Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

City Girls – Act Up

No, none of us will be participating in the challenge associated with this song…


Julian Axelrod: In this golden age of female scammers, City Girls should be the biggest act in the world. Instead they’ve burrowed further into their niche, tweaking their twerk jams in search of the next smash. (To be clear, this is better than the alternate reality where they’re hopping on Bebe Rexha singles.) The headline here is Lil Yachty’s writing credit, which ends up looking better for JT and Miami than for the guy who told his crew “No homo y’all” before writing a goddamn City Girls song. After all, any rapper could come up with a line like “I bet your lil sister wanna look like me/I bet your lil brother wanna fuck on me”; only a true artist like Yung Miami could sell it.

Alfred Soto: Miami’s best export since Fifth Harmony and Jason Derulo exude attitude, street smarts, and smart mouths — woe be the dude (or chick) for whom “Act Up” was written. But it’s a joke, right? “I ain’t never worry, I just deal with it for fun.”

Nortey Dowuona: Lumpy, slipping synths are buoyed by pumping, slicked-down bass and dribbling, freezing drums as JT comfortably slides in without even moving a limb while Yung Miami glances off and slides around, trying to find a way back in.

Will Adams: There are few sounds in music I love as much as the perfect fifth organ bass — from Nicki Minaj-via-Maya Jane Coles and also every house-pop song ever — so to hear it wasted on an otherwise snoozer of a beat and Yung Miami’s distractingly arrhythmic verse is a major letdown.

Taylor Alatorre: It can’t be ruled out that Yung Miami’s glaringly offbeat flow is an artistic choice, one meant to convey that her personality is too outrageous to be kept within the prim lines of metric consistency. More likely it was left in there to tell us just how few fucks she gives, but that was never in any doubt, so why leave it in? The lo-fi, art brut excuse doesn’t really work on a slick club banger co-written with Lil Yachty. In any case, it’s the most distinctive thing about the track before JT steps in to ensure you spend the rest of your day thinking about “make it clap like he got the right answer.”

Katherine St Asaph: The identikit beat stifles both of the City Girls, neither of whom is suited to or flattered by anonymity.

Ryo Miyauchi: The muted bounce beat downplays the energy behind City Girls’ clap-back at scrub dudes and shit-talking women. But the modest, minimal build of the production is sensible for a vehicle of a viral campaign to let ordinary people to hash out their feelings by way of raps or otherwise.

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