song’s chorus, Siwa cartwheels off-beat, flails her arms around, and attempts several crotch grabs. Siwa’s overdancing attracted much online ridicule. As for the instrumental, Karma sounds dated and generic. The song is reminiscent of early 2010s electronic music. The track was first produced in 2011 before undergoing a series of rejections by several pop artists, including Miley Cyrus and Brit Smith.

Watching Karma by JoJo Siwa is like staring at the sun during a solar eclipse. It’s bad for your eyes and will undoubtedly lead to negative health consequences, but the urge to look is irresistible. The song’s lyrics, instrumental, and music video may be subpar, but it’s unsurprising that Karma became an internet spectacle.

Nonetheless, Siwa’s abrupt concept change may hide a darker truth. In a Rolling Stone article, Siwa’s backup dancer Leigha Sanderson claimed that JoJo Siwa created a hostile work environment and repeatedly criticized the members of her dance group. Allegedly, Siwa forced her to dance under extreme physical stress. Sanderson has spina bifida, a condition that causes spine tumors, and got surgery around that time. 

Siwa’s lawyer disputed these claims, but some have speculated that her release of Karma was a distraction from the incident. Although the truth of the situation is unknown, it’s doubtful that JoJo Siwa can escape the brewing storm. The internet has long ridiculed her shift from her Kidz Bop image, and it’s only a matter of time before they shift their attention to her controversies. As Siwa said herself: “Karma’s a b—h and I should’ve known better.”

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About the Contributor
Elisandra Hampton
Elisandra Hampton, Copy Editor, Formatting Editor
My name is Elisandra Hampton and I am the Copy Editor and Formatting Editor of The Monarch Times for the 2023-24 school year. I joined The Monarch Times last year and I am dedicated to writing quality articles. I was born in Hayward, raised in Hayward, and plan to die in Hayward. My hobbies include drawing, reading, and spending hours on Instagram Reels. I hope I can continue creating informative content this year.  
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