"Lowlife" is a song by Poppy, released under the name That Poppy. It served as the lead single from her debut extended play Bubblebath and is the first track on the EP. It was released on July 24th, 2015 alongside a music video.
"Lowlife" has two official remixes. The first remix is known as the Slushii Remix, which first made an appearance on the Island Records compilation Island Life Dance, Vol. 2, released on May 13th, 2016. The Slushii Remix contains the official clean lyrics of the song. The second remix features the hip hop artist Travis Mills and was uploaded to Poppy's YouTube channel on October 16th, 2015; however, the video is now unlisted for unknown reasons.
"The song is about me living on my own for quite a while and the ups and downs of it all. Then meeting someone when you're in a very rough spot. And that certain person, whether it's a friend or a lover, shaking up your world and making the worst time actually the best time." - That Poppy in an interview with Teen Vogue
The track carries heavy themes about loneliness and describes Poppy's life while living alone. She addresses a person or thing that brought her happiness during this lonely period of her life. The reggae beat of the song contrasts with the message, giving the initial depressing undertone of the track more of an energetic vibe.
The music video begins with a shot of Poppy sitting in the middle of a white triangle in the traditional pose of Baphomet in Christianity. Two white bodysuit dancers are at her sides. As the video progresses, it cuts to several shots of people in wheelchairs (implied to be Them) breathing through masks and discussing the artist behind her back. Several seconds into the video, the Devil (portrayed by Brandon Burtis) appears in several shots alongside Poppy. The Devil makes strange facial expressions and poses with Poppy in what appears to be a hatched egg, as well as on opposite ends of a table. While conversing on the table, the Devil makes sexually suggestive gestures which Poppy attempts to ignore. Poppy's discomfort culminates when the Devil puts a banana in his mouth and makes a gesture imitating fellatio. Poppy then leaves the studio, with the Devil following her angrily until she exits the building.
When she leaves the building, the Devil decides to give up and walks away. Outside, many starstruck fans await her appearance and hold photographs of the singer in front of her. Poppy pulls a paintbrush with with red paint and drags it across their sheets before entering a van. In the van, two women wait and one of them gives her an oxygen mask possibly containing some kind of a drug. She then walks back into the building at the set where she pushes away the men in wheelchairs, symbolizing that she is rejecting their control. At the end of the video, she blocks the camera with her hands.
Throughout the music video, there are strong Illuminati and Satanic symbols such as triangles representing the Eye of Providence, skulls, and Masonic colors.
Since its release, "Lowlife" has mostly received exceedingly positive reviews from critics. The music video for "Lowlife" is currently Poppy's most-viewed music video, at over 63 million views and over 1 million likes on YouTube. "Lowlife" is also Poppy's most-listened track on Spotify and has received airtime on BBC Radio. "Lowlife" was featured on the compilation album Now That's What I Call Music! 58 in North America, and was nominated for a TigerBeat "19 Under 19 - Most Influential Song" award in September 2016. PopularTV particularly described "Lowlife" as a song that "will make you want to break out your old checkered Vans and hang with the skater boys".
- This is one of only three Poppy songs to be marked explicit on most music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify, the others being "American Kids" and "Chic Chick".
- This is also the only Poppy song to have an official clean version, replacing the word "shitty" with "rotten". The Slushii Remix uses this clean version.
- Though "Immature Couture", "Scary Mask" and "All the Things She Said" contain profanity, they are not marked explicit on music streaming services.
- The remix with Travis Mills was the original song and was once available on streaming services. However, his verse was cut from the official release of the song for unknown reasons.
- This version of "Lowlife" marks the first Poppy era song to contain a feature, the second being "My Style" featuring Charlotte, the third being "Time Is Up" featuring Diplo, the fourth being "Aristocrat" featuring Garibay, the fifth being "Play Destroy" featuring Grimes, the sixth being "Scary Mask" featuring Fever 333, and the seventh being "Screammm" featuring GASM.
- To date, the Travis Mills remix, the clean version of this song, and "Everybody Wants to Be Poppy" are the only Poppy era songs that were removed from streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.
- Poppy has stated that "Lowlife" and "Money" are her favorite songs from Bubblebath.
- Poppy has a video titled "How to Play Lowlife", which presents itself as a tutorial on how to play the song.
- Poppy is interviewed about the music video in the second "Charlotte Interviews Poppy", which was uploaded 10 days before the release of the music video and song.
- Titanic Sinclair has stated that the music video for "Bleach Blonde Baby" is a "visual sequel" to the music video for "Lowlife".
- The release of the "Lowlife" music video in 2015 marks the first Poppy era music video.
- The music video was shot on May 3rd, 2015.
- Poppy performed a stripped-down version of "Lowlife" on April 27th, 2018.
- The scene in the music video where Poppy signs fans' pictures of her with red paint was most likely inspired by a scene in the 1997 movie The Fifth Element.
- These "autographed" pictures from the music video later made an appearance in Poppy's video "Everybody Is Boring".
- Poppy had invited several fans to be in the music video to portray the fans waiting outside for her. Matt Bennett, a friend of Titanic Sinclair, portrays one of these fans. Sinclair himself also appears in the music video as one of the people in the studio.
- Poppy wore the "eye dress" from the music video at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
- The outfit Poppy wears in the single artwork for the Travis Mills remix is the same one she wears in her video "Umbrella".
- On April 1st, 2020, Poppy stated that she does not play "Lowlife" live anymore because the song gives her post-traumatic stress disorder.