Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Drake ft. Wizkid & Kyla – One Dance

Will man dem appreciate these ratings?

Thomas Inskeep: Okay, the story behind this is pretty damn interesting: apparently, Nineteen85 and 40, two of Drake’s main producers, unearthed UK singer Kyla’s 2009 funky-house single “Do You Mind” and liked it so much they wanted to use it as the underpinning for “One Dance.” (Backstory, worth reading, here.) A bit of time-stretching, a bit of Afrobeat guitar riffing, a vocal contribution from Nigerian star Wizkid — and happily, both publishing and label credits for Kyla — and here we are. “One Dance” is a little bit house, a little Afrobeat, with some soca in there too. Frankly Drake’s voice is just another element, not standing out but not getting in the way either. The groove, and Kyla’s vocal, are the real stars here — and this is one lovely, mellow groove.

Scott Mildenhall: Drake supplants Harry Hill as the source of Crazy Cousinz’ biggest spotlight, and thus an old piece of Bluetooth pop becomes one of the biggest hits of 2016. Wizkid being involved should hopefully open doors too, but none of that exactly elevates the lead’s fly-by-night tourism. Once more his use of an expansive sample to gloss over is the best part of the song, upon which it hinges and would be nothing without.

Jer Fairall: “Take Care” minus the sumptuous drama, but more crucially minus a committed performance from Drake. I’m used to him sounding lazy, but here he sounds positively asleep. A haunting use of a Kyla sample and Wizkid’s eerily obscured feature make this listenable, but go to waste nonetheless.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Singing Drake > Rapping Drake. Also, Caribbean Drake > Grime Drake. And yes, the track is a bit too short and we kind of expected something grander, but that piano-led, UK Funky-sampling riddim is undeniable. It’s a grower, too; but for now, i’ll give it a

Crystal Leww: Between “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance,” I am starting to think I would totally be content if Drake released an album where he doesn’t rap once. I would definitely dance sexy to the whole thing in a club.

Madeleine Lee: My score comes with a disclaimer that one month from now, whenever this song plays on a sweltering Toronto dance floor after midnight, it turns into a [10].

Micha Cavaseno: Crazy Cousins, the duo of UK Grime and Bassline innovators Flukes and Paleface, remixed Paleface’s protege Kyla’s “Do You Mind” from a slinky R&B track into a tribal house masterpiece 8 or so years ago. To this day, it remains one of the greatest highlights of the UK Funky House movement, right up there with “The Cure & The Cause”, “Tell Me What It Is”,  “Siegalizer”, “In The Air” and a sea of classics still remembered fondly. I had tears spring up when I watched a group of girls during the Funky House Tribute Boiler Room sing along to every word (as I did) like it was only yesterday these tunes were so dominant. Ol’ Drakk is certainly right to recognize the vulnerable and sensual nature of Kyla’s hook, and the attempt to forge some union of Lover’s Rock, Funky and Afrobeats is really provocative as a concept, but speaks also to his desperation to find the next ‘thing’ to give himself some character. He’s previously landed at similar ports during his patronage of SBTRKT and Jamie xx, both indebted to Funky’s revival of UK Dance’s more seductive energies, so in many ways this is both a step forward and backwards. I also question Aubrey’s need for a more authentic voice in those snatches from voices of Africa and the West Indies after his pillaging of trap, dancehall and grime just the year before; from voices who aren’t going to get the access into the pop world that Drake relishes in no matter how hard they try. For a guy who’s been so blandly relateable through his tapioca pudding personality, it seems troubling that he wants to also grab at other cultures to give his music something extra that he will never be able to do without the appearances of people such as Popcaan, Partynextdoor or Rihanna who share that lineage. The curious eye on the pulse of Drake is apparently more than ever the dangerous hunger of a vampiric machine, causing collateral damage in its desperation.

Brad Shoup: Wizkid puts Drake onto “Ojuelegba,” and Drake repays him by burying his vocals alive. The Kyla sample gets some witless vocal manipulation as well. This doesn’t bang, it doesn’t simper, it’s just Drizzy pre-emptively Desiigning himself.

Will Adams: One Muscle Relaxant.

Alfred Soto: Believe me, I understand the aesthetic merits of interpolating a good 2009 house track, but its affirmations, mixed down and muted or not, let him off the damn hook. He still drones and drags his voice as if it were a sack of rocks up a hill; he has made it his mission to be inert.

Edward Okulicz: A few years ago, I used to go by this pizza place, one of the big franchises, on the way home from work on a Monday night and get a pizza, and it would be made by a guy who used to live with my sister. Even though I did not like him, I enjoyed the pizza. It wasn’t his recipe, he had nothing to do with what made the pizza good, and anyone could have done it, so my enjoyment was justified. Today, i can tell myself that everything that makes “One Dance” good wasn’t created by Drake, using the raw elements wasn’t Drake’s idea, and anyone could have done it. It just happens that Drake did it, and that’s what I tell myself to justify it. Besides which it almost doesn’t sound like Drake!

Megan Harrington: This is an impersonal song. Drake does not write impersonal songs. Drake will tell you his pool size respective to Kanye West’s pool size, Drake will tell you the very specific ways that your moving on from him really hurts him when it’s late and he’s been drinking — he’ll tell you that at least once per album. Throughout his ascendence and even in his dominance, Drake relied on candidness and an everyman swagger. Has his audience been to his mansion? No, but we can picture it, it’s so real. There are limits to this narrative. I don’t imagine Drake and I have much in common anymore, if we ever did, but it matters less and less because now I root for him like he’s the home team. Good season, bad season, loyalty overrides the average. And now that he’s created this neutral obligation, Drake doesn’t have to share so much of himself to maintain his context. “One Dance” could be for or about anyone, it’s an anonymous club closing warm breeze. It sounds great and there are moments where he’s so brutally controlling I think “this couldn’t be anyone else,” but shift a few signifiers around and, sure, it could be anyone else. After being unapologetically Drake for a decade, he’s receding into anonymity with an almost equal appeal. This is what we need, he’s decided.

Reader average: [7.45] (11 votes)

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One Response to “Drake ft. Wizkid & Kyla – One Dance”

  1. This song is such a jam.

    I’ve been saying forever that Drake makes a better popstar than rapper.