Thursday, September 10th, 2020

August Alsina ft. Rick Ross – Entanglements

We do need a breather from the flavors of-


Brad Shoup: First off, happy belated birthday to August. What a heinous chorus: a head-slapping riff on “entanglement,” dusting off “Drag Rap” just to bury it under turn-of-millennium guitar filigree. Speaking of, Rick’s got yet another reference to The Matrix. In its sweatless construction, “Entanglements” becomes a worthy sequel to the managed revelations of the Red Table Talk episode that sparked all this. It’s a kiss without the tell.

Leah Isobel: This feels surprisingly subtle for a song built to capitalize off of headlines. August Alsina wisely focuses on his own emotional state, moving fluidly from confidence to melancholy; he doesn’t directly reference the IRL relationship that inspired the song beyond the title. In this context, we understand the seductive pull of that relationship from the inside. That makes Rick Ross’ groan-worthy Jada puns and references (‘jaded by her beauty’) the intrusive flash of a paparazzi camera.

Katherine St Asaph: There are too many specific jabs — the “jaded by her beauty” line, the reference to Jada’s statement on her “entanglement” — in case the innuendo wasn’t obvious, Alsina gives a definition a la “No Scrubs” — for this to be a leftover from 2015. But “Entanglements” sure seems like one, especially the parts that are subliminal-free. Maybe those are; writer Derrick Milano, now better known for “Hot Girl Summer,” was working with Alsina as early as 2016. At any rate, it’ll take more than a throwback R&B guitar lick to make this song more interesting than the tabloids — and in 2020, even the tabloids are only interesting for a few days.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Crass and exploitative in both concept and song — if you’re going to attempt to monetize the fucking you did 4 years ago, make it sound better than something Ne-yo would have left on the Non-fiction cutting room floor.

Will Adams: Remember being a high schooler and thinking that opening your English essay on The Great Gatsby or whatever with “The dictionary definition of [X] is…” was the most profound shit ever? Anyway, thank God for August Alsina; now I know what entanglements are.

Juana Giaimo: The guitar loop sounds especially nice, but the bits and echoes of voices of the production are quite distracting. “Entanglements” flows easily, but is also easily forgotten.

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