Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Skepta & Wizkid – Bad Energy (Stay Far Away)

q.e.d. we don’t like “sexercise”


Iain Mew: Skepta’s shown he can do stuff with this kind of tone as well as anything else, even without the able assistance of Wizkid. It just needs something with a bit more emotional heft than rhyming exercise and sexercise.

Julian Axelrod: A good pop star can take a clever hook and make a hit. But only a great pop star can say some truly dumb shit and walk away with a banger. Skepta drops a staggering amount of clunkers here, from “Chief Skeppy” to “sexercise,” yet he solidifies his place in the pantheon by selling each and every line as scripture. The beat is a low-key wonder fit for the dog days of summer, and Wizkid’s hook rings from the chest like an incantation. But Skepta is the real MVP, if only for the way he alchemizes every corny bar into an intoxicating come-on. I could clown on his verses all day, but as I hit play for the umpteenth time, the joke is on me.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Usually, Skepta’s hyperbolic precision and calm serve as a counterpoint to the metallic chaos of the grime beats he flows over. Here, the beat matches his chill to the point you can almost taste the ice in his drink as he straightforwardly establishes his credentials as the king of grime– all of the embelishment comes from Wizkid, who performs the hook with enough melodrama that you believe the title’s directive.

Jibril Yassin: Skepta sounds out of his element. Between rhyming ‘exercise’ with ‘sexercise,’ his brash approach feels anonymous here and that is something Wizkid isn’t able to save no matter how prodigious a hook he provides. 

Ryo Miyauchi: Skepta tapping into afrobeats via Wizkid is a rather late move, but it’s a welcome one nonetheless. The problem, though, is that Starz’ beat calls for an almost 180 in attitude from the rapper’s usual icy territory of grime, and he fails to provide the enthusiasm that the song calls for. “Bad Energy (Stay Away)” is supposedly a celebration of all Skepta can now access, but he seems bored at every piece of luxury he calls out.

Thomas Inskeep: The problem with “Bad Energy” is that it doesn’t have enough energy: what is Skepta doing rapping to a beat this lethargic? Wizkid drops in for the chorus and, well, that’s about all there is to be said for that. “Stay Far Away,” indeed.

Anjy Ou: I cannot believe that Sarz, the producer who soundtracked my 2017 with all of these bangers (and some bops), got Skeppy and Wiz on a track and all they manage to do is put me to sleep.

Will Rivitz: I know Drake’s been trying to be Skepta for a minute now, but I’m really not thrilled that we’re starting to go the other way too. 

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