Lana Del Rey Glorifies Miami Drug Scene In 'Florida Kilos'

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Lana Del Rey Glorifies Miami Drug Scene In 'Florida Kilos'

By John Lavitt 07/11/14

The singer-songwriter is poised to attract controversy with her latest single.

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Lana Del Rey’s new Ultraviolence album includes a bonus track called “Florida Kilos,” which romanticizes cocaine dealing and the drug scene in South Florida.

Inspired by legendary drug documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, which was produced by the Miami-based media studio Rakontur, the lyrics to the song read like a celebration of cocaine. Although the original documentary explored the cocaine-fueled crime epidemic that ripped Miami apart in the 1970s and the 1980s, Del Rey's track reflects only a glorified nostalgia for those dark days.

The song was co-written by Harmony Korine, the infamous scribe of Kids and the director of Spring Breakers, and has been designed as the theme song for the planned Spring Breakers sequel. In an interview, Del Rey claimed to have written the lyrics on her own after watching the documentary. “I was inspired by a documentary called Cocaine Cowboys speaking of traffickers in Miami in the 70s," she said. "I attract those who use illegal methods to get what they want. When I was a kid I thought I had the right to have whatever I wanted at any cost. I like the idea of getting to the top with your method, it is legal or illegal.”

On YouTube, the song can be heard with the lyrics rolling over a murky picture of cocaine being cut on a mirror, revealing a romanticized story of cooking crack and snorting lines of coke, among other criminal exploits:

White lines, pretty baby, tattoos,
Don't know what they mean,
They're special, just for you.
White palms, baking powder on the stove,
Cookin' up a dream,
Turnin' diamonds into snow.

Combining such lyrics with the infantilized sexualization of Del Rey’s vocals, the song is bound to raise a storm once released as a single. Of course, Del Rey is no stranger to controversy. Recently, she caused a stir for saying "I wish I was dead already" in talking about musical heroes Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain in an interview with The Guardian. Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, tweeted a response to Del Rey, saying "the death of young musicians isn't something to romanticize...I'll never know my father because he died young, and it becomes a desirable feat because people like you think it's 'cool.' Well, it's f**king not."

Here is the YouTube video of "Florida Kilos":

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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