Track Review: Drake Aims For TikTok Greatness with “Toosie Slide”

Even though Drake and Future effectively cursed us with “Life Is Good,” somehow, we’re all still tuned in to whatever the Toronto rapper decides to drop. For his first official release of 2020 on all digital platforms, Drake has decided to foray into dance music territory. No, not dance music in the vein of Diplo or Calvin Harris‘ EDM driven work. The new track, “Toosie Slide,” is a descendant of line dance classics like “The Electric Slide,” “Cha Cha Slide,” and “Cupid Shuffle.”

Drake’s previous 2020 releases have dipped into trap (“Life Is Good”), grime influences (“War”), and classic soul-sample driven rap (“When To Say When/Chicago Freestyle”), but “Toosie Slide” is definitely the rapper’s most pop-leaning track so far. In a slightly Auto-Tuned voice, Drake sings the instructions (“right foot up, left foot, slide/Left foot up, right foot, slide”) over a strong bassline, standard trap beat, and this sort of drowned-out reverb-drenched flute loop. Drake isn’t really rapping about anything on this track, and he doesn’t have to because that’s not the purpose of line dance tracks. The melody and beat are catchy and palatable enough to make someone want to get up and dance and the instructions are easy to follow. “Toosie Slide” does exactly what it set out to do, nothing more and nothing less.

Drake actually reached out to a popular TikTok creator named Toosie to choreograph a song for the dance before the track’s release. To be completely honest, the “In My Feelings” challenge choreography was better. Regardless, TikTok dances have resulted in chart-topping hits for many artists such as Arizona Zervas (“ROXANNE”), Doja Cat (“Say So”), and Megan Thee Stallion (“Savage“). While those were all organic examples of the TikTok-music relationship, “Toosie Slide” is the really the first mainstream example of an artist blatantly pandering to the TikTok audience and working with TikTok influencers for a hit single, and it will likely pay off big time. Look for “Toosie Slide” to be #1 on the Hot 100 until the quarantine is over, it’s not like we have anything else to do!

Stream “Toosie Slide” here.

Score: 60

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