Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Missy Elliott's City Girls Video Is the Ultimate Summer Treat

Plus new videos from Billie Eilish & Peggy Gou: New music Fridays

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Yes yes yes: City Girls, “Twerkulator” - Let’s see, we’ve got giant asses attacking a city, disembodied heads, the City Girls looking... magenta? Yep, this has Missy Elliott’s handiwork all over it, and it’s why the “Twerkulator” music video is such a treat. The fact that City Girls went with Elliott’s unique brand of weird for the direction of this video—as opposed to something a little safer—is pretty refreshing, and makes up for the sometimes distracting product placement moments scattered throughout the video. But oddly enough, one of the biggest product placements—JT and Yung Miami decked out in hot pink MCM branded bodysuits, seated on an MCM couch, surrounded by dancers, wallpaper, and flooring in the same pattern—looked so kooky and dope that I didn’t even clock the obvious product placement. So yeah, you might be sick of this song by now, but at least stick around for the surreal visuals. —Ashley Reese


Ask me again later: Billie Eilish, “NDA” - To borrow some words from Cher, what is going on with Billie Eilish’s career? It’s as though she’s been slumping toward her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, out at the end of this month, since she announced it in late April. The two singles that she’s released since, “Your Power” and “Lost Cause” failed to make a cultural dent, perhaps because they’re both so low-key. It’s genuinely heartening to see someone of Eilish’s stature take the risks she has, and her nonchalance is a wonderful antidote to the try-hardism of her peers, but you have to wonder if her chill is coming at a cost. Will Happier build on her success or mitigate it, and then what will she do? Its third single seems so chosen because it’s sonically similar to material from her debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, with a “Bury a Friend”-esque sparseness and a synth that approximates the melody of the “You Should See Me in a Crown” verses. There’s an explosive and Autotuned chorus here and lots more flirtation with renouncing her fame. It’s fun to watch her perched on the edge, but how much longer can she ride it? —Rich Juzwiak

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Y: Peggy Gou, “I Go” - Over a rhythm track that sounds like it was cribbed directly from Adventure of Stevie V’s “Dirty Cash (Money Talks),” the Berlin-based (by way of South Korea) Peggy Gou manages something that sounds classily expensive. This is smooth enough to be able to sit in a DJ set stacked with Jessie Ware’s recent club-minded output, but there’s something about the reverb on the vocal that gives it the grit of vintage house. Smooth and rough: the best of both worlds. —RJ