Sunday, July 19, 2015

Song Review: Worth It by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

Hello everyone! Thought I'd never come back, didn't ya? Well, here I am! To be completely honest with you, I was inspired to come back after seeing a particular hashtag on Twitter. While I was perusing the site last night, I saw this among the trending topics:

Apparently, the music video for girl group Fifth Harmony & rapper Kid Ink's summer smash hit "Worth It" was taken down on Youtube due to containing "repetitive, misleading, or inappropriate content" despite already having amassed 100 million + views. Most sources blamed the removal on the sexualization of two of Fifth Harmony's members who happened to be under 18 at the time of the  video's filming. Harmonizers (what Fifth Harmony's fans call themselves) freaked out to the point that #WeWantWorthItBackOnYoutube trended in the US, causing Youtube to reupload the video earlier this morning. While I don't really care about "controversies" (& most music videos in general) like this, I do care about the music involved, which inspired me to take a couple of listens to "Worth It" & review it. On to the review!

First off, a little bit of backstory on the musicians involved. Our main group in "Worth It" is Fifth Harmony, a five-member girl group out of Miami, Florida. According to Wikipedia, the group got its big break when they finished in third on the second season of X Factor, performing such songs as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" & "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato (Off to a great start.;()
Afterwards, they signed a joint deal with Simon Cowell & LA Reid's labels (Yep, definitely going to love these guys). Since, they have released an EP entitled Better Together & their debut album, Reflection & had a few songs chart on the low end of the Billboard Hot 100 (including the craptastic "BO$$" & the slightly-above-average "Sledgehammer"). Guest rapper Kid Ink has had a few hits in his mediocre career, including last year's "Show Me", which earned a dishonorable mention on my Top 15 Worst Hit Songs of 2014 list. Ouch, this is starting to look like a painful first review.

The song starts with the chorus, so that is where we will start our review. I hate when musicians do this, as, to me, this is like starting a story with the end. You don't have any context & therefore have no clue what the singer is talking about. However, here, this really isn't a problem, as the chorus is just basically "Give it to me, I'm worth it" (*cough* "Gold Digger" *cough*)  repeated for what seems like 10,000 times. This shows that basically, this song will probably be "BO$$" part 2. Great. The music during the chorus doesn't help, as it is just the worst "Talk Dirty" ripoff yet with some DJ Mustard-claps in the background. Speaking of "Talk Dirty" ripoffs, why did this become such a trend? It seems like every other song on the radio right now has a trumpet/sax/other horn instrument drop in it somewhere. It's really a boom-or-bust element, & this song leans more towards the bust side.

Next up is a guest verse from Rent-a-Rapper #239730 Kid Ink. The beat during his verse sounds like it was ripped straight from "Show Me". You know what I think about that plunky Ninetendo beat. The lyrics of his verse aren't any better, and read as follows:

I tell her bring it back like she left somethin'
Bring it back bring it back like she left somethin'
Uh, in the club with the lights off
What you actin' shy for?
Come & show me that you're
wit it (x 100)
Stop playin' now I know you're
wit it (x 100)
What you actin' shy for?

Let's take a glance at the Mainstream Mediocre Rapper checklist, shall we?
  • Rhyming words with themselves: Yep. (somethin')
  • Pointless metaphors: You know it. (like she left somethin')
  • Repetition: OH HELL YEAH (Wit it x1 million, What you actin' shy for?)
  • Needlessly mentioning one of the following: drugs, money, alcohol: Damn it. Can't win em all.
  • Borderline rapey hitting on girls: That's more like it. (What you actin' shy for?)

Damn. So close to a 100. Better luck next time, Kid Rock, err, Kid Ink.

Afterwards, the girls come back, starting with a solo courtesy of Dinah Jane Hansen. which serves as a response to Kid Ink's verse. The way Dinah sings the "-ooh" sound at the end of each line is sorta annoying, but that's a minor nitpick. Otherwise, the singing is pretty good. The lyrics are just pretty much restating the chorus, with Dinah telling Ink that "if what she heard is true" (I'm assuming that this means that her friends told her that Ink is loaded), she will "give it to you" (I wonder what it is.).
She also says that it'll "take a lot of stuff" (once again, *cough* Gold Digger *cough*), but she can "back it up" (?). Hansen's solo is followed by the girls singing the bridge in harmony (see what I did there ;)), which is something they are pretty good at doing. The bridge is also a continuation of the "you give me $$$, I give you sex" tagline of the rest of the song over a basic crescendo from the bleep-bloop beat of the verse to the "Talk Dirty" horns of the chorus.

After the chorus, group frontwoman Camilia Cabello provides another verse, which is about how she "likes it". Nice. It's nothing you haven't heard before, though. Afterward, we have the bridge again, then the chorus, then the first verse (including Kid Ink) repeated, then the bridge AGAIN, & finally, the chorus one last time. I guess that explains the "repetition" part of the reasoning for why Youtube took down the video.

In conclusion, this song sucks. It's actually a nice zeitgeist of everything crappy in pop music over the last decade or so: repetition to the farthest extreme, bad guest rap verses, DJ Mustard-like over-simplified production, & following dumb trends just to get a hit. However, some recent hit songs like Flo Rida's "GDFR" & Major Lazor/DJ Snake's "Lean On" manage to still be decent (or even pretty good in "Lean On"'s case) in spite of these flaws just because of how fun/interesting they are. This song only has about a half of a redeeming quality in the fact that Fifth Harmony's vocals are pretty good, which is more than can be said of stars like Adam Levine & Luke Bryan. The "Gold Digger" message of this song is also not something I like & wish would have died after Kanye West released "Gold  Digger"(BTW, I don't care what anyone says, this isn't a feminist/female-empowerment jam. For something like that, see the amazing "Girl in a Country Song" by Maddie & Tae). However, as earlier stated, Fifth Harmony's vocals are better than most others, so this isn't a total loss. I'll give it a 1.5 out of 10 stars. If you like this type of back-&-forth-hitting-on-each-other-in-the-club song, I'd highly recommend "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado & Timbaland. This sounds like a badly-done Pussycat Dolls cover of that song.

Peace until Tuesday, 

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