The highest rated B.o.B. song since 2010! Break out the champagne!…
David Turner: I don’t do “love.” I barely can stomach “like.” Both words send chills down my spine heightening my internal doubts, so any self-confidence I might have can be snuffed out by a girl in black-and-white print leggings and white Cons. I worry everything I say is stupid and assume anything she says just is a nice way of saying “not interested.” “Paranoid” isn’t about anything resembling my life except an unreasonable concern that all women are out to get me. Maybe I’m just paranoid.
Crystal Leww: There’s definitely a “Mustard sound” insofar as the elements are all sort of the same — his snares still rattle, his synths still ping, and the bass still booms — but none of his hit songs thus far this year have sounded atmospherically the same. “Paranoid”, for example, is straight up sinister. Ignore the misogyny and sexism for a moment (it’s going to affect Ty Dolla $ign anyway; “My Cabana” got the same sort of reaction in 2012/2013). This is a song by a coward of a man who can’t deal with the women that he’s sleeping around on enacting karma on him. This song is a lipsynced, autotuned mess when performed live, but it makes sense. Ty Dollar $ign is a coward; his love would be cold and computer generated after all.
Alfred Soto: If you’re using “It Wasn’t Me” as melodic source, chances are paranoia isn’t the problem.
Katherine St Asaph: Is he just stoned?
Jer Fairall: Paranoid? Maybe. Asshole? Definitely.
Anthony Easton: If the two bitches are in the club, and they know each other, then he isn’t really paranoid, is he? I mean, he is a dull cad, but not really paranoid. (Points added for the hey hey chorus, and the line about being so wet she might as well have been baptized.)
Patrick St. Michel: Despite the title, the only person who really understands the title here is DJ Mustard, who serves up a wonderfully icy beat that sounds like goosebumps. Ty Dolla $ign isn’t particularly paranoid about much, but he sings in stride alongside those shivers so that even his boasts at least sound like they belong. B.o.B., meanwhile, just sorta bursts in and sounds like he was way too excited to deliver that naptime line.
Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Usually in what were considered the “women’s films” of the Forties, a mirror image of the female protagonist was a common thread. Usually a reflection of the self — manifested in another character — was a cause for panic, a signal of bodily decay, a tip towards mental collapse. And as common as it seemed, it always allowed the male (even a sophisticated one) an opportunity for his oafishness as he would project his thirst for the newly projected mirror image. Speaking of which, here is the modern day update: a weeded out guy chasing a new duplicate and relishing his misfortune/overfortunate state, and somewhere the first lady is having a moral dilemma over seeing the same Raaaaaange Rooooverrrr.
David Sheffieck: Man, the beat really sucks the life outta this one, doesn’t it? Show up for Ty’s video-only comeuppance, stick around for surprisingly catchy synth line, get chased away by the long-dead overuse of hi-hat and chanted background vocals.
Brad Shoup: This could be anyone’s Mustard, which could make this anyone’s panic in any club. Paranoia tends to be rendered as a surreal thing, but Ty treats it like an inheritance. B.o.B slices the knot, but I wish he hadn’t.
Zach Lyon: I have been known (my biographers will tell you) to listen to this 8 or 9 times in a row forever; it isn’t for Ty, and it isn’t for B.o.B., and it isn’t totally for Muzzard, but it is totally for those harmonies. Such strange, unexpected support beams, like he finally found the strength to say I am freaking out for a stupid reason and I am dumb. Comforting.
Megan Harrington: Remember when Mary Kate and Ashley got twin Range Rovers for their 16th birthday? What about “One,” their co-fragrance? And forget wandering around in red bottoms, here they are forming a Louboutin sandwich! Paranoid? Far from solving the mystery of his potential club setup, Ty Dolla $ign introduces further intrigue — just who are these paramours? I set up a Google alert; if someone’s traded up their Sarkozy for a $ign, I’ll be the first to know.
Jonathan Bradley: DJ Mustard shines; his beat, which mines cavernous trance and emerges ratchet, evokes the two central ideas in the concise hook. Three notes and you’re there: in the club and shook. Ty Dolla $ign sounds less thrilled now that his cabana has become the setting for a Three’s Company plot; at least he still has the nous to rhyme “valley” with “panties.”