Hot 100 Review: What’s Poppin by Jack Harlow feat. DaBaby, Tory Lanez,& Lil Wayne

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I think it would be fair to say that one could find me very dismissive of gangster/brag rap music. From every song that charged and matched that description I would agree. I was dismissive of it because I’m sure it had its audience of people who really like the song but I find it kind of uninteresting and boring with its staleness. That is fair. But it is also fair that if I like something or find something usually drab that can be changed and hyped up with an interesting beat I will like it more.

Thus, enter Poppin by Jack Harlow with a flurry of other featured rappers. Namely DaBaby as an artist I have covered previously. A song that should be kind if boring, and does go on too long, but has a great energy, flow, and sound production that makes it work well beyond any ways it should.

The way the song does it is with three elements that make it feel unique or better than many of the other songs out there. The first of those elements being it’s incredibly playful beats. The simple addition of light piano under standard rap beats really spices up what could normally be a pretty generic sample.

The second element is flow. A rapper’s flow is not something I usually look at. It’s usually fine and does its job well enough. This song is different because its flow is so consistent across all four rappers that it is impressive. They all have a strong, continual flow that lets them move from line to line and rhyme to rhyme with this incredible ease as power that just does not let up.

It not letting up causes the song to feel longer than it needs. For one Lil Wayne, though I have no opinions one him, does feel like it could be cut. His voice and style does not match as well and does not feel like he adds anything extra to the song outside of his presence. Even with that, the constant, high-paced energy gets tiring to listen to. The song feels like it blows through so much that you just get tired. It’s amazing it’s consistent, but still exhausting.

Thirdly, it’s also amazingly consistent when it comes to each rappers verse. Not only do they all keep up the cadence, but also are able to give their own style and clear lyrical voice. Jack is more referential with his verses, and flexes his rhymes in interesting ways. De Niro to Cinnamon Swirl is kind of incredible and ease transition for him. DaBaby’s is more braggadocios with his fame, and Tory Lanez manages to keep “ski” at the end of each line and I doesn’t feel too corny. Finally Lil Wayne has one line I like “Brand new phone, just dropped it/ Um, [eff] it I got options.” For being layered in a fun way.

There is no official music video for this version of the song. The video posted is of the cover art for the song and has each rapper highlighted for when they are rapping. It’s a neat effect since the only one I could pick out by voice was Lil Wayne since I heard him on other tracks before.

Overall this is a really fun song that wants to be so consistent in so many ways. That consistency makes it one step above the rest of its ilk in a way I can get behind (cause you need me, a white guy, to like brag rap to validate it…). It’s clever, strong, and a good, if exhausting time.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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