Chloe x Halle have been dominating the year even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic flipping the music industry on its head. Their sophomore album, Ungodly Hour, has been the launching pad for a slew of instantly viral quarantine performances, a pair of VMAs nominations, and their first Billboard Hot 100 hit: “Do It.”
“Do It,” written by Chloe x Halle, Victoria Monét, and Scott Storch, is already a near-flawless song. In a strategic move, the sister duo has recruited three of music’s brightest new stars to join them on a remix of the track. Doja Cat, who recently scored her first Billboard Hot 100 #1 single with the Nicki Minaj remix of “Say So,” instantly steals the show on the revamped version of “Do It.” In the simplest of terms, Doja Cat is a problem; she is quickly morphing into a force to be reckoned with. From her ethereal layered vocals in the intro (“This sounds like a remix”) to her lethal flow through her verse, Doja makes it all seem effortless. Her adaptability will take her very far; she is able to replicate and elevate the mood of any song she is on without it feeling forced or awkward.
On the other hand, City Girls, who celebrated 2020 with the release of their City On Lock album, offer a comparably more inconsistent contribution to the remix. Yung Miami takes a stab at it first with a verse that is so stiff and blundering that it’s almost endearing. “I pull up foreign (Skrrt), with my friends/AMG (Yep), on a Benz/Ride or die (Ride or die), ’til the end,” she raps with a cadence that feels unsure and oddly timid. Luckily, her other half, JT, comes in with a slick rap/sung flow that helps the duo bounce back. JT’s smooth verse features the highlight of her surprisingly solid attempt at singing and harmonizing with the line “We out tonight probably/City Girls, Chloe, Halle.” Her references to “The Box” and Roddy Ricch and “Tyrone” and Erykah Badu are nice callbacks to R&B icons and the new class of hip-hop chart toppers.
Finally, Mulatto, who recently made RIAA history with her Trina and Saweetie collaboration “Bitch from da Souf,” delivers an excellent final rap verse. Mulatto has yet to miss this year when it comes to her musical output, and her verse on this remix is no different. She delivers every bar with a cool confidence and makes it her mission to cement herself as part of the legacy of Southern rap. She references both Lil Wayne and Megan Thee Stallion, and she also interpolates Khia’s seminal “My Neck, My Back.” Mulatto definitely gave Doja a run for her money for the best new verse on the remix. Chloe and Halle both add new verses and vocal arrangements to further round out the track. They opt for sultrier delivery and dip their toes further into rap-singing arena. The instrumental also gets some new embellishments including a more uptempo direction and some added drums. This remix is closer to an actual re-mix in the vein of Beyoncé and Megan‘s “Savage Remix.”
The “Do It” remix effectively kills two birds with one stone. First, the featured artists will renew interest in the song (it’s been out for a few months now) and bring in consumption from their respective audiences thus potentially helping the song re-enter the Hot 100. On another note, the remix is markedly more explicit and risqué than any of Chloe x Halle’s previous releases. The duo is widely viewed as “angels” and a pair of young kids despite them being in their early twenties. With Ungodly Hour, the girls have begun the process of breaking out of that image which has been projected onto them since their debut album, The Kids Are Alright. The “Do It” remix is just another step along the way, and an effective one at that.