Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Naps – La Kiffance

Wait, they don’t love you like je t’aime…


Mark Sinker: “Be concrete!” they tell you when they teach writing, and Nabil Arlabelek absolutely whiskers-on-kittens his way into that device, with this charming list of throwaway specifics — ashtray cans, nursery rhyme, Uber Eats, breakfast in pyjamas. As my French is not just rusty but also extremely proper and old-school, half the joy here is in the decoding: “comme à l’ancienne, j’mets le Polo crocodile”, OK Mr I-fart-on-Mount-Fujiyama, my chic is yr archeology, yeah fvck you. To look at and in manner Naps reminds me of a old internet friend I’m extremely fond of, and the tune is also charming and throwaway, the kind of pop that really doesn’t care if you remember it forever or forget it in seconds.

Tim de Reuse: With a cute but unremarkable beat and a lazy, sing-song flow, you’ve gotta have some legitimately clever wordplay to look like you give a shit. What we get instead is stuff that looks impressive on Genius but at best sounds clunky (the four consecutive lines ending in “cinq”) and at worst like it’s trying way too hard (the low-payoff “Nirvana / pyjama / Fujiyama / Yamaha”).

Andrew Karpan: The bars feel, on occasion, fresh, but the dance breaks feel mysteriously frozen in time, like the twinking lights of the last club in the world to spin the Black Eyed Peas.

Thomas Inskeep: Normally I’d be reticent to embrace hip-hop riding so giddily atop a dance-pop track, but something about this — and the fact that the dance-pop here is less “Blinding Lights” and more “Poker Face” — grabs me and won’t let go. Naps has a great voice and great flow, and everything about this just works.

Nortey Dowuona: The synth popcorn and poorly connected bass barely stretch over the flat drums. Naps barely manages to poke this dull song awake.

Juana Giaimo: The beat is simple, but it could have worked if Naps’ monotonous tone didn’t remove all the fun — and those high-pitched backing vocals don’t help. 

Katherine St Asaph: An interesting bit of resonance: You can hear the Algerian influence in this, especially toward the end, but slightly tweak higher the levels of autotune, the frenetic synths of Charli XCX’s “Take My Hand” and general notes of Venga, and you could pass this off as hyperpoppish. (Especially if you provide a lyrics translation and its No. 1 French Spotify spot.) The genre-omnivorous, brazen-pop future, oft written about by critics, lives outside US TikTok too.

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3 Responses to “Naps – La Kiffance”

  1. I’m seeing any mentions of the Bloodhound Gang here, so that’s some commendable restraint.

  2. *not

  3. I tried to blurb this, but didn’t have anything past “why does he/the beginning of the video feel exactly like a Kroll Show sketch I hope doesn’t become a recurring one?”