Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea—“Booty”
Note the use of the third-person: it isn’t her own booty Lopez is singing about, it’s some nameless object of male attention. She sounds more like a madame, a famous courtesan herself once upon a time, showing off the finer points of the merchandise to her gentleman customers. Not sure where Iggy Azalea fits in that scenario, but her presence doesn’t make things any better.
Jason Aldean—“Gonna Know We Were Here”
This isn’t just bad—lazy, boorish, barely thought out—it borders on the offensive. Maybe it’s the hackneyed YOLO sentimentality, or the line in the chorus about leaving a few stains (Jason Aldean’s bodily fluids, what a delightful image that is), or maybe it’s the tacked on sound of a scratchy record on a track that contains no samples courtesy of an artist whose music isn’t even available on vinyl. What a fraud.
August Alsina featuring Nicki Minaj—“No Love”
Forget about Alsina, who’s a bore: this record is all about Nicki Minaj, whose most recent MO is to grab a guest spot and use it to call out her host on his sexism and/or stereotypical attitudes. “No Love” is the best of the bunch so far. First she softens Alsina up by declaring “No Love” her favorite song, then she croons her affection for him, and then she goes for the kill, still crooning: “You’re so fuckin’ conceited/Why you coming over weeded?” It doesn’t save the record, but it comes close. Could someone sneak her onto a Chris Brown track again?
Florida Georgia Line—“Sun Daze”
“Dirt” was a downer, an obvious, calculated paean to country pieties, but here Florida Georgia Line return to their three great loves: booze, pot, and sex (not necessarily in that order, but close enough). As dumb pop music goes, theirs may be among the dumbest, but they do mange to keep their hooks strong, and if wasn’t for that stupid whistling this would be almost as good a record as “Cruise” (the original, not the remix). They should never go near a reggae beat again, though, or even be allowed to mention Bob Marley’s name.
The Script’s superpower, apparently, is banality and the ability to launch self-help homilies at will. What kind of accent is that on the middle eight, though? Irish, Jamaican? Whatever it is, it sounds even more fake than usual.
The Diplo beat is OK, but it’s a rehash; if anything it’s less adventurous than some of the music Brown has used in the past. As for Brown himself, for all his declarations, nothing has changed. He sings better than ever, but he still blames everybody else, especially women, for his troubles. He’s hasn’t learned a thing, and there are too many people in the world invested in making sure he never does. I never thought one of them would be Diplo, though.
Wiz Khalifa Featuring Snoop Dogg & Ty Dolla $ign—“You And Your Friends”
The beat is good, but that’s not Khalifa. The hook is OK, but that’s not Khalifa, either. Where is Khalifa? Oh, he’s that guy who raps before Snoop Dogg. Sorry, dude, didn’t even notice you were there.