Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Skrillex ft. Diplo, G-Dragon & CL – Dirty Vibe

Starting today, we’re going to do every song on the Skrillex album.


[Video][Website]
[5.92]

Patrick St. Michel: Considering Korean pop music’s biggest cultural success in the West to date has been a meme, it’s weird seeing American mainstream artists rushing over to get K-Pop cred as of late. I watched Lady Gaga saunter into a bar in Texas to watch Hyuna do “Bubble Pop!”, and that was before she called up Crayon Pop to open her forthcoming tour. Here, it’s a too-many-cooks issue. I assume Diplo’s contribution are all the parts that sound like every song he’s produced over the past year I didn’t like. Skrillex’s music works when he’s left to destroy genre barriers on his own, not make room for others. G-Dragon just sounds like… G-Dragon. The winner here is CL, who reminds that she should be a massive pop star all her own with an immediacy to her verses trumping the entirety of the new 2NE1 album. Let’s hope someone decides CL deserves to shine beyond the “featured” tag.
[6]

Crystal Leww: “Dirty Vibe” is big, dumb, and hyper-masculine, a perfect representation of what Skrillex is blamed for turning EDM into. Skrillex and Diplo have done their best, turning out a headrush of a beat focused on the “dirty” part of of the “dirty vibe.” G-Dragon’s menacing raps are made more sinister by their modified, slightly screwed vocals. Despite all their tries, it turns out that CL, the lady of the track, totally owns this. She sounds a ton like a different female totally dominating the rap game right now, but CL’s voice has always been very sweet to sound too much like the grittier parts of Nicki Minaj. The attitude is all aggressive dude, but the lyrics are overtly female, announcing her arrival with “hold up, you in the presence of a queen,” commanding what sounds like a boyfriend, but perhaps just a boything to “hold my purse,” and blowing patronizing kisses at G-Dragon with “talk shit with the prettiest lips.” Most impressive: on an album with Chance the Rapper on it, CL is the one with the best “ACK!” ad-lib.
[8]

Madeleine Lee: GD and CL have come a long way since their last recorded collaboration, “The Leaders”: more attitude, harsher English, and confidence that seems less aspirational and more lived-in (they’re talking, not yelling). I can’t do a similar comparison for Skrillex, but shouldn’t there be a drop in here somewhere? Is that what was supposed to go in that minute or so between the verses where nothing happens?
[3]

Anthony Easton: The EDM circuit has so much money, and is so elegant in how everything fits together, that some cross-promotion for both fashion and capital with Korea just makes branding/market sense. Diplo is the most cynical, and therefore most interesting thing about this. Skrillex, who kind of killed his brand with the brilliant Spring Breakers soundtrack, still sounds like he thinks he is doing something new, and so is the least cynical and therefore least interesting. Score is somewhere in the middle. 
[6]

David Sheffieck: Both G-Dragon and CL land a few strong lines — my favorite being CL’s “Talk shit with the prettiest lips/Blow a kiss/Kick a hole in your speaker, and then split” for its non sequitur bad-assness. But this beat is so strong that it could work as an instrumental; the featured vocals are just icing.
[9]

Brad Shoup: One more person and it could’ve been “Dirty Five.” CL’s dirty enough for two, though, breaking free with lyrics that could scandalize her home industry. Here, though, it just marks her as a notch or two above Iggy Azalea. She gets the trappish beat for her main work, not the manic march during her introduction. It’s a crime against propulsion, and the vaguely Eastern synth melody is nearly as bad. (I’mma blame Diplo for that. That cool?)
[5]

Jessica Doyle: Okay, I know it speaks poorly of me that I keep reviewing lyrics instead of form, but did they really give CL “Mouth full of gold with some Jheri curls / Spittin’ in some Prince shit / Diamonds and pearls”? Really? Really?
[2]

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: G-Dragon and CL are very, very good at being pop stars. Sometimes this helps power their music to stratospheric heights (the lovey-dovey maximalist squall of “R.O.D.”! the insane club solo loose of “The Baddest Female”!) and sometimes it turns their music into displays of trend-hopper peacocking. One moment, they’re turned into ping-ponging skitters by their host and guest beatmaker Diplo; the next, they’re rapping at the height of their powers. In particular, this may be G-Dragon’s best pure rap performance — he sounds hungry here, shaking off entitlement, relishing the look that Skrillex has given him. CL is ice and fire, a flag-raiser for Seoul City, a lesbian crush, a jheri-curled bombshell, a star for all the right reasons. And unlike some of the duo’s attempts at international cool curation, Skrillex crafts something you could reasonably hear in a dank basement, sweat seeping through dank dark walls. It’s a car crash of gabber, trap, D&B, Carioca funk, digital hardcore and a few hundred Soundcloud accounts. It’s startling how good this makes everyone look, really.
[8]

Megan Harrington: I am only vaguely familiar with Skrillex’s world building, aside from the lazer guided melodies production he offered A$AP Rocky I’m fully clueless about his work. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard the song about the sprites and goblins! Because DJing is such a lucrative career when you’re someone of Skrillex’s stature, I assumed that he was mostly invested in giving his massive audiences glitchy techno to pop molly and dry hump to — and that’s definitely an aspect of “Dirty Vibe,” but it’s also refreshing to hear him working with K-Pop stars G-Dragon and CL. Skrillex is a thing; he could easily be featuring half the Hot 100 on this track, but he’s working with two super talented outsiders and they’re built for his mania, tag-teaming word by word. 
[8]

Katherine St Asaph: Free prank idea: Tell someone Azealia Banks’ “212” isn’t on YouTube anymore. (THIS IS TRUE.) Suggest they listen to this remix instead. Wait for positive, kinetic reaction. Tell them who it is.
[7]

Jonathan Bradley: First up, could I take a moment to apologize for the [5] I gave “Wild for the Night”? While hardly a standout on Long. Live. A$AP., it’s more than the curio I originally dismissed it to be. “Dirty Vibe” is even better, whether it be because G-Dragon and CL are better acquainted with the off-the-wall sonics in Skrillex’s toolset or simply because the producer has a better idea of what noises work best in coordination with rapping. The squeaky-voiced hook is just whatever, but the electronic-induced scatting is better. The true star here though is CL, who not only bests G-Dragon with snotty lines like “I be on my worst behavior: hold my purse,” but demonstrates for lesser lights how to properly jack American rap swag.
[7]

Edward Okulicz: The sped-up and processed-until-nauseated vocals and Diplo’s trademark disorientating palette of noises are all very inventive I suppose, and no doubt constitute an elaborate and possibly expensive production job. Yet, tempo and pitch aside, the whole thing reminds me eerily of something cheap and obvious… something more fun… uh… Kreayshawn? Yeah, that’s it. Sorry CL.
[5]

Alfred Soto: In 1999 this collision of breakbeat and hornet effects and CL smut would have sounded like the future; now it’s a present realized, inhabited, and threatened by global smarming.
[3]

Reader average: [5.91] (12 votes)

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One Response to “Skrillex ft. Diplo, G-Dragon & CL – Dirty Vibe”

  1. “The winner here is CL, who reminds that she should be a massive pop star all her own with an immediacy to her verses trumping the entirety of the new 2NE1 album. Let’s hope someone decides CL deserves to shine beyond the “featured” tag.”

    Thank you for this Patty.