DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Hilary Duff – Chasing the Sun
BK: As if we could start this Digest any other way. Hilary Duff is back with her first track and video in six years with ‘Chasing the Sun,’ and I couldn’t be happier. Yes this track is pretty tame, pretty boring, pretty ‘meh,’ but that’s really not the point. The point is that Hilary Duff is here and that means I can add this song to all future summer playlists.
‘Chasing the Sun’ reminded me that while she is not the best singer and not the most dynamic performer, I’m rarely having a bad time if Hilary Duff is playing and there is something to be said for that. I’ll be curious to hear the new album whenever it drops, and it will also be strange to see her battling it out with the Miley’s, Taylor’s, and Selena’s of the world.
caroline: I too feel good about the fact that Hilary Duff is “back”, HOWEVER this video/song is not her best work. Unfortunately, I think this song is obnoxious and as basic as it gets. She looks beautiful though, and I think it’s cool we use the same lip balm! I also am not sure how HilDu will stack up against all of the other female pop singers of today, especially if her album is going to be similar to this manufactured drivle.
Big K.R.I.T feat. Rico Love – Pay Attention
BK: I’m a sucker for Big K.R.I.T, and I’m also a sucker for smooth R&B vocals on a hook. This track has both.
When I stumbled onto his mix tapes a couple years ago, I was convinced that Big K.R.I.T would re-establish southern hip hop in the mainstream and he would in turn become a major star. Neither of those things has happened yet, but I’m still confident that Big K.R.I.T will be a major player before he permanently drops the mic. He is one of the most consistent performers in rap and his albums Return of 4Eva and 4eva N a Day are some of the smartest and most listenable albums I own. I’m definitely on board for Cadilllactica, his next release which comes out this fall. Hopefully this is the one that makes him a household name.
BK: Michael Keaton is the man.
I thought about leaving my analysis at that because that’s exactly how I feel, but I am particularly excited for this movie. Ed Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts are all charismatic enough to make this admittedly bizarre premise appealing, and Michael Keaton is just hitting his late-middle aged stride. The fact that he’s a former Batman makes it even better, but I’m not buying the narrative that this is ‘meta’ because it mirrors Keaton’s career. I feel like he’s always been relevant since his 1989 turn as the Dark Knight, this is just another (hopefully) great role.
caroline: Woah. I’m usually not that interested in these kinds of movies, but this actually looks good/intriguing. I’m really into the all star cast and was especially happy to see Zach Galifinakis’s face in something other than a comedy. I might even make it to the movie theatre for this one!
Smallpools – Killer Whales
BK: I love cheesy, shameless pop music and Smallpools offers exclusively that bubbly goodness. I was hooked on their previous single ‘Dreaming’ until FIFA 14 for Xbox played it into the ground for me, but I’m happy that they’ve returned with another stellar track. The hook is just as catchy, the vocals are just as layered, and the dance-pop beat is just as dancey. It’s a great Friday track and it’s got me in a good mood already.
caroline: Smallpools reminds me so much of the music of my youth and I absolutely love it. I’ve never had a problem with unabashed bubbly cheesiness as long as the song is catchy which this one is for sure. I also find the accompanied video to be oddly mesmerizing, which only enhances my enjoyment. Braden’s inclusion of this song has inspired me to spend the rest of my day listening to Smallpools- thanks Bray!
DOPE Digest Throwback: NSYNC – Just Got Paid
BK: THOSE COATS, caro! My god, they are glorious!
As soon as I leave work today I’ll be rounding up my posse, hopping in my cardboard cutout lowrider, going to the local Muppet Pimpwear boutique, and getting myself a floor-length Cookie Monster-fur duster.
‘Just Got Paid’ will be on loop there and back. NSYNC, how we missed you.
caroline: In honor of a headline I read this week that said “NSYNC Just Dropped a New Album” (a “greatest hits” type thing…obviously) I thought I would bring everyone’s attention to this fabulous long lost song from “No Strings Attached”. I vividly remember being 13 years old with my big eyebrows and metal mouth coming home after school on a Friday and bopping around my room listening to this song. I remember thinking how cool it must be to get paid, let alone on a FRIDAY NIGHT – party time! Also, I haven’t given it a good listen in years and after doing so I am simply tickled by the “rapping” that’s going on here. This song demonstrates the immense staying power of NSYNC, as now more than I ever I identify with the subject matter of this song:
Just got paid, Friday night
Party hoppin’, feelin right
Booties shakin’, all around
Pump that jam, while I’m gettin’ down
A Happy Friday to you all.