Artist: Sage the Gemini

Genre: Hip/hop

Notable lyrics: 

I think I’mma lose it
If I ever had your number, I think I would use it

You’re beautiful like spring time
Let me know you in the meantime
Hopefully, if things seem right
I’mma be needing your ring size

I know this song’s quite popular, but honestly, it’s gotta be one of 2016’s best mainstream songs. I listened to it at least 3 times before writing this article – not to analyse it, but because I love it.

‘Dominic Wynn Woods, better known by his stage name Sage the Gemini, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Fairfield, California’. In all honesty, this dude looks like a Greek god. Maybe that’s part reason why this song’s so popular. Just kidding.

‘Now or Later’ has some tacky lyrics, weird, irrelevant allusions (like any modern rap song), and the casual use of electronic music, which makes it sound like a Jason Derulo song. If you’ve referred to my article about my distaste for pop music, you’ll be surprised, since this song fits the criteria in every way possible; it even has the generic music video, with a lot of half-naked girls, twerking, and half-arsed flirting. Despite my general hatred for such songs, why am I dedicating an entire post in favor of one? Because it’s catchy, groovy, funky, has those futuristic beats and is really, really well-made. You listen to this song on Snapchat or on the radio, and you’re all ears. It honestly manages to stand out from the rest of the mainstream songs produced in 2016. To be entirely truthful, the lyrics aren’t that off-putting either; it fits the mood of a modern lover, with their internet slang and references to some ostentatious soap opera. All it does is appeal to a lot of people from almost all age-groups, because for once, good music has been produced. There are a few lines which are also genuinely pleasant to listen to, and even sing to somebody. If I was at all serenaded by this song, I’d be so overwhelmed. If it was any other popular song, I’d probably give you a weird frown, if you know what I’m saying.

Music produced this way (in the future), won’t earn many complaints from music snobs (such as I). Since everything has a limit, so should excessively generic songs.



Artist: Mac Miller (and Ariana Grande)

Genre: Hip-hop/soul

Notable lyrics: 

Said, you know I know who you really are, ain’t need to lie
Said, the universe couldn’t keep us apart
Why would it even try?

A few weeks ago, I played a less popular ‘pop’ song, when in the car with my mother, and she was surprised after learning that the song was a very famous artists’, because it was particularly great. When I told her that the song wasn’t all that famous, she was taken aback with the mediocrity of people’s likes and dislikes and how they want all their songs to be similar. Her argument was that ‘some people weren’t lucky enough to identify good music and appreciate them’. Now, this woman isn’t a huge fan of western music at all, but she’s got the concept of choosing great music, with some discretion right.

Speaking about the song, it isn’t all that spectacular or ostentatious, in comparison to the best songs to ever exist (I’m not talking about ‘hit me baby one more time’ for Christ’s sake). What I really appreciate is the effort to deviate from the conventions of making music video and actually produce something fairly rich, once in a while. For once, they’ve actually created a good piece for the sake of art and not business. This can create a whole revolution within the industry of ‘pop’ music. I can’t begin to explain how this particular gem can change the entire face of the music venture:                                         The song has credited 3 writers, 2 of which are the actual artists, as opposed to the 8 usual writers required to write a song. Now, the lyrics aren’t really sensational, but aren’t as bland or gaudy as the rest of mainstream pop songs. The setting is very intimate and the lyrics are well-crafted accordingly. Kudos to that. Moreover, the background music, even if electrically produced, isn’t too clumsy. As a matter of fact, it is a rather alluring tune and the music video has been designed appropriately. The aesthetics of the music video and the color tones are particularly pleasing. There isn’t any nudity or unsettling content in the music video, which works out all too well for me and most people (don’t mistake me for a prude, but some pop music videos are highly explicit. After all, sex sells). The best and the most evident part is the lack of voice manipulation of any kind. Every emotion, every imperfection, has been delivered the way it is, the way it’s meant to be. To be fair, it’s too good a ‘pop’ or hip-hop song to be true.

I wouldn’t really credit Ariana here because a few incoherent mumbles and giggles won’t make a song. However, I really appreciate Mac Miller in the song, he’s simply proficient in this particular song. The R&B aspect of the entire song is ridiculously magnificent. If this is post-modern jazz, I’m definitely impressed.

Just when you think things couldn’t get any better, the live performance proved it wrong. The jazz instrumentals are mind-blowing. Accurate, professional and seductive, the perfect song for a night-ride. So much talent has been used up in the song, it’s actually unthinkable of a proper ‘pop’ song. Now, here’s the sad part: the music video has only 37 million views and that’s a tiny amount when compared to most pop songs. The YouTube section is filled with comments related to their break-up and what not. Why does their relationship matter so much to you? Just enjoy the good music and forget everything else. If you can’t identify a gem when you come across one, you’re doing everything wrong.