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Willow Smith – Whip My Hair

November 23, 2010

Lil' Rihanna, whipping her hair

Technology huh? Mere hours after suggesting the idea of creating a blog with the boys on facebook, here it is. Not due to me, of course. No siree. If you know me at all (and you probably will since this blog is made for schnuggleboys, by schnuggleboys) then you will know that I’m not the kind of guy who follows through with things. All the better really, considering some of my previous plans involve making walls out of tyres and self-financing our old band by us all becoming farmers. So thanks to the bizzle for getting this shizzle up so quickly.

Enough with the fluff. I was going to kick-start my blogging career with a review of Everything Everything’s debut album “Man Alive” since they were the fire that lit my blue touchpaper¹, so to speak, but after reading Rob’s first post I was instantly swayed (as is my wont) to carry on the theme of young’uns playing pop star. So allow me to let you in on a little secret: I really like Willow Smith’s debut single.

Funnily enough, I don’t feel dirty about it. Not in the slightest. I’m not sure why really. Perhaps it’s because the first time I heard it, on Tim Westwood’s radio 1 extra show (I was getting tired of my constant 6music listenage, so I channel hopped a whole one station across and bam! – this is playing), I thought it was by some up-and-coming hip-hop star. Well, I suppose she is, I just didn’t expect her to be that up-and-coming. I mean, she’s only 10 years old. Ten!! If you haven’t started listening to the song already, go clickedy the soundcloud thingy at the bottom now and see what I mean. 10-year-olds aren’t supposed to make music this good!

Even though much of the song’s charm comes from the great production work, Willow herself is still the star of the show. She sounds good. And not just good-for-a-10-year-old-good, she sounds good-for-a-20-year-old-Rihanna-good. I really had no idea that she was just some punk kid with a super-rich dad who happens to know some amazing producers and writers. The song is so very well judged – it’s got just the right amount of attitude (hyper-active arrangement, dance floor synths, sped up kanye-esque vocal line and even a hand clap solo in the video version) and non-offensiveness (what’s the song actually about? who cares – she’s 10 for god’s sake! what the hell is she going to have to say for herself?)² to make a perfect fit for a brand-spanking-new kiddie pop star.

 

Willow pulls it off better

Maybe it’s because I seem to bump into images of Rihanna everywhere I go (including seeing her video’d within touching distance in Topshop on my girlfriend’s iPhone) but Willow Smith reminds me of the recently red-haired one³. Like Rihanna, she has a fair amount of charisma, at least within the confines of her music video. I also saw her performance on the Ellen show which was good, if only good-for-a-10-year-old-good. She starts her performance with an a capella line from Rihanna’s new hit single, “Only Girl (In the World)”, which only enforces the link. It’s a bit weird to watch what is essentially a little schoolgirl whip her hair so convincingly on such a big stage, especially with so many older-looking dancers around her (it looks like they tried to get the dancers to be as young as lil’ Rihanna, but this was the best they could do). I’m not sure how much of the singing was really her, but I’ll let her off – come on, she’s only 10!

Anyway, even though I know she probably had very little to do with how good this song ended up (if you didn’t know already, she’s the daughter of Will Smith and is now signed to Roc Nation, you stupid rock-dweller) I find it hard not to like her. You go girl. Great debut single. Now let’s see you do it again.

¹ I had to google that phrase since it is one of the many which I know how to use, but not the meaning behind it. Now I know. You wanna know too? Here you go

² “‘Whip My Hair’ means don’t be afraid to be yourself, and don’t let anybody tell you that that’s wrong. Because the best thing is you.” – sound advice from Willow Smith

³ Not to be confused with Cheryl Cole. Willow has about a million times more charisma than her, both on stage and in her single video release. I wonder who was first with the red hair though…

Actually, do I?

Yes, I do.

Damn.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 3:02 pm

    Impressive though a little shocking too! Hope this little girl’s next song won’t be a cover of “Rude Boy”.

  2. j-diz permalink
    November 24, 2010 6:49 pm

    told you id brape you hahahahahhaha never leave me with ur comp ‘j-dizz’ this is j dizz by the way and id just like to say that im a big homo and proud so if u want some bum fun my number is 555, 5555. waaaaazzzzaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! o geez ur still not back.,, so much braping time, so little to say.. ps please dont hit me when u see this because i got u a really good xmas present n i still have the receipt (itcan be returend) shit ur back!!!

    • j-diz permalink
      November 24, 2010 6:53 pm

      I think we’ve found ourselves a new guest columnist

  3. chrisbingo permalink
    November 25, 2010 4:15 pm

    Soooo mate, calling dibs on Man Alive are we?? Shocking behaviour I must say – will go into that later though when you do the review.

    Gotta say when I heard this on the radio (sadly tend to tune in-between Radio 1 and XFM Manchester when in the car) I was positive it was Rihanna. That said it’s a pretty OK song for what it is – don’t know if it can compete with the tunefulness of Bieber at 800% deceleration though.

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