“Colors” – Jason Derulo
Jason Derulo is given the honor of singing the official song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with “Colors.” The beloved international soccer competition will take place over the course of a month this summer in host country Russia. The song replicates the optimistic upbeat tempo of past World Cup songs while incorporating common themes of persistence, unity, and national pride. Derulo’s single encompasses the spirit of the event, encouraging viewers all over the world with the outro that states “Represent your country / Raise your flag / Show your true colors.” It is strange, however, that an American artist was chosen to sing the anthem given that America did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup. While Derulo may seem an odd choice for the prestigious honor, he proves his worthiness with his impressive vocal range.
Derulo cleverly includes backing and ad-lib “oh’s” to mimic the thunderous crowd chants soccer fans are known for, adding elements of the world famous event to the song. The beat sounds similar to that of Shakira’s 2010 World Cup song “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)” with pounding drums that give the song a celebratory party mood. The title of the song refers to national pride as Derulo encourages patrons of the sport to don their flag’s colors for the contentious soccer matches.
“Get The F—k Off My Dick” – Vince Staples
Long Beach, Calif.-based rapper Vince Staples rejects life in the spotlight in “Get The F—k Off My Dick,” his March 8-released single. Staples raps about the struggle of making a name for himself in the competitive hip-hop industry with the lines “Missed the mark I think my label need a marketing switch” and “VMA and Grammy snubbin’, not walkin’ through no clubs.” Staples may be referencing the underwhelming reception of his 2017 Big Fish Theory, an album that boasts a feature from Kendrick Lamar and production mixing from Flume.
While Staples may be justified in criticizing the reaction to his arguably Grammy nomination-worthy album, he resorts to familiar beats and trite lyrics to broadcast his critique—the song sounds eerily similar to J. Cole’s 2014 “G.O.M.D.” with the opening distant voice sampling and tapping beat interrupted by bass hiccups. These qualities may have been dismissible if not for the identical subject matter of the songs and cadence used to present them: Cole repeats “Get off my dick, woah / (Get the f—k off my dick)” during his hook, while Staples commands “Get the f—k off now, get the f—k off my dick” throughout the chorus. Staples deviates from Cole’s blueprint by layering the fuzzy trap beat over a calming piano to create a relaxed sound. Unfortunately for the up-and-coming rapper, this innovation cannot save “Get The F—k Off My Dick” from appearing to be a step back from refreshing 2017 tracks like “Yeah Right” and “BagBak.”
“Pink Lemonade” – James Bay
James Bay adds to his upcoming sophomore album Electric Light with his second single of 2018, “Pink Lemonade.” Released on March 7, the single opens with a ripping electric guitar riff from the “Let It Go” singer. A rattling drum beat and strong bassline carry Bay through lyrics begging to not complicate a rocky relationship with words. While the lyrics are relatively poppy, Bay uses elements of garage rock to create a sound reminiscent of that of The Strokes in their early days. Bay leaves much to look forward to with the promising single.
Featured Image by Warner Music Group