Wildside

Wildside

Five Burning Questions: Normani's 'Wild Side,' Featuring Cardi B, Debuts in Hot 100's Top 15

Will the single eclipse the shadow of its stunning music video? And will it be the signature hit Normani needs to springboard to superstardom?

7/29/2021 5:31:00 AM

Will the single eclipse the shadow of the stunning WildSide music video? And will it be the signature hit Normani needs to springboard to superstardom?

Will the single eclipse the shadow of its stunning music video? And will it be the signature hit Normani needs to springboard to superstardom?

 Darlene Aderoju: Given the song has already debuted in the top 15 on the Hot 100, it's technically already a hit. The music video has propelled the song into the ears of millions of music listeners who will likely continue to listen to the song and share it without the accompanying visual. I believe fans will most fondly remember the song itself because of its lift from Aaliyah’s “One in a Million,” whether the influence is officially acknowledged or not.  

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 Lyndsey Havens: While I will mostly remember the track because of its high-impact visual, that's not what I keep returning to. Sure, I've watched the music video a handful of times, but I've streamed it countless more. For an artist like Normani, whose choreography is so caked into her artistry, I imagine this proven formula will persist with future releases. Just look to"WAP" as a great example of a song that's visual is cemented in any viewer's mind, yet continued to gain even after the shock value wore off.

Jason Lipshutz: While the “Wild Side” music video is flashy and immediately arresting, the single takes longer to unfurl its subtle pleasures -- the onomatopoeia of the first verse, the sensual rhythms that coalesce around Normani’s voice, the “I wanna get WILD” hook. Normani’s latest is one of the sturdiest R&B singles of the year, and while that may or may not help “Wild Side” morph into a durable pop hit, at the very least the song’s quality more than justifies its big-budget visual. headtopics.com

Andrew Unterberger: I'm not sure if pop radio will take to"Wild Side" the way it did"Love Lies" and"Dancing With a Stranger" -- uptempo is what's in now, and this is the slowest and lowest jam of Normani's solo career so far -- but I could see it becoming an airplay monster on R&B radio, and it also seems ripe for dance challenges and other potentially viral TikTokery. The video will be largely inextricable from the song (by design), but I think the song still has room to grow on its own, or at least to endure.

Christine Werthman: The video made it pop, but"Wild Side" is a stellar song on its own. The looped, bird-like sounds that run throughout make it feel like you're in the jungle, while the bass reverberates and swells around Normani's sensuous vocal like some living, breathing organism haunting the deep end. There is a long list of writer and producer credits on the track, but the name that jumped out at me was Brittany Hazzard, aka Starrah, who also contributed to Rihanna's"Needed Me.""Wild Side" isn't as commanding as that 2016 release, but it shares a seductive, magnetic vibe that's clear with or without the video.

Here's Why Normani Thinks Cardi B 'Manifested' Her 'Wild Side' Feature3. This is Cardi B's first feature appearance on an official single this year -- do you think it's one of her stronger guest efforts, or does her presence feel more impactful as a co-sign from a proven solo superstar?  

 Darlene Aderoju: I feel Cardi B’s appearance on this song is an assist to Normani’s track. Cardi’s feature attracts her massive fan base and audience to the single, but Cardi’s verse itself makes its impact with a simple, brief, vulgar description of sexual desires. They made a great decision to join forces on this track. headtopics.com

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Lyndsey Havens: I think it's a solid guest effort, and I appreciate hearing her flow at a slower pace, but it's not one of her strongest. More than anything, Cardi benefits the song most by stamping it -- and Normani -- with her coveted approval. She's been tweeting up a storm of support for Normani, even going to bat

by explaining that she needed to conceal her growing baby bump while filming the visual.Jason Lipshutz: The more you listen to “Wild Side,” the more hilarious Cardi’s verse becomes: Normani’s performance conveys sexual yearning and the desire for physical touch, while the guest rap is... well, a little more forward in achieving that release, so to speak. Still, Cardi is such a magnetic force on a track that it’s hard not to be dazzled by her gift for innuendo, even if the rest of the song exists in a more suggestive tone. And you can’t really blame Normani for wanting one of the most successful artists of the past half-decade to hop in and work her magic, right?

Andrew Unterberger: I think it's a stellar Cardi verse, with two obvious future-classic moments in her"that's myd--k and I want it now" insistence and her boast about being able to"suck a watermelon through a straw." The thing that makes the biggest impression on me about it, though, is how late (by today's standards) in the song it shows up -- following two full verses and choruses and a tab-popping"tsssss.... 

ahhhhhh" break, a full 2:33 in, after many 2021 pop hits would already be winding down if not already finished. You almost forget she's on the track, making her appearance a pleasant surprise each time.Christine Werthman: Cardi is only on this song for about 35 seconds, and though she has some eye-popping lines (see:"watermelon through a straw"), she's not here to upstage Normani. I don't think you could ever call Cardi subdued, but her delivery is a touch more understated than usual, suggesting that she's here more in a co-sign capacity. headtopics.com

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a awmzia hre dawn lo mah ula ula darh zau se ka duh ShameOnHimantaBiswa shameonhimantabiswasarma One can only dream but as to whether it is happening is a different story only time will tell 💯🤝 Cardi ruined this song Normani ended cardi Never heard it flopped for a reason

Normani Says 'Wild Side' 'Saved Me' as Her Mom Battles Breast CancerThe singer opened up to Power 106 about working on the song amid her mother's breast cancer battle and what it meant for her family.

Normani Opened Up About Making 'Wild Side' While Her Mother Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer'[It] really saved me.'

Normani: “Wild Side' Got Family Through ”Darkest Time of Our Lives'The musician and performer opened up about her mom's breast cancer diagnosis.

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