Why This New Calvin Harris Song With Migos Worries Me

Photo: David Becker/Getty.
Calvin Harris just released a new song called “Slide” with an unlikely band of collaborators. Frank Ocean and Migos linked up with the producer to provide vocals on the track. It has an infectiously uptempo vibe and marks another return of Frank Ocean’s elusive-but-smooth-like-butter vocals. It is also another major move in the evolution of Migos as a mainstream force.
Following a shoutout from Donald Glover at the Golden Globes, Migos has been riding a wave of success surrounding the release of their chart-topping album C U L T U R E. “Bad and Boujee,” the centerpiece and main single from the album, skyrocketed to number one on the billboard charts. They hosted an exclusive listening party at YouTube headquarters (I was there). Their album release show in New York was sold out (I was also there). They taught a culture class at NYU (I was not there and I wept).
To say that Migos is on the come up from their position of prominence among the trap elite is an understatement. Their feature on “Slide” is a testament to that. They're expanding their fan base and positioning themselves as a multifaceted group. It's great. As someone who can still say, even with "Bad & Boujee" fever at an all time high, that "Ounces" from their No Label II mixtape is her favorite Migos song, I couldn't be more proud of the group.
But with this success, a serious questioning of where their music is headed seems necessary. Artists that cater to niche markets like hip hop, R & B, and even country (see: Taylor Swift) are often expected to take a dive into the mainstream/pop sound pool in order to really “make it.” And for fans of the original sounds, it almost never goes well. I'm terrified of a Migos that no longer relies on Zaytoven, DJ Drama, or Sonny Digital.
Sure, “Slides” might be the song that singlehandedly ushers in an early summer this year. And yes, this is a great move for Migos as a whole. But I'm only just getting around to forgiving Nicki Minaj for "Super Bass." So excuse me if I'm a little on edge about experiencing a similar betrayal from my beloved trap artists.
You can check out “Slides” below.

More from Music

R29 Original Series