EDM's most-wanted producer Calvin Harris has kicked off 2018 a month late but in style with the release of the single "Nuh Ready Nuh Ready", a dancehall-tinged track with a feature by alt-R&B singer and rapper Partynextdoor. The track also came accompanied by a glitched-out, dark-vaporwave-inspired music video that borrows heavily from 80s and 90s nostalgia.
The track itself is decent, not a knockout by any measure, but still decent. Like the rest of his peers, Harris has been delving into dancehall lately and the result is promising, if a little lackluster. The production is good, but this track is by no means one that will get most people moving. It's decisively downtempo and selective with its minimal instrumentation, more of a slow burn, bump and grind track, but with solid instrumental flair and a nice horn section.
PARTYNEXTDOOR delivers a serviceable performance, though I do kind of question his enlistment on the track. Like his label mate Drake did on More Life, PARTYNEXTDOOR is a Canadian imitating something else and you can tell he's really exaggerating his accent on the track, at least in comparison to his past pieces of work. Though he comes from a Jamaican family it's not a sound that he's incorporated all that much in the past, and pushing the Caribbean-South London sound by singing with an over-the-top accent and saying things like "mandem" and "ting" feels slightly disingenuous.
The video is fun though, and it comes with a fetish for VHS and poorly-keyed green screen aesthetics. Throw in a couple of glitch artifacts for effect and it complements the song well, eschewing the glitz and flash of modern high-productions for lo-fi sensibilities.
Overall "Nuh Ready Nuh Ready" probably won't be the track that you kick your weekend off to, but it might find its place as an end-of-night wrap up or bedroom jam.