Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Ashnikko ft. Yung Baby Tate – Stupid

Keeping up with the TikTok memes of today…


Alfred Soto: From “Yummy Yummy Yummy” to Bali Baby, the rich pop music tradition of reveling in suggestive nonsense is one in which I have a rooting interest. “Stupid” is more fun for sporting a subterranean Miami bass program. Not stupid.

Leah Isobel: Apt title.

Tim de Reuse: I don’t always see the appeal in viral sensations, but this one I get! I’ve never heard a tone of voice more efficiently communicate disdain; the sluggish rise and fall of her pitch is weaponized boredom, and this plays well into the anti-romantic lechery of the first verse. It ain’t subtle, and it ain’t sympathetic, but boy has it gotten stuck in my head.

Julian Axelrod: The head-bashing intro and snarling low end signal a Rico Nasty rehash, but both rappers float within the beat instead of fighting against it. There’s a cognitive dissonance that extends to their verses: Ashnikko feels like the latest successor to the Kitty/Kreashawn mall-rap throne, which would be an insulting comparison if those weren’t decade-defining disruptors. Meanwhile, Yung Baby Tate (the artist I’ve probably spent the most time yelling at my friends about this year) proves her knack for crafting lopsided hooks regardless of her surroundings, carving pockets of melody in the punishing wall of bass. It’s the early moves of a potentially big deal, and if it takes a TikTok smash to get her there, so be it.

Kylo Nocom: I spent the music video wondering if Yung Baby Tate would show up, and cheered when she did. I scrubbed through the Genius Verified video and exited when I realized it was all just Ashnikko. That should tell you enough about where this song’s worth lies. The yelling is the only trick Ashnikko gets right, and it’s the one that blew this song up in the first place. So, unfortunately, that means any TikTok video will focus on her lazed porn rapping and cut off any hint that there’s a frankly much more intriguing presence featured here. Yung Baby Tate’s entrance instantly transforms the production into a blur of ad libs and breaths that back a performer who knows what she’s doing. The way Tate blasts playground taunts and tosses “young money, get it?” aside suggest an actual entertainer on the mic, adept at dropping punchlines rather than just layering provocations on each other to see what sticks.

Iain Mew: There isn’t any line that I’d point to as being particularly great, but Ashnikko’s performance turns her verses into something joyously needling anyway (and Yung Baby Tate’s is fun too). The chorus and its nihilistic death spiral of arcade beeps is just the right balance of contrast and continuation.

Will Adams: “Stupid” sticks far better than most Tik Tok meme songs, thanks to the 8-bit blips in the arrangement and having enough hooks to keep it from petering into nothing. But as soon as Yung Baby Tate’s verse arrives and blows Ashnikko out of the water, it feels like a missed opportunity. Where Ashnikko lets lines dribble out, Tate attacks them with energy befitting the beat, and even nods to the song’s spiritual forebear “Stupid Hoe.” Any shine the song’s virality gives to Tate is welcome, but I still wonder what could’ve been if she’d had the whole three minutes to conquer.

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