Dua Lipa and DaBaby have both owned 2020 in their own ways. Dua’s Future Nostalgia garnered critical acclaim and became her highest-charting album Stateside while birthing the career-defining “Don’t Start Now” and other hits like “Physical” and “Break My Heart.” DaBaby built on the success of KIRK and parlayed that into his second #1 album, Blame It On Baby, and his first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit, “Rockstar (feat. Roddy Ricch).” Now, the two stars have teamed up on a remix of a Future Nostalgia standout: “Levitating.”
“Levitating” was already given a dance remix with contributions from The Blessed Madonna, Madonna, and Missy Elliot, but that version was received quite negatively by fans. A more standard Top 40 remix, the song is largely the same outside of DaBaby’s new verse where he raps a series of metaphors about levitating off of the power of love and his success. The content of his verse isn’t incredibly interesting, but, more importantly, he sounds really great on this song. The closest DaBaby has previously gotten to rapping on a song this pop-centric were his appearances on Lizzo‘s “Truth Hurts” remix and Camila Cabello‘s “My Oh My.” While he was clumsy on “Truth Hurts” and more comfortable on “My Oh My,” the funky dance pop and slight 80s feel of “Levitating” is far removed from anything DaBaby has ever done before. He handles the challenge with ease and really makes his presence felt while sounding at home. With that being said, this is the seventh remix DaBaby has appeared on this year in addition to scores of other collaborations and his own album. We’ve gotten a lot more of him this year than anyone has asked for. DaBaby would have made sense as a “go to” feature in 2019, but the public is clearly clamoring for female rappers, and a female rapper would have likely brought something more interesting to this remix.
This new remix likely won’t make “Levitating” as big as “Don’t Start Now,” but it was a smart, albeit predictable, move to keep the Future Nostalgia era going at U.S. radio in time for Grammy voting.