Free Kesha, Get Dr. Luke

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By now, we all know the basic liner notes of Kesha’s lawsuit and allegations of abuse, harassment, drugging, and rape directed at her former producer, Dr. Luke. And we’ve all seen the images of a truly devastated Kesha crying in the back of a New York Supreme courtroom, after a judge ruled that maintaining a six-album contract with Dr. Luke’s label would be, quote “the commercially reasonable thing”.

These images of Kesha, hiding her face between waves of beachy, blonde hair, collapsing into distraught tears, have been widely circulated in the week since the ruling. And it’s no surprise that people are drawn to this image of the formerly insouciant, Jack-Daniels-toothbrushing, tit-glitter wearing Kesha looking so somber & bereft. It twinges our sense of moral outrage, fascinates us in an impotent, masturbatory way. Focusing on Kesha’s victimhood is very human, and maybe even humane, but it’s also invasive and missing the point.

To truly understand this legal battle, we need to turn our focus away from Kesha and her very public pain, and towards her rapist, the shitsmeared, beady-eyed weasel Lucasz Gottwald, aka Dr. Luke.

Lucasz Gottwald began as a “remix artist” in 1997. His early clients were Gravediggaz and Bon Jovi. He rose to prominence in 2004, after writing Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Since U Been Gone”. Gottwald followed this with the incantatory, morally complex “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne, then, in perhaps the most tone-deaf straight male personification of female sexuality ever, penned “I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry. Then came “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Hot n Cold”, every bullshitty song on Britney Spears’ Circus album, and Miley Cyrus’ pop breakout, “Party in the USA”.

Gottwald had discovered his commercial forte: pinching off hyper-produced aural confections, cotton-candy flavored turds lacking in substance or point of view, performed by manicured young women whom he could control through deft manipulation, flirtation, and gaslighting. In 2011, he formed his own label, Kemosabe Records, a reference to The Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto, and took the name Dr. Luke, making himself a wanton appropriator of both Native American culture and people with actual fucking doctoral degrees.

Around this time, Dr. Luke met 18-year-old Kesha. A precocious musician, Kesha had already written songs for Britney Spears and Taio Cruz. Dr. Luke was desperately searching for a hook for the song “You Spin My Head Right Round”, Flo Rida’s sonic tribute to excellent dick sucking. Kesha composed and recorded an anthemic vocal track for the song, which Dr. Luke happily used without providing songwriting credit or payment. In protest of this, Kesha decided added an ironic dollar sign to her name.

Dr. Luke then convinced Kesha to drop out of high school and move into his house in LA. It was then that the outright sexual and emotional abuse began. Gottwald drugged and date raped Kesha at his home and on international flights, then threatened her life and the life of Kesha’s mother and dog when Kesha came forward with complaints. He controlled Kesha’s diet and exercise, calling her a “fat fucking refrigerator” and pushing her to lose weight until she checked into rehab for an eating disorder. In one especially harrowing incident, Kesha reportedly ran from an explosively violent Dr. Luke, barefoot into oncoming highway traffic.

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But enough prurient interest in Kesha’s suffering. Let’s focus on the exploitative sewage extruding fucktruck who’s responsible for it. Dr. Luke has been leeching energy and talent out of young women since he started producing. Kelly Clarkson penned the hook for “Since You Been Gone”, but, like Kesha, never received songwriting credit or royalties. Dr. Luke used financial manipulation and rage to control which of Clarkson’s songs were released and which were canned. Similar complaints have been lodged by Miley Cyrus, who yes, is a fucking irritating racist troll doll of a person, but who is still a human being deserving of agency despite that.

Dr. Luke has also has been accused of physically and emotionally abusing his wife. One of Kesha’s most upsetting allegations is that while she lived with Dr. Luke, she witnessed a six-month long campaign of blackmail, financial, and verbal abuse designed to force his wife into getting an unwanted abortion, which she eventually did.

And while Dr.Luke maintains his innocence in all of this, his present-day actions are suggestive of him being a douchefucking, abortion-forcing, sociopathic, money-grubbing, GHB-slinging, glitter turd shitting, predatory staph infected anal prolapse of a human being. On the day the New York Supreme Court ruled in his favor, Dr. Luke deleted a 2009 photo he’d posted of an unconscious Kesha lying in a hotel bed, her face slack. Old tweets where Dr. Luke joked about “spanking” or “punishing” Kesha were also deleted.

In the week following the court’s ruling, Kesha has tried to withdraw from the public eye. On Friday, she was scheduled to perform a concert at Loyola (just two miles up the street), but canceled at the last minute, citing personal reasons. Since accusing Dr.Luke of rape, Kesha has been unable to tour or release music, and the occasional small college concert has been her one source of creative freedom and income. Now she’s been robbed even of that.

But let’s not to dwell too long on the public demoralization this woman has faced. Let’s free Kesha of the images of every gruesome offense she has endured, and imagine instead an uplifting fantasy of retribution, a cognitive palate cleanse.

Imagine you pass Lucaz fake ass doctor rapist Gottwald on the street. You reach out and grasp his mucousy, pimple covered dick, which probably excites him. But then you take him by surprise by parting his pee hole with your fingers. You jam an impeccably sharp steak knife inside his penis. He screams like an autotuned ferret while you twist the knife right round, right round, making streams of flesh from the inside of his dick spill out like bloody julienne fries. His squirrel demon face goes milky white and he collapses to the ground, and you crush his grimy little balls into nubbins of goo, and scrape them into the asphalt. His eyes go glassy as he passes out from the pain and blood loss.

You look up, and spot Kesha sitting in an ice cream parlor across the street. She’s drinking a vanilla milkshake spiked with Jack Daniels. She looks happy. You drag Dr. Luke away. You leave Kesha the fuck alone.

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This piece was originally read live at The Paper Machete, Chicago’s live magazine.

Originally published at

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