Monday, August 24th, 2015

Nico & Vinz ft. Kid Ink & Bebe Rexha – That’s How You Know

Are they wrong?


Katherine St Asaph: I sure hope I don’t hit rock bottom again, because christ would this be awful to hear in my head.

Alfred Soto: Celebrating a lover whose “degree in awesome” couldn’t save him from starring in a cautionary tale in which Kid Ink has a verse, “That’s How You Know” aims for what publications used to call a “summer vibe”: acoustic strumming, harmonies, easy chorus. I suppose there’s a novelty to these characters reveling in schadenfreude.

Rebecca A. Gowns: If this was an improv camp campfire singalong, it would be sort of cute and somewhat acceptable. In any other context, it’s unbearable. The lyrics are sub-parody-song quality, while the performances manage to be both phoned-in and hammy. It’s the kind of thing that only a friend or a family member could sit through with a smile — and even then, it would be the forced smile that you give when your friend is bombing through their open-mic novelty song, but you want them to soldier through and finish it so they don’t embarrass themselves further.

Patrick St. Michel: Dang, why do these guys hate Norway so much?

Scott Mildenhall: This is from the “Billionaire” school of perfunctory attempts at garnishing everyman stories with everyman charm, ones in which the stories aren’t really that widely relatable, and the charm is just a loop of somebody somewhere strumming. It’s everything good about “Am I Wrong”, in other words — the assured striving for an unspecified goal, undisturbed by the urgency of the production — made bad. And is that a knock on Norway? Taking into account the make-up of the hotchpotch ensemble, this can only have come about through an industry-wide drawing of straws.

Jonathan Bradley: It’s not even that “That’s How You Know” is mean-spirited; well-wrought spite is a pleasure as satisfying as any. It’s the just-joshing joviality of the singalong strum-along that turns this into something really poisonous. It takes industrial levels of smarm to relate woeful shaggy dog stories with the amiable indifference Nico, Vinz, et. al do here, and their noisomeness is a far greater sin than that committed by any of the hapless reprobates they chronicle. That they turn their fire on themselves is not exculpatory; rather, they’re so blithe about their fortunes that even impending disaster can’t rupture their sense of self-satisfaction. Horrid.

Brad Shoup: It’s catchy, it’s low-stakes, it offers a self-referential chuckle. It’s also a little mean, but not mean enough that the verses needed to be written sharply. (“Matrix coding,” huh.) Plus, half the time I try to summon the refrain, I get the words, but they’re to the “Marvin Gaye” melody. For paving over the worst part of “Marvin Gaye,” an extra point. 

Thomas Inskeep: According to the Rap-Up, this is an “acoustic jam.” I mean, I suppose it sounds stupidly like a campfire singalong, if your singalongs include the chorus “that’s how you know you fucked up” (or “effed up,” if you’re feeling PG-13). Bebe Rexha apparently wants to be P!nk based on her verse here, Kid Ink apparently wants to be the blandest rapper alive, and Nico & Vinz would do well to find their 303 again. And a song. This is almost — almost — impressively moronic.

Alex Ostroff: Earlier today I tweeted, “FourFiveSeconds just came on the radio and I still really like it.” Here, Nico, Vinz, Kid Ink & Bebe graciously provide us with a case study illustrating exactly how difficult it is to pull off the “effortless” aesthetic of Kanye, Rihanna, and that other dude. That’s how you know they effed up.

Josh Winters: More like “FourFiveDreck-onds” (thank you for not throwing tomatoes).

Reader average: [1.66] (3 votes)

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2 Responses to “Nico & Vinz ft. Kid Ink & Bebe Rexha – That’s How You Know”

  1. *throws tomatoes at the song*

  2. In what world is Kid Ink the best part of a song? jfc…