Monday, March 1st, 2021

Lil Tjay ft. 6lack – Calling My Phone

Dudes, this could have been a text…


Al Varela: There’s something about listening to this song while lying on your back, exhausted and lonely, and watching the cheap LED lights flash all sorts of soft colors as the watery trap hi-hats, submerged piano whispers, and rumbling bass carry you through the waves of yearning as a soft voice in your head repeats, “I can’t get you out my mind now,” that strikes a chord with me. It’s such a specific atmosphere and feeling that sneaks up on you at your most vulnerable. In an especially lonely time such as now, where relationships are struggling and all we want is a moment of validation, a song like this is exactly what we need.

Tobi Tella: I don’t believe anyone is above a classic money and hoes banger, but it’s always telling to see who can handle something more downtempo and serious. The chipmunk voiced sample is a risk that works out perfectly, and even Tjay’s stilted and pitch corrected croons feel authentic. 6lack is definitely a better singer and probably a better lyricist, but his part isn’t near as interesting; maybe it’s slightly sleepy delivery, maybe this conceit just works better with someone more fresh-faced, or maybe Tjay has it-factor outdoing his elders.

Thomas Inskeep: Sadboy “leave me alone” hip hop with heavy Auto-Tune and a too-minimal beat, but I guess that’s what the kids like these days. Alas, I’m no longer a kid.

John Seroff: I’m good and burnt out on the too-prevalent trend of emo-rap that doubles as both a statement of the artist’s wounded sensitivity and macho superiority over their ditched paramours. There’s an unmistakable comparison at play between the inevitably referenced luxury brand names and the star’s disposed-of women, reducing both to pricy objects of desire that offer little beyond surface value. This kind of reductive objectification is less flagrant but perhaps more perfidious than its more easily recognizable cousins. I hasten to add that animus is hardly original to either the moment or the genre but, even so, I would argue that it’s time for us to stop accepting this formula as unremarkable and demand more out of our modern pop balladeers than sped-up R&B samples, middling production and barely camouflaged misogyny.

Vikram Joseph: “Calling My Phone” by Lil Tjay ft. 6 Valium would be a more accurate header for this stultifying track, in which both participants engage in macabre competition for the most egregious use of Auto-Tune, and absolutely everyone loses.

Samson Savill de Jong: Remember when biting someone’s style was actively frowned upon in rap? Of the Uzi/Peep/Juice rip-offs, this is isn’t even the worst example, I like 6lack’s feature especially and both their vocals are decent, but this song has no need to exist because it’s already been done better. The beat is very weak, I get it lacks in energy because they’re going for a depressed sound, but there’s a way of doing “lacking in energy” that still sounds interesting (something the best emo rappers realised). Also any emotion that the song might have is completely undercut by the — very funny — “brr” ad lib when the phone is mentioned.

Reader average: [2.5] (4 votes)

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2 Responses to “Lil Tjay ft. 6lack – Calling My Phone”

  1. Thank you Lil Tjay for proving it is possible to release a song that is the “slowed and reverb” version of itself.

  2. When will you review something of DJ Sabrina ? Her album Charmed saved my year…