Sunday, April 25th, 2021


And we can see Taurus is rising over the Hot 100…


Ian Mathers: I suspected the last time we had Polo G on here that he’d do a lot better on his own (and with better music) and I was right, covering a ton of ground in three minutes and sliding in and out of the chorus like the whole thing is the hook. 

Mark Sinker: Backing a flattened plucked intricate prettiness with a little high bent Koto-string-like flurry as its chief inflection, which gestures at Zen stillness but also at, like, a synthetic cosmopolitan elegance of aspiration, yes? (Yes it’s fancy, is what I’m saying.) Meanwhile really the only moment when PG’s semi-sung rap raises itself towards a different energy is when it leans into the beat for the money-boast. So what crossplay there is comes almost entirely between the three or maybe four very different purely word-sketched moods: wounded regret, angry disenchantment, subterranean depression, all the high brags that are more or less self-disgusted description. The many things he means by the phrase “when I’m finished,” delivered in so carefully unvaried a way that the corrosion any one mood enacts on its rivals is close to subliminal.  

John S. Quinn-Puerta: Sorry, Polo G, but this song proves that saying “never put out a weak verse” is a lie. Maybe the off-rhythm flow would’ve been served better by a different beat, but here it’s just jarring. 

Samson Savill de Jong: I’m normally a sucker for the struggles of fame songs, but Polo G falls into the trap a number of rappers do when making this kind of song, making the song a backhanded way of bragging about his success, particularly in the chorus. The lends the whole thing a sense of insincerity, a song made because it’s the kind of thing rappers do when they’re big enough rather than because he’s really got something he needs to get off his chest. I’m not saying he necessarily is insincere, just that he sounds insincere. Also get 2Pac’s name out your mouth, nobody has said you’re his reincarnation other than you.

Alfred Soto: Once past the title giveaway, Polo G’s ambivalent response to fame-fame-fatal-fame puts enough energy into its weary confessions as this topic can muster, leaning into the beats but only so far as the plucked ukelele will let it. 

Andrew Karpan: A song of the coming summer that I can already hear ringing off the pavement, helped no doubt by the cold, chiming apex of Viral Ukulele Guy’s career. An expression of aspirational, yet defiant melancholy, it lands right on the target of the months to come: a period where we told both that great things are happening and that we are living in the fugue of collective despair. For Polo G, a figure who has begun to market himself as a symbol of drill scene authenticity in an equality fortuitous moment when rappers can top the charts with ease, it’s rewarding to see him meet the zeitgeist on its own terms and having his own part in making it.As Billboard helpfully notes that this is actually the first number one with “rap” in the title since Blondie’s punning ‘Rapture,’ a fun fact with a curiously potent history. But my favorite part is the way Polo G flexes that he’s never put out a weak verse in his widely-watched career. This sounds about right to me — the way he carried one of those leaden, posthumous Juice Wrld records last year is some real Atlas-level stuff — but the triumph of “RAPSTAR” is how exhausting he makes it sound, to be on all the time. He likens this kind of diligence to that of Tupac and, in the clip, he outfits himself accordingly, with his eyes looking forward with a kind of wary knowing. More history for the books, no doubt.

Edward Okulicz: Despite my reflexive and perhaps instinctive hate of the ukulele, I can’t bring myself to hate this, a banger of success that’s looking miserably down at its very expensive shoes the whole time like it’s a failure. How you make this song work while sounding totally enervated I don’t know. I wouldn’t trust Polo G to drive a car after taking a cupful of antidepressants, but I’m impressed how he’s driving this.

Al Varela: Polo G said himself that he didn’t intend to go out of the box with this one. It’s just another Polo G song, one with the same murky trap vibes colored with a hint of soul and introspection. Still, I think there’s more to this song than meets the eye. I almost want to call it the saddest victory song ever made. One where Polo G looks at the success he’s attained with pure apathy. “I hear planes flyin’, crowds screamin’, money counters, chains clangin’/Shit, I guess that’s how it sound when you winnin'” sounds less like a brag and more like an acceptance that he’s at the top, and this is all he’s getting. The glamor is so much more monotonous and its lost the luster that he may have felt when he first got big. The whole song is like this, and the atmosphere with the plucky ukulele and humming bass makes it all sound kind of miserable. Now that he’s not blinded by his success, all he can think about is his trauma and the pain he’s going through while still presenting himself in the public eye. The bitches and bling he raps about almost feels irrelevant to the song, which might be part of the point. He’s a rapstar now, one high enough in the rankings to score a #1 debut off of a song that to him is just another single. I don’t know if that’s impressive or tragic.

Reader average: [7.33] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Polo G – RAPSTAR”

  1. Time for thesinglesjukebox to review some DJ Sabrina! Her newest song just came out..