Rosalia Drops Video for ‘Hentai,’ the Overtly Sexual Song That Divided TikTok

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Back in January, the Spanish singer Rosalía posted a video on TikTok that showed her perched on a mountain peak somewhere, blanketed in falling snow. A short clip of “Hentai,” a piano-led, daydream of a song, played while she giggled along to its unapologetically explicit lyrics; translated in English, they go, “I wanna ride you like I ride my bike/Make me a tape like Spike/I whipped it until it got stiff/In the second place is fucking you/In the first place is God.”

Quickly, dozens of bewildered comments piled up under the video (“I hope this is a joke,” one person wrote), though the reaction seemed somewhat premature without the context of the full song. Rosalia finally dropped “Hentai” in its entirety on Wednesday, and it ends up being a genuinely intriguing, carefully produced ballad about the absolute pleasures of, well, good dick. Given her past work, it’s a surprising, overtly sex-positive statement that takes her somewhere new.

She juxtaposes the delicacy of the music and her voice, which is Judy Garland-level warm, with the writing, which is veiled but still provocative (“Expensive like he has a diamond on the tip,” she sings at one point). It plays with the kind of lyricism that people let men get away with all the time and adds contrasts through unexpected production choices. As the intensity builds up, she chirps “so, so, so, so, so, so good” while industrial-sounding, Arca-style machine guns shoot off in the distance. In an accompanying video, directed by Mitch Ryan, she rides a mechanical bull in a sun-lit field and writhes in bed, celebrating natural ecstasy.


The track is from her upcoming album Motomami, which is out on Friday, March 18. Rosalia is premiering the album with an elaborate Stillz-directed performance on TikTok the night before. Last weekend, she performed two songs from the LP on SNL, becoming the first woman to perform both songs entirely in Spanish on the show.