Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Diplo ft. Justin Bieber, Rich the Kid & Young Thug – Bank Roll

Online for less time than covfefe…


Thomas Inskeep: Apparently it’s another summer of Biebs, even without him releasing his own material: first DJ Khaled, then the “Despacito” remix (back-to-back #1s), and now he raps! He’s no one’s idea of the greatest rapper alive, but he doesn’t embarrass himself, and the line “if you drank too much, baby, throw up” made me chuckle. Rich the Kid sounds like another Atlanta “skr-skr” rapper, nothing special but he fits here just fine. Young Thug does his weirdo Thug thing. Diplo’s track is a spare, slightly old school hip-hop beat, more in service to the rappers than the other way around. So while this won’t rock your socks, it’s alright for what it is.

Will Adams: Surprise, Bieber’s rapping ability is about on par with his command of the Spanish language. I’m not sure which is more concerning: how he’s being shoehorned into every possible genre to squeeze out sales, or how hard Diplo hit the snooze button. Rich the Kid’s hook is a lot of fun, but everything around him is dire.

Alfred Soto: The distorted background Star Wars droid effects and Thug in pidgin-cybernetic mode are almost enough to wipe my central processor of Justin Bieber attempting to be Lord of Every Genre and Rich being a kid. However, in a summer when a remix of a Daddy Yankee-Luis Fonsi track can top the chart, “Bank Roll”‘s chances are as even as anybody’s.

Katherine St Asaph: Depressingly predictable: Miley Cyrus’s poor rapping derailed her career and necessitated AOR penance, but Justin Bieber’s career is unharmed by his years of equally poor rapping, even when Diplo valiantly invoked the Streisand effect in an attempt to kill it. His beat resembles Oompa Loompas playing hopscotch with whoopee cushions, at once garish and generic, and two years dated. Rich the Kid is fine, Young Thug underused but fine; wish they were on a better track.

Maxwell Cavaseno: We talk a lot about how rappers who are abusive to women are tolerated in rap. That apparently isn’t an issue in EDM, because Rich the Kid, a domestic abuser whose label’s main artist is a man who’s assaulted women, has enjoyed collaborations of varying success. Were he more than a second-string Migos affiliate I’d understand to some degree, but his success flabbergasted me even before the revelation that he was a lousy human as well as a lousy rapper. So the idea of listening to him while Diplo makes another beat out of bubble and squeak noises as is the “white dude with one foot in pop and one foot in rap” aesthetic (see: Dr. Luke), and while Justin Bieber harmonizes alongside him and recites a verse RtK penned, is as about appealing as getting socked in the groin with the Yellow Pages. Thankfully, the Young Thug verse is a throwaway, so there’s not a damn thing worth investigating here anyway.

Edward Okulicz: I’ve often found Diplo’s rap tracks to be unpleasantly jerky, and prefer him in bad pop mode, largely because you need to be a better rapper than Bieber and Rich to sound good on top. I mean, what even is this beat? It barely has a beat.

Hannah Jocelyn: The chorus is fine enough, but then the drop happens and everything falls apart. The chants of “bank roll bank roll bank roll” are filler. Bieber pulls off a surprisingly competent verse, a long way from “I could be your Buzz Lightyear, fly across the globe,” Rich the Kid is passable (aside from “your boyfriend cuffin’ you like po-po”), and Young Thug lends his typical weirdness to the last chorus, but as soon as the drop hits, nothing matters.

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