Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’: What Mother Monster Wants From You

MTV News breaks down the lyrics of Gaga's first ARTPOP single

In case you didn’t already know, Lady Gaga doesn’t give an eff what the critics think of her. Gaga solidified that assertion on Monday (August 12) by releasing “Applause,” the first single off of her upcoming record, ARTPOP — and a self-affirmation of the most epic proportions.

The title should be self-evident, but the jam is essentially about Mother Monster’s intense need for her fans’ adoration in the form of good old-fashioned claps. In a sense, the song is a readymade rebuttal to anything negative critics might lob her way — and a rallying call for her Little Monsters to dole out that life force that sustains her: applause.

MTV News took a close look at the official lyrics below. Once you peruse Gaga’s musical mission statements, let us know: Do you give the track a standing “O,” or a chorus of “Boos”?

Lady Gaga Is Over Critics.
The reviews have started to pour in for Gaga’s new track, but — good or bad — Mother Monster won’t be hearing any of that.

As she stated on Twitter Sunday (August 11), Lady Gaga does not truck with music critics: “Dont focus on ANY blogger criticism. I have been a producer/songwriter/musician for over 10 years. Trust the artist bloggers are not critics.”

Gaga reiterated that assertion at the very beginning of “Applause,” growling: “I stand here waiting/for you to bang the gong/to crash the critic saying: is it right or is it wrong?”

We’re guessing her loyal band of monsters is currently at the ready, primed to strike down any detractors. Gong!

Lady Gaga Wants To Hear The Sound Of Two Hands Clapping.
When it comes to opinions, Gaga only really cares what her fans think of her jams — and said thoughts best be accompanied by a lot of clapping. The majority of the song, predictably, features Gaga stressing that she lives “for the applause, applause, applause,” asking fans to “put your hands up make’em touch.”

Yup, Gaga pretty much throws that whole “save your applause for the end” thing to the wind.

Lady Gaga Likes To Read, Is A Geek.
We already knew that Lady Gaga attended geek camp, but did you know that she also digs nostalgia and enjoys reading? Thanks to “Applause,” you do now.

“I overheard your theory/nostalgia’s for geeks,” she sings. “I guess sir, if you say so/some of us just like to read.”

Perhaps her affinity for phonics explains why she repeatedly spells out the word “applause” throughout the song?

Gaga Thinks Of Herself As An Artist.
We heard that Gaga was collaborating with a bevy of artists on ARTPOP — quite fittingly — and we’ve seen her recent “revealing” video with Marina Abramovic. It seems that Mother Monster is not just content to collab with the gallery set — she wants to be the gallery set: “One second I’m a Koons fan/suddenly the Koons is me/Pop culture was in art now/Art in Pop culture in me.”

With these lyrics, Gaga is definitely pulling a Jay-Z. Jay also references Koons, whom Gaga is also reportedly collaborating with on ARTPOP — in his song “Picasso Baby,” in which he, like Gaga, equates himself to a famous visual artist.

Whether the art world agrees with Gaga’s assertion or not, at least the singer is raising awareness about artists like Koons. According to a tweet from the singer, radio stations are currently censoring the word under the false impression that Gaga is uttering another, pejorative word, beginning with a hard “K.” And, friends, that word is not “clap.”

Senior writer/editor at MTV News. Former Mashable associate editor & CNN columnist. "Stuff Hipsters Hate" co-writer. Moshpit fan.
@BrennaEhrlich