Jessie J has a problem. After being lovingly boosted to U.K. fame thanks to the tireless efforts of everything the British music industry had at its disposal, then rocketed across the pond thanks to the "Dynamite" burst of "Price Tag," she needed another U.S. single. But how to follow it up? Anti-commercialism can only get you one song or so, especially when your goal is to make millions off U.S. buyers. And although her album was called Who You Are, its idea of Jessie J's identity was a bit like "everything at once, see what sticks." Who is Jessie J, really? What makes her stand out from the States' other umpteen female pop stars?
Of course, there's another way to go: forget standing out entirely and get Dr. Luke to produce a new song. You can probably already imagine how "Domino" sounds, but in case not, listen below:
Dr. Luke obviously produced "Domino," but it could have just as easily been DJ Earworm. Floating in the mix are the guitar pulses from Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" to the rhythm of "California Gurls," Ke$ha's shaken-off glitter, ooh-oohs from just about anything. There's a mention of Hollywood to remind everyone that Jessie's temporarily done with all her Britishisms, a mention of the club to persuade DJs to play "Domino" there, references to bass drums and dirty dancing because, one imagines, the songwriters noticed big hits mentioned them and wanted a CTRL-V replica of their success.
All this means you could reproduce "Domino" fairly easily by cutting and pasting bits from the past five years' charts. The flourishes in Jessie's voice that endeared and repelled people are gone, as are her most objectionable traits: patois she had no business appropriating and gender tiptoes masquerading as contortions in "Do It Like a Dude," anti-hip hop dog whistles in "Price Tag." It's almost impossible to imagine "Domino" offending someone and just as hard to imagine people disliking it specifically unless they hate Dr. Luke's sound in general. This makes "Domino" the best single Jessie J's ever released. It also makes it completely useless.
Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
25 years ago, pop stars and rappers were were expected to stay in their respective lanes. But Mariah Carey proved that hip-hop and pop were a match made in heaven—changing popular music as we know it.
Hip-Hop is pop—not in sound, but rather in terms of influence and authority.
Certainly pure pop—pasteurized and whipped into its ultimate peak in the early 2010s—is still breathing, though despite its name, the genre's reign as the chieftain of popular music has ended.
Drake and Bad Bunny are as much of pop stars in 2020 as Carly Rae Jepsen and Kesha were in 2012. Spotify reports that, at this very moment, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" is the most-streamed song in the United States. Immediately following that is trap-pop cut "Mood," a TikTok-famous summer bop by 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, two of many rising zoomer rappers who have embraced Hip-Hop's guidance in most melodic forms, like trap-pop, emo rap, alternative hip-hop, and pop-rap. And if that's not enough to give Hip-Hop a throne, Nielsen Music has confirmed that eight of the top 10 artists of 2020 so far are, of course, rappers.