Monday, February 15th, 2021

Fat Joe ft. Amorphous – Sunshine (The Light)

We’ve all been cooped up for too long…


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Jonathan Bradley: “It’s 2021!” cries Fat Joe, which is helpful of him, because — shit, a Cool & Dre production tag, a slapdash mash-up squeezing together a recent R&B hit and an old-school classic, and, well, Joey Crack himself… this could be the mid ’00s. I’m not mad: the source material is great, and Fat Joe has a knack for coloring entirely within the lines yet still sounding better than he has a right to. I suspect this song exists only because someone noticed that Rihanna’s “who cares when it feels like crack” line works as slick introduction for this rapper. A two-and-a-half minute loosie that’s fun and forgettable: that flies in the streaming age just as well as it did in the mixtape era.
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Thomas Inskeep: DJ Amorphous combined Luther Vandross’s deathless “Never Too Much” with Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better” for this mashup that’s as buoyant as a life preserver, and who better to kiss it with a few bars than Fat Joe, who knows this kind of party hip hop better than most, post-Biggie? Mid-pandemic, mid-winter (in the northern hemisphere), this hits the spot, and couldn’t be better-titled.
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Edward Okulicz: This is slick and catchy enough that I think it might have worked well enough without the “Kiss it Better” parts, but it’s clever enough that the lyrics and melody sound reinvigorated when repurposed for a light-as-air party bop. My one complaint is that with that magic interpolation and some more than functional Fat Joe verses — if anything they’re too short — I could have easily stood another minute of this.
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Oliver Maier: Joe is dispensable, the useless Khaled even moreso. The draw here is the mashup beat, which lays down Luther Vandross as a foundation and then reframes Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better” verse as a summer-ready chorus on top. It’s a savvy pairing by producer Amorphous, though it’s hard to ignore how the original darkness of the lyrics gets lost in translation. That is, transplanting “Kiss It Better” into a celebratory Fat Joe song removes the irony from the titular line and flattens the thrust of “feels like crack” from “feels bad but addictive” to “feels fucking GREAT!!!” Doubtless Joe and Khaled saw in Amorphous’ mashup — originally posted on Twitter — the opportunity for a “Wild Thoughts” part two, but the vocal sample ends up cheapened by the sunny surroundings and Joe comes off like a moron, particularly with his phoned-in second verse. Really, all that’s left is the irresistible groove of the Vandross song; why not just listen to “Never Too Much”? If nothing else, “Sunshine” establishes that there is such a thing as too little.
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Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The original mashup was moderately fun (and, perhaps, confirmation that Girl Talk could make a comeback if he’s done doing blog rap revival beats). Adding Fat Joe and the specter of DJ Khaled to the mix does less than nothing for the musical quality, but at very least gives the song itself something to do. On the whole it’s easier to read “Sunshine” as a cultural bellwether than it is a song — it’s a key sign that we’re bored out of our minds, the musical equivalent of those guys asking the same quote-tweet-bait questions about ’90s one hit wonders every day without end.
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Tobi Tella: As a member of the “Kiss It Better” hive, I can’t be mad that she’s finally getting her dues, and it does sound good mixed with Luther. Unfortunately, it’s repetitive and Fat Joe’s “your uncle reminiscing on the ’90’s” energy is not doing any favors.
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Alfred Soto: Recasting a new year as a throwback, “Sunshine” rises and falls on whether listeners think Luther Vandross’s eternally buoyant “Never Too Much” and Rihanna’s bottomlessly rueful “Kiss It Better” deserve mashing up. Catchy? Of course. Redundant? Perhaps. Fat Joe was not put on earth to acknowledge the tension between joy and pain.
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Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

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2 Responses to “Fat Joe ft. Amorphous – Sunshine (The Light)”

  1. This song’s origins are far more interesting than the final product, and I suspect given artists’ steadily increasing engagement with active chart followers, from which mashup artist channels get much of their fanbase, that the method of slowly building a song through published releases and remixes will continue on the upswing through the next decade. This just happens to be the form of that method that doesn’t have the same feel of milking a trend for all it’s worth that many of last year’s biggest songs had stamped on them at some point throughout their peaks of relevance.

  2. Loving the generational bifurcation on display here.

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