Thursday, October 12, 2023

"Sittin' On Top of the World," AKA When a New Song Sounds Retro

Music artist Burna Boy has a new song out with a guest verse by 21 Savage titled, "Sittin' on Top of the World." It came out this year but upon hearing it I could've sworn it was some tune from the late 90's or early 2000's. I didn't know why, but it made me think of songs that had a bit of rapping and a bit of singing back then like, "What's Luv," by Fat Joe and Ashanti or the, "I'm Real," remix with Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. There must have been a reason I thought this so I did some Googling and sure enough, "Sittin' on Top of the World," samples a song from 1998. "Top of the World," is a tune by Brandy featuring Mase. As a child of the '90s I knew the song and it must've implanted itself deeply enough in my brain that a brand-new production by Burna Boy funnily enough evokes my memories of past songs. 

I don't think Burna Boy is engaging in weaponized nostalgia as he isn't trying to outright make us think of that older ditty--he probably just saw the sample worked perfectly for his song. Still, it is a bit of a paradox that a brand-new song made me think of old ones. Younger folks probably didn't have this occur to them as the 90s were decades ago now (I cringed typing that and thinking about how I'm old), but props to Burna Boy for making something new out of something from the past.

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