You know Kesha — and if you’re a certain age, you probably spent a decent amount of the late 2000s and early 2010s listening to her music.
In the song’s second verse, Kesha sings, “Be too sweet and you’ll be a goner / Yeah, I’ll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer.”
That particular lyric referencing the serial killer has received some new scrutiny on the heels of Netflix’s limited series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (which itself has been the subject of criticism).
Kesha’s mother Pepe Sebert is credited as one of the co-writers on “Cannibal,” and she recently took to TikTok to explain why she wrote that specific lyric.
After taking credit for the specific lyric, Pepe says that Kesha was too young to even know who Jeffrey Dahmer was — and that his name was included in the song because of a rhyming program for songwriters, MasterWriter, that Pepe was using.
“We were looking for a rhyme for ‘goner,’” she explained. “At the very end of the widest rhymes was ‘Jeffrey Dahmer.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s the perfect lyric.'”
“Once again, Jeffrey Dahmer’s name wouldn’t even be in the song if it wasn’t for the MasterWriter that threw his name up there because he was a person who became famous, unfortunately, because of what he did.”
“Jeffrey Dahmer was just part of the culture back then,” she added. “Everybody talked about him for many years. What he had done was so extreme and so much worse than anything anyone had ever done that anybody knew about.”
Pepe also explained that the song wasn’t intended to be “insensitive to anybody whose families were involved in this and lost loved ones.”
“At the time, it was a song that we were writing about Kesha,” she said while talking about the origins of “Cannibal.” “Kesha was not the most popular girl in high school. She ended up not even getting asked to the prom.”
“Later on, when she got famous, all these guys that, you know, never paid any attention to her were coming around and like, ‘Remember me? Remember me?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, now that I’m famous you’re up my anus.’”
“It was a tongue-in-cheek, funny song. It was not actually about cannibalism. It was just a title.”
“I’m sorry for anyone who’s lost a family member in this tragedy,” Pepe added, while noting that the song was written “more than 10 years” ago. “We certainly never meant to hurt anybody or make anybody feel bad.”
Kesha recently performed the song at Hulu’s Huluween Dragstravaganza, and she didn’t include the lyric referencing Jeffrey Dahmer — so, it seems like her and Pepe are committed to leaving that element of “Cannibal” in the past.
Kesha performs “Cannibal” for Hulu’s Huluween Dragstravaganza. https://t.co/FtlNlFarQ5
@PopCrave / Twitter / Via Twitter: @PopCrave
Head here to read more about the criticism surrounding Monster: the Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
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