Justin Timberlake’s first “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” performance

Justin Timberlake performs “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” at the “Eurovision Song Contest 2016” in Stockholm, Sweden.

What Surprised Me:

Ummm…

O.K., the live performance helped me like “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” a little more than before. I’m still not the biggest fan, but the performance improved my overall thoughts on the song.

I was not expecting the “Rock Your Body” intro. Now that’s song I will always dip to. It was a kute moment. I get it—the beginning song of his solo career and his latest song.

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What I Didn’t Like:

It lacked drive. It was kute, clean, nice, but I’m not going to remember it for long.

His dance breaks. Mr. Timberlake, you are famous for dancing it up onstage. Were you having an off week? Did you have no time to rehearse more choreography? Because his longest break was about 8 seconds.

What I Liked:

Overall, this performance brought to mind all of Justin Timberlake’s legacy. He’s been off the radar for about 2 years. By viewing this video, I had nostalgia for all of his other moments.

He had fun. Even if the performance was borderline basic, he had fun. And it was sweet watching him have a blast in front of the stadium crowd.

Review by: Gio Bradley.

 

Desiigner’s first “Panda” performance

Designer performs “Panda” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

This was actually his first network television performance ever (again, he is a 19-year-old).

What Surprised Me:

The amount of energy he used to perform. I thought he would have been going for a ice cold, calculated demeanor.

Instead he was jumping around for almost the whole time. Desiigner had lots of arm movements, big facial expressions (some were really funny). That’s not at all what I expected.

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Which is a good thing! Nowadays it’s hard to be surprised by the actions of a song/music video and/or performance.

During his performance, Desiigner even rolled most of the “R”s himself.

What I Didn’t Like:

His voice did not match the playback. I realize that’s an obvious statement. Due to the energy he was using how could he have the serious yet detached vocals of the recorded version? I get it. At the same time, what if someone wanted to hear him rap live just the same way as he sounds on the track?

I probably don’t know enough about rapping, so the expectations might be different. However, if it’s a singer onstage, you hope they sound exactly as good as the recording, if not better.

What I liked:

Overall, even if he didn’t match the playback, I am happy I watched this performance. I would have never seen this hyper side of him if I didn’t press play. His live performance adds more to someone’s own mental image of Desiigner’s persona.

Now we know he sounds relatively calm on the track, but can get very active and physical onstage. I appreciate that he let himself go there. I’m sure beforehand his circle must have told him, or were thinking about the risk of him going “crazy” onstage and looking too weird.

It’s nice that Desiigner didn’t hold back.

Review by: Gio Bradley.

 

“Panda” by Desiigner

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“Panda” by Desiigner

Released: December 20, 2015.

Re-released: February 26, 2016.

#1 for 2 weeks. (May 1-14)

Genre: Trap

Length: 4:08

Label: Def Jam 

Writer(s):  -Sidney Selby III (Desiigner)  -Adnan Khan

Producer(s):  -Menace

Certifications: Platinum

My Thoughts:

Score: 7.5/10

I like the production and Desiigner’s flow. For a newbie it’s a good and different start. How many popular songs can you name that use the word ‘Panda’ as the bridge?

What is he referring to with the word “Panda”? —-  A White BMW X6 Phantom.

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So we now know what car he likes to whip down the Ave.

I’m sure most people don’t know what he’s saying, neither did I. But “Panda” is very popular. Let’s think about it for a second. A song reaches #1, yet the bulk of listeners can’t make out the lyrics.

That means the song emotionally impacts people. “Panda” makes you feel a certain way even if you have a hard time understanding Desiigner’s rapping. It might make one feel strong, aggressive, cool, or a mixture of all three.

However, let’s not remain clueless about the lyrics. To help us out here is Desiigner himself reading his lyrics slowly on a Genius video:

Now we can appreciate the cleverness of the references he managed to interlace throughout the song.

For full notes and annotations of “Panda” go to Genius.com. *Link at the bottom of this page.

Desiigner (Sidney Royel Selby III) was born in 1997 (only 19 years old!). He’s from Brooklyn, NY.

He first released “Panda” on Dec. 15, 2015, through SoundCloud, youtube and iTunes. It was re-released on Feb. 26 2016.

Desiigner signed a recording contract with Kanye West’s record label “GOOD Music” on Feb. 11, 2016.

West also sampled “Panda” in his song “Pt. 2” on his album “The Life of Pablo.”

Mike Dean (record producer) on May 5, 2016, announced he would be executive producing Desiigner’s upcoming debut album, “The Life of Desiigner.”

Desiigner has to make sure he plays his cards right. If he wants to have a long musical career, as most musicians do, then this is crunch time. I’m sure Desiigner is already hard at work on a follow-up single. I hope it’s just as good. Otherwise, he will be known as the one-hit-wonder-rapper who sang that song “Panda” in 2016.

Fun Factoids:

One day, while playing Grand Theft Auto V, Desiigner had the inspiration/vision to write “Panda.”

Menace (producer of “Panda”) sold Desiigner the beat for $200. The DC Comics character the Joker inspired Menace to create this production.

 

“Top 3 In the Pocket” Roundtable Opinions:

 

Score: 5/10    “Personally, I’m not a fan of hardcore rap, so I’m not a huge fan of this song, but I have to say, it does have a nice beat.”  -Taryn Candy. 

 

Score: 10/10    “I can honestly say this song makes me feel like a gangster.”  -Incognito Gurl. 

 

Score: 5/10    “I like the whole spiel but not as much as I like that I can’t understand any of the lyrics, since they’re probably pretty offensive.”  -Margie Ricchezza.

 

Average rating: 6.7 /10

 

Favorite Lyrics:

1.    “Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda.”

His deep voice kinda hypnotizes me and makes me laugh at the same time.

2. “I got broads in Atlanta”

I don’t have broads in Atlanta (nor do I want to). I actually was born in Atlanta, though. No, I am not one of Desiigner’s broads. I must admit this cocky statement is fun to say.

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3. “Pop a Perc, I can’t stand up.”

Desiigner is referring to the opioid drug Percocet. It is a depressant that can leave you drowsy, sleepy, or, in high doses, incapable of standing up. The imagery makes this a funny line.

4. “Goin’ out like I’m Montana.”

The mobster Tony Montana was the main character in the movie Scarface. So whether you’re dying like he died, or hitting the town like he did, it’s gonna be cinematic.

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5. “Man I’m the macho like Randy.”

He’s talking about the WWF wrester, Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. In a moment of confidence anyone feels really butch rapping along to that.

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Extra:

Video of Kevin Hart doing his best at covering part of “Panda” on a BBC 1Xtra radio Interview:

Here ‘s a link to the full lyrics found on Genius.com:

http://genius.com/Desiigner-panda-lyrics

 

 

“One Dance” by Drake (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)

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“One Dance”

by Drake (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)

Released April 5, 2016. It’s the second single off of his album “Views.”

#1 for 7 weeks so far (May 15-21. May 29-July 9 + ?)

Genre: Dancehall, House, Afrobeat

Length: 2:54

Label:  -OVO Sound  -Cash Money  -Young Money.

Writers:  -Aubrey Graham (Drake)  -Paul Jefferies  -Aman Tekleab  -Noah Shebib  -Logan Sama  -Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun  -Themba Sekowe  -Osabuohien Osaretin  -Kayla Smith  -Errol Reid.

Producers: Ninteen85  -Dj Maphorisa  -40  -Wizkid  -Sarz.

My thoughts:

Score: 9/10

This song features vocals from both Nigerian Afrobeat Artist ,Wizkid, and British House singer, Kyla.

“One Dance” not only features Kyla’s vocals, but  samples another (‘08) song by Crazy Cousinz that Kyla features in called, “Do you mind.”

Future hitmakers take note: This song’s shortness is key. If this song had been a five minute track, its success would not have been as great. “One Dance” is nice and concentrated.

Also, the song’s lyrics work because they are lyrical.  Drake is expressing how conflicted he feels about the relationship, yet he sounds mellow and warm.

“One Dance” is a refreshing twist on the usual, “get your ass on the floor” dance song (not that I don’t love me some of those songs too).

The three vocalists (Drake, Wizkid, Kyla) all blend well together.

I imagine myself dancing to this song in a straw tribal outfit with a bunch of face paint and there’s no end in sight to the fun.

Drake had a slow, yet steady come up. Last fall/winter he officially got his first mainstream hit with “Hotline Bling” (No, I’m not including “Hold on, we’re going home.”).

“Hotline Bling” was held from the #1 spot (peaked #2) because Adele was back saying “Hello.” That would have been his first solo #1. He may have been upset it didn’t reach #1.

However, to counteract that disappointment, this year he has been on fire. First, he teamed up with Rihanna for a third time and featured on her lead single “Work” off of her new album “Anti.” The song remained #1 for nine weeks (Feb. 28-April 30).

And now Drake finally has his own #1 with “One Dance” (7 weeks and counting). “One Dance” has also reached the Top 3 in 19 other  countries so far.

His album sales for “Views” are doing great (for 2016 standards). Plus, there are a couple of songs off of his new album that I think could be future hits. Watch out for “Controlla” and “Good to you” (feat. Rihanna).

Even when the “Views” era dies down, he is now solid, he is set. From now on, we the public, will be interested in new Drake music/albums. Not that people weren’t before, I’m just recognising that his audience has increased exponentially since “Hotline Bling.”

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(A promo shot from his album “Views”)

Fun Factoids:

With the two featured vocalists and the sample, it took 10 writers to write this #1 song.

In the U.K. “One Dance” has remained at #1 for eleven weeks (and counting). It’s now the longest-lasting #1 single of the 21st century in the U.K..

“Top 3 In the Pocket” Roundtable Opinions:

 

Score: 9/10    “I love “One Dance.” It definitely gets me in the mood to party and dance. My favorite part is the EDM sounding beat drop.”  -Taryn Candy.

 

Score: 8/10    “This song makes me feel like I need to be in the club dancing and drinking some Hennessy.”  -Incognito Gurl.

 

Score: 8/10    ” ‘One Dance’ is very reminiscent of Drake’s earlier career. It’s more loving and soulful than his ratchet sounds of today.  -Margie Ricchezza.

 

Average rating: 8.3 /10

 

Favorite Lyrics:

1.    “Baby . . . I like your style.”  

You either imagine yourself being the kute person saying this, or you’re hearing this from a kute person. Either way, it’s a kute part.

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2.    “You know you gotta stick by me. Soon as you see the text, reply me. I don’t want to spend time fighting. We’ve got no time.”

I can agree. I’m sure most people when they heard that section thought, “yas, Drake.” Nobody likes to get a super late reply from their crush/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/side-piece/fiance/husband/wife. Just reply right away and forget the silly games.

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3.    “Where, where, where, where, where, where, where.”

I mean, is it just me, or did I start dancing like never before at that part?  

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Here is a link to the full lyrics on Genius.com:

http://genius.com/Drake-one-dance-lyrics

Review by: Gio Bradley.

 

 

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

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“Can’t Stop the Feeling!”  

by Justin Timberlake

Released: May 6, 2016

Genre: Pop/Disco 

Length: 3:56 

Record Label: RCA

Peak: #1 for 1 week (May 22-28)

Songwriters:  -Justin Timberlake  -Max Martin  -Shellback

Producers:  -Max Martin  -Shellback  -Justin Timberlake

My Thoughts:

Score: 6/10

Unlike most music critics, I am not crazy about this song. It does have a carefree, happy vibe that everybody loves to hear in summer songs. And if this song played at a dance party I’d still get down to it.

Still, for me, It’s too cheesy. I feel like I’m listening to a theme song for little kid’s cartoon show. Which makes sense, since it’s part of a soundtrack for the DreamWorks animated film Trolls (will be released Nov. 4, 2016).

What doesn’t make sense to me is how popular it has become with adults.

Justin’s previous hits have hit much harder (“Rock Your Body”/”Sexy Back”/”Mirrors”).

Again, I will cut slack since it was created for a children’s movie. What I mean is, if this was the first single off of his new album I would have given it a 4/10.

Fifteen years from now I don’t think this song will be remembered and/or referenced much.

His new, upcoming solo material, which I’m sure will arrive by the end of 2016, hopefully will not take me back to the second grade.

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(A promo shot for the movie Trolls)

Fun Factoid:

Justin Timberlake has not worked with producer Max Martin since his NSYNC days.

“Top 3 In the Pocket” Roundtable Opinions: 

Score: 9/10    “I love this song. It’s an extra cheesy, generic pop song. It’s really expected from a singer like J.T., but it’s a lot of fun.  -Taryn Candy.

 

Score: 8/10    “When I hear this song it makes me feel like I’m going to have a great day. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be like Pharrell’s “Happy,” which got annoying and overplayed, because “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is a great song.”  -Incognito Gurl.

 

Score: 6/10    ” ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ is the best out of his most recent songs. However, I still don’t find any of them (including this one) as great as his 2008 days.”  -Margie Ricchezza. 

 

Average Score: 7.6 /10

 

Favorite lyrics:

1.  “So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine.” His falsetto accompanied by the beat build-up is Kute (spelled on purpose). I visualize myself being gracefully thrown into the sky, higher and higher.

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2.  “So just dance, dance, dance,”   Those five words actually get more stuck in my head than the, “Can’t stop the feeling!” scream.

Here’s a link to the full lyrics found on Genius.com:

http://genius.com/Justin-timberlake-cant-stop-the-feeling-lyrics

Review by: Gio Bradley.