Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Stefflon Don & Lil Baby – Phone Down

Hey you I see you! With your phone! Looking at The Singles Jukebox!


Will Adams: An effervescent RnBass would-be banger, utterly ruined by its “phones but too much” message.

Alfred Soto: Condemning an unchangeable phenomenon of modern life with melodies, lyrics, and vocal processing that sound like someone fooled around on a phone and — presto! — this emerged. Coincidence?

Katherine St Asaph: The older I get, the worse my social anxiety becomes, and thus the more time I spend looking at my phone. It’s the least worst option: When one is visibly not at ease anywhere, looking at one’s phone is an activity that’s socially camouflaging if not quite socially acceptable, like how extras on a stage will pretend to hold background chatter; and it’s a portal to somewhere your presence may actually be desired. The scolding for it, from culture and pop culture and songs like this, just makes matters worse. But make no mistake: “Phone Down” would still sound garish and awful as nonsense syllables.

Scott Mildenhall: If ever a lyric deserved to become a cultural catchphrase, it was this. All and sundry have expended dictionaries-worth of words on The Scourge of The Reflektor, but little has got to the heart of the issue in a way which will be as widely agreed on as “put your phone down, down, down — baby you can do that later.” What’s more, the song isn’t content to rely on it, throwing in an agitated bridge from Stefflon Don and a gear-change from Lil Baby that heighten the sense that this is not only a vignette of two relationships, but also a public service announcement, and perhaps Stefflon Don’s pitch to be the new Green Cross Code Man.

Crystal Leww: Sonically, this owes something to Nicki Minaj’s Barbie days — specifically “Check It Out,” which no one wants to talk about anymore. But Stefflon Don is no Nicki and somehow Lil Baby manages not a single bit of the personality that he had in a few “wahs” and exudes none of the attitude that will.i.am somehow managed in spades. The beat is fun though, I guess. 

Alex Clifton: This actually grew on me by the end as the music gets interesting instead of just staying the robotic Auto-Tuned 2010 nightmare I assumed this would be. That doesn’t make it good, though.

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2 Responses to “Stefflon Don & Lil Baby – Phone Down”

  1. The message of this song doesn’t appear to be a “kids and their phones amirite lol” and more that the person being sung to is neglecting actual life duties such as working to support themselves and paying attention to their partner.

    This song is a (3) though for me.

  2. It just makes me think of how much I’d prefer to be listening to the Erykah Badu song of the same name, and which realizes the theme better.