Monday, November 14th, 2016

Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall – JuJu on Dat Beat

Times like these, all you can do is dance…


Thomas Inskeep: This isn’t a song; it’s audio instructions on how to make your own viral meme video, set to a Casio hip-hop preset beat. And I’ll be 46 next month, so I’m not exactly the audience for viral meme videos. 

Edward Okulicz: This trend of viral hits definitely serves a purpose or three: helping people who like the sounds of rap but who have no dancing skills get to grips with it very simply with modest fun and minimal investment or skill; modest fame for some nice kids having the time of their lives; and showing that the Billboard charts today are a clusterfuck of evanescent pointlessness.

Alfred Soto: I listened five times in the hope of settling on anything other than that Mike WiLL-esque beat. It also sticks Young Thug and Lil Wayne in the blender.

Will Rivitz: It’s been a hot minute since the last dance-video craze hit, right? With the imminent demise of Vine, it’s unclear when we’ll get another one of these — a shame, since (with the notable exception of Silento’s Nickelodeon-friendly “Watch Me”) all of the accompanying songs have actually been really good. Hilfigerrr doesn’t quite capture the presence of IHeartMemphis or OG Maco’s Insta-ready bangers, but neither did Soulja Boy, and that was fine.

Tim de Reuse: The repetitions of the title have got enough earworm-worthy shuffle that it’s not hard to see why this thing went viral as something to dance to; that said, Zay Hilfigerr’s contributions are so unpleasantly out-of-breath and wheezy that I can’t really get behind the tune divorced from the social media craze.

Jonathan Bradley: When I was a kid, I didn’t much care when my elders told me that whichever new song my radio had on high rotation — “Landslide,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Let’s Groove” — was actually an inferior recreation of an older tune. The originals belonged to my parents, not me, and thanks to shifting recording technologies and production trends, something I’ve grown accustomed to as I’ve lived through more of them, they sounded fusty and worn. I wonder if the teens shooting video of one another dancing to “JuJu on Dat Beat” would feel similarly about its worth vis-a-vis Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck”? Do they welcome the informality of Zay and Zayion’s back-row-of-the-classroom quips and distracted dance directions? Do they, like me, consider the highlight to be Zayion’s snotty couplet, “I’m a Detroit baby/And I don’t know nothing else” — he sounds like he’s enunciating not loyalty but the extent of his knowledge, and, of the pair, he’s the one whose flow is less original and better for it. And is it only old men like me who press play on this and feel an urge to bellow, “I AIN’T NOTHIN’ NICE AND CRIME MOB IT AIN’T NO STOPPIN’/THEY BE LIKE SADDAM HUSSEIN, HITLER, AND OSAMA BIN LADEN”?

Andy Hutchins: Discarding every bit of the edge of “Knuck If You Buck” and purloining the crystalline perfection of the instrumental, two Detroit teenagers prove that it’s not just Drake who can swagger-jack the South for fun and profit by turning a song about hitting folks into a soundtrack for hitting them folks. The shark bite is shameless: Zayion says “We knuckin’, and buckin’, and ready to fight” as unconvincingly as possible, and there’s really no attempt to modify the beat. (“Do It Like Me” at least tweaked the “Knuck” formula a bit.) If Zay and Zayion were white rappers, this would be rightly deemed appropriative garbage; as is, this will be nothing but a footnote on a growing list of Vine/Twitter-era memewave bullshit after the 15 minutes begun by a high schooler in volleyball shorts and ended partly by whomever was in charge of servicing an “official” video to YouTube to redirect the ad revenues — and making damn sure that white girl showed up in the same outfit. (It’s Atlantic, by the way.)

Will Adams: It’s hard to be mad at a song that is aware enough of its novelty to be in and out in two minutes flat. Zay and Zayion make the most of the cheap production, I feel old, and people elsewhere have some fun. Fine by me.

Reader average: [5] (7 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

2 Responses to “Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall – JuJu on Dat Beat”

  1. juju on my grave

  2. I love y’all but you guys bombed on this one so poorly.