King Swigg’s “New Dance”

In hip-hop, the strut of a beat – and a player’s verse – is arguably more important than the compositional intricacies someone in R&B or straight pop would put a lot of stock in, and for King Swigg, it’s the provocative centerpiece of his new single “New Dance.” Released in 2020 alongside a number of other tracks bearing his moniker, King Swigg’s “New Dance” is a straightforward yet colorfully funky take on what cloud-style rapping can sound like when it’s presented against a relaxed backdrop. It’s on the alternative side, in the vein of $NOT in some frames while straddling something born of a Bootsy-esque throwback sound in others, but regardless of the aesthetical cornerstones audible to passersby there’s no denying the weightiness of this strikingly forward track as it relates to its creator’s career. 


The beat here feels a little punchy in spots, but when stripping everything down to nuts and bolts here, I’d actually describe it as being one of the more understated elements in the mix. The tonal contribution from the bassline can’t be credited enough for the stylization of the rhythm, hook, and even the mood of the lyrics themselves, but I’m hesitant to say it’s the more important than the vocal at any specific juncture of the song. King Swigg is still a mad rapper, but the mere fact that he’s willing to get as crazy in the studio with artistic concepts as he has in this recent session tells me that we’re going to hear more robust content like this in the future. 

While I don’t think the production style is geared towards the radio exclusively, I will say that “New Dance” boasts a bit more varnish on its verses than some of the other singles King Swigg has dropped in the last few months have. His flow is definitely ready for the FM format, and although there’s plenty here to suggest that abandoning alternative songwriting schemes is the last thing he’s thinking about in 2020, I don’t know that pigeonholing his sound with any particular labels is something he’s a fan of, either. There’s too much attention to the versatility of this song’s design for that to be the case, and I don’t think I’ll be the only critic to notice as much. 

King Swigg is riding high on an increased visibility some of his closest rivals would kill to be acquiring in the concert-less 2020, and judging from the creative ambitiousness of his new single, I don’t believe his process of cultivation is near the finish line by any means. “New Dance” doesn’t attempt to change the lines that rap can be drawn within; it actually brings back some of the color the faceless corporate aspect of the music industry sought to remove from the genre’s earliest output, and if you’re someone with a passion for the emerging new soundtrack of Black America, you can’t have a problem with that. This could be an important turning point in King Swigg’s professional evolution, but no matter what sort of legacy it generates, it is definitely an incredibly hot spin this December. 

Nicole Killian 

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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