When I first heard that Camila Cabello had departed from girl group Fifth Harmony, I thought she would quietly fade into darkness, especially after her first solo track was titled "Crying in the Club." I wanted no part of that. When "Know No Better" was announced, I was low key excited because I thought it would be a trainwreck, honestly. Major Lazer is usually good at delivering bops summer after summer, but with a lineup that starts with Travis Scott and ends with Camila Cabello–there was just no way it could be good. Plus, Quavo has been on so many songs this year already–Katy Perry's, DJ Khaled's, Liam Payne's–isn't he tired? Does he still have it in him? Well, the answer, as I found out, is yes, he does. I was actually taken aback by how much I enjoyed the song. Don't judge a song by it's feature list, I guess.
3. "#icanteven" by The Neighbourhood featuring French Montana
When this song came out back in 2014, I had been a fan of the Neighbourhood for quite some time. I had been following them for long enough to know that they had never done any official collaborations with any other artists, so when I saw that French Montana was listed as the feature I can't say that I was more excited than nervous, almost. I didn't know much about French Montana other than that he was a rapper, and it isn't every day that you hear of an alternative band like the NBHD pairing up with rappers. After this, all I could think was that that IS something we should hear of everyday. Their sounds worked so well together, somehow, and I wouldn't be opposed to some more features like this in the future.
4. "Weapon" by Bastille featuring Angel Haze, F*U*G*Z, and Braque
This track was released on Bastille's VS. (Other People's Heartache, pt. III) nearly 3 years ago and I still have no idea what to make of it. Angel Haze brings kind of a M.I.A like vibe on top of Bastille's already eerie vibe, which creates a heavy and almost creepy sort of sound. Her rapping seems to come out of nowhere adding a sort of shock factor to the song, and F*U*G*Z pulls you back to a level of normality and sanity in the bridge where his voice dances with Dan Smith's (lead vocalist of Bastille). This is just another instance of how well polar opposite sounds can come together to create something extremely cool and unlike anything you've ever heard before.
5. "You Can't Hide / You Can't Hide From Yourself" by Zayn, Teddy Pendergrass, and Grandmaster Flash
The confusion that came with this set of artists had less to do with the overall sound and way more to do with who's idea it was to put the three of them together in the first place. As many know, Zayn spent a few years as a member of One Direction before going off on his own and releasing his debut R&B driven album in 2016. Younger audiences may not be as familiar with Teddy Pendergrass and Grandmaster Flash, so in short: they are both actual musical legends. Pendergrass was best known for his soulful singing in the 60s, and Grandmaster Flash is said to be one of the original hip-hop DJs and iconically mastered mixing and cutting. Now read these three descriptions and tell me how in the actual world do these three artists fit into a song? I don't have" an answer, so you probably don't either. There is no logical explanation, really. It just works.
6. "Sucker for Pain" by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Imagine Dragons featuring Logic, Ty Dolla $Ign and X Ambassadors
No matter how many times I listen to this track or read the names of everyone on it it will absolutely never make sense to me. I just have so many questions. Is there some kind of collaboration randomize button that I don't know about? Was Wiz Khalifa still relevant when this was made? Why is X Ambassadors in this at all if they only contribute approximately 15 seconds of audio? What is going on? The world may never know. Shoutout to Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds for holding everything together during the chorus, what would be do without him? It's funny, had there been two fairly popular pop singers on this track it would have had the ultimate musical clickbait title. There would have truly been something for everyone.
7. "Dennis Rodman" by Mansionz featuring Dennis Rodman
There is so much going on here. Mansionz, the collaborative duo of singer Mike Posner and rapper Blackbear, is weird enough as it is. The two artists began creating musical content with each other back in 2013 when they penned Justin Bieber's hit summer track "Boyfriend," and somehow that relationship developed into the them both dyeing their hair green and releasing a self titled album under the pseudonym Mansionz. The project finds an oddly spectacular medium between the two genres, with Posner bending his style ever so slightly. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about how this specific creation by the project is named after and features no other than basketball legend Dennis Rodman. So where does Rodman's role on this song comes in? Well, it really doesn't. The song itself is carefree and genuinely funny–especially when Rodman comes on yelling about people calling him a has-been. I hope to be at this level of extra when I'm old and retired and no longer relevant to anyone, but hopefully I can get there without all of the same controversial behavior as Rodman.