Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Khalid – Young Dumb & Broke

Today I feel 100, dumb and broke, but two out of three ain’t bad…


Nellie Gayle: Khalid represents, to me, the Teen Vogue generation of socially conscious, introspective, yet lighthearted teens who put self-indulgent Rory Gilmore types (my high school archetype) to shame. A recent high school graduate, Khalid has a knack for self-awareness that isn’t deprecating or judgmental; he can reflect on experiences of teenagerdom without sounding condescending or as if he has now learned better. Instead, songs like “Young Dumb & Broke” are about being fully present in your adolescence while also seeing those experiences in a broader context. “Jump and we think, leave it all in the game of love/Run into sin, do it all in the name of fun.” Getting high, pondering your “it’s complicated” status with a significant other — it’s all good (yet meaningful) fun for Khalid, and that’s what makes him a new vanguard for millennial music.

David Moore: Everyone’s favorite somnabulant manifestation of vocal fry is back to tell you he’s young, dumb, broke, and high. I think I’d rather listen to “Because I Got High,” which I’m pretty sure was somehow faster than this.  

Nortey Dowuona: The soaring organs and bouncy 808s lift Khalid’s raspy, soulful voice as he describes his youth, his empty pockets and the woman he’s swooning for.

Crystal Leww: Khalid is my little brother who is still asking me for advice on how to woo his first girlfriend. American Teen is about five songs too long, but it’s one of my favorite debuts in recent memory. Khalid is so earnest — it’s like 75% of his brand — and this is so endearingly aware of youth and enjoying it.

Katherine St Asaph: A burnout teenager’s graduation song, like Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” or Shut Up Stella’s “These Are the Days” or — one dreads — Halsey’s “New Americana.” And for once, I buy it.

Ramzi Awn: High school memories are best conjured up with a certain sound — not with painfully simple lyrics that fail at nostalgia. As a rule, songs about being young are about as fresh as this wasted beat. Khalid’s voice does little to lift the stale theme out of deep water.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Romanticized teen ennui as deadpan sing-along. Less a song than a Twitter feed you mindlessly scroll through to get your daily fill of bored musings and self-aware self-deprecation. Am I supposed to defend this to Baby Boomers?

Alfred Soto: Persuading adults from treating songs as sociological case studies can be as formidable a task as keeping the young from posing as the world’s first bored subculture. The static organ and Khalid’s drawl evoke the ennui of kids confusing that ennui for wisdom. The skies crack during the ya-ya-ya moment.

Anthony Easton: I am not sure that I am ready to get optimistic about precarity, and Khalid only does it when he is high. It’s a song that sounds like a stoned philosopher, syrup-sticky and slow. A decent if derivative chorus, though. 

Rebecca A. Gowns: It’s a simple little song with easy construction, like big bright LEGO blocks making a car with only three pieces. The verses don’t match the chorus at all but it doesn’t matter in a song like this, where the chorus is the point.

Stephen Eisermann: A chill anthem, exactly the type of music I would’ve wanted as the soundtrack to my life at 17/18. My favorite thing about Khalid and his terrific debut LP is that he does the opposite of what so many artists his age do — he acts and sings about things relevant to his age. He is in no hurry to grow up, relishing instead being young, fun, and dope.

Ashley John: I bought my little brother tickets to see Khalid this summer, and he paid me back in cash he earned from four shifts at his summer job, adding a little extra to make sure I’d keep my lips shut to our parents. He texted me when he left, again when he arrived at the venue, and twice more when he made it home safe. He didn’t tell me he drank, but I reminded him to drink water anyway. “Young Dumb & Broke” is unhinged but within careful boundaries, watching yourself dance and knowing how pretty the memory will be tomorrow.  

Reader average: [5.71] (7 votes)

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One Response to “Khalid – Young Dumb & Broke”

  1. Maybe it’s good, maybe it isn’t. Can’t get past the incessant vocal fry posing as a singing voice. I’m sure given the proliferation of vocal fry in today’s culture it sounds normal, but sounds like he has a better singing voice dying to get out and support his interesting and compelling views on life.