It’s been two years since Normani released “Motivation”, with an eye-catching nostalgic music video and splashy live performance at the MTV VMAs. We all thought it was her first single from her debut solo album, but then there was no follow-up single and subsequently no album. Basically just crickets. Since then she’s been teasing fans on social media and in interviews, but delivering no results, until last night, when she dropped “Wild Side”, an Aaliyah-infused R&B track featuring Cardi B.
The music video is amazing and displays what Normani does best, which is perform. It’s once again choreographed by Sean Bankhead who worked on the “Motivation” video — where Normani quite famously bounced a basketball off her hip and then did a handstand into a split, in the rain. She’s not doing all that this time, replacing acrobatics with steamy dance routines. At one point she’s basically scissoring herself.
My favorite part .I loooooveeeeee this scene Sooo much ! https://t.co/NytqUi1FrF— Cardi B (@iamcardib) July 16, 2021
It’s makes me think Normani may have taken so much time away from music to let people forget about her youth-friendly image and reintroduce a more mature Normani — her wild side. As the video progresses, she wears less and less clothing. Nude, she embraces Cardi B with each of their long black hair covering everything it needs to and nothing it doesn’t.
In a press statement, Normani said, “I had already been in rehearsal for about three weeks preparing for the video when Cardi heard the record for the first time. She really showed up for me and brought this record to life by simply doing what Cardi does best. I love that woman down and I’m forever grateful.”
“Wild Side” is an interesting choice for a “comeback” record, if we can call it that. It’s a very low-key vibe, so not a record I’d play at a get together and certainly not a song of the summer contender. I don’t think mid-July was the perfect time to drop this. Why not hold it until the fall and release it on the cusp of cuffing season, when everybody wants to be inside cozied up next to bae? That’s the vibe.