The power of TikTok, huh? In February, a snippet of a leaked City Girls song (which was supposed to be included on City On Lock) called “Twerkulator” was uploaded on TikTok by a fan account. Before the song’s official release, the sound went viral on TikTok thanks to a dance challenge and was used in over 945,700 videos. The sound, which specifically featured the end of JT’s verse and the hook of the song, inspired a wave of support to get the full song officially released on digital platforms. Although the song was initially barred from release because of a sample clearance issue, the City Girls were able to finally release the club-ready summer anthem today (May 21).
To put it plainly, “Twerkulator” isn’t a good song. Nevertheless, it’s one of those songs with a hook so strong and sample so clean that that’s all it really needs. Built around a sample of Afrika Bambaataa’s revolutionary “Planet Rock” and an interpolation of Cajmere’s classic “Percolator (Coffee Pot Mix),” “Twerkulator” fits snugly in City Girls’ pocket: music about throwing ass, getting money, and being one step ahead of the men they mess around with. The song opens with a relatively lengthy instrumental that allows us to settle into the groove before smartly letting the best part of the track, the hook, have some immediate shine. The verses of this song aren’t particularly outstanding or even that good for that matter. However, JT’s delivery is sublime; she floats over the beat and employs a mixture of different vocal textures including rasp and whispers. She has made a lot of improvement in terms of playing with dynamics in her delivery which makes her an even stronger complement to Yung Miami’s energy than she already was. “Twerkulator” is a very short song, and because there is so much space, there is a lot of opportunity for this song to have legs. The TikTok dance challenge may have come and gone, but there is potential here for multiple remixes to help give the song legs. This will undoubtedly be one of the records to define Summer 2021, just like “Act Up” and “Twerk” were. Is the song particularly interesting or good outside of the sample and the part that went viral? No. That’s okay, though; with a hook that infectious, people will shut up and twerkulate.