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Courtesy of Bloodline Records

April 4, 2016

Spinning Singles: DMX, Nick Jonas

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“Moe Wings ft. Big Moeses and Joe Young” — DMX

Despite almost dying in February, DMX came back in March with “Moe Wings,” his first single in almost three years. The track finds X continuing his career-long tradition of sounding like an enraged pit bull, gnashing its teeth and growling at you from behind some sorry-ass chain-link fence. Rapping over a low-chord string arrangement and crashing drum-kit beat, he spends the first verse bringing down other rappers by asserting his masculinity over theirs, and the chorus declaring himself to be “hot like moe wings.” Such belligerence is certainly what gives DMX his appeal, but as he gets older, his bark makes him sound more and more like an angry old man yelling at you to get off of his lawn.

Nevertheless, “Moe Wings” has vital signs. The track shows, if nothing else, that X still has it in him to make tracks as energetic as his greatest hits like “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and  “Party Up,” and it’s satisfying to hear him hit his mark in this way, especially after February’s scare.

Also in the track’s favor is verse three from L.A. rapper Joe Young. Where DMX falls short lyrically, Young picks up the slack, assuming the role played by X on much of his most interesting work: the role of the Gansta trying to reconcile his violent tendencies with his faith in God and desire to be a good person. “The Lord is great, survive the maze/Rebuke the devil in ongoing debates,” raps Young, “I try to be cool and try to show love. At the same time I want Trump on his back with his face blown off.” And with these words, the track win me over every time, as it is continually relieving to be reminded that I’m not the only one experiencing this desire and crisis of conscience regarding the current Republican frontrunner.

Matt Pegan is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at mpegan@cornellsun.com. 

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Courtesy of Island Records

“Close ft. Tove Lo” — Nick Jonas

With his new single “Close” featuring Tove Lo, Nick Jonas is burnin’ up. While I hold on to my childhood memories of the curly­ haired JoBro, he is no longer a teenage heartthrob in a boy band. Last year, “Jealous” topped the charts as we saw Nick take over in a brand new style — charming, sophisticated and sexy. An emotional confession that distinguishes itself from conventional love ballads, “Jealous” was one of my favorite songs of the year and it certainly established Nick’s career as a solo artist. Naturally, I was excited to hear “Close,” the first single off his new and upcoming album Last Year Was Complicated. “Close” is a smooth and sexy duet with Swedish singer Tove Lo. The “Talking Body” artist, known for her intimate lyrics and sultry style, was a perfect choice for the provocative duet.

The song opens up with the pulse of steel drums, a rhythm echoing a heartbeat. The video shows Nick Jonas and Tove Lo sitting in chairs and separated by distance, admiring one another with an intense and passionate gaze. The song maintains a slow tempo as tension builds and Jonas slowly tries to overcome his emotional vulnerability. “Space is just a word made up by someone who’s afraid to get too close,” Nick softly sings as the chorus approaches and their tensions finally erupt. The chairs pull them back and forth towards each other as they desperately try to get “close.” Not to mention their clothes are ripping off their bodies with every fervent push and pull. Like magnets coming together and breaking apart, their attraction is uncontrollable yet some unwanted force is holding them back until the end of the song where the two finally overcome their fear of getting close.

While perhaps not as impressive as “Jealous,” “Close” is certainly a great track for the solo JoBro. He is set to go on tour this summer with Demi Lovato where we will likely see Jonas showcasing his energetic, sexy, and captivating performances with the singer. Who knows, maybe Nick and Demi will be releasing a single together in the near future. Throwing it back to Camp Rock days — now that’d be pretty cool.

Annabel Campo is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at acampo@cornellsun.com. 

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