If anyone has invented a time machine but for whatever reason has decided to keep it on the down-low, can they please speak up now? Because for all the moral conundrums about killing baby Hitler, surely there is no argument as ethically cut-and-dry as going back in time and preventing Quavo’s baffling ascendance. He has become a weapon deployed by desperate hit-makers looking for an easy smash, ‘Quavo’ now shorthand for ‘this’ll do’. Dozens of artists have slapped his grating autotuned drawl on their tracks, praying his name will somehow make their music current, appeal to a younger audience and not, as is always the case, look like a cynical attempt at a hit. From Liam Payne to Katy Perry, musicians facing a crossroads between superstardom and irrelevancy have sought Quavo’s services to give their music his magic touch. Though this occasionally gives way to chart success, it often makes for an absolute stinker of a song too.
Seeking to restart her short-lived mainstream success, Iggy Azalea is the latest name to enlist Quavo’s help. Not since last week, when Sting and Shaggy decided to jump into bed together, has there been a duet with less appeal than this.
Though on paper, an Azalea and Quavo collab sounds beyond the realms of terrible, it isn’t quite the car crash you might think. Interestingly, while most artists enlist Quavo for a quick third-act rap, the roles are reversed here, with Azalea providing the rap while Quavo sings the chorus. It makes for a nice break in tradition, and Quavo does a decent job of tying the track together with his succinct refrain.
After the belly flop of last year’s ‘Mo Bounce’, it’s no wonder Azalea looked for a little help on her latest comeback. ‘Savior’ is certainly a more elegant affair, and a more convincing one too, the production slicker, the flow less haphazard. But ‘Savior’ lacks the ridiculousness of ‘Mo Bounce’, replacing it with a seriousness that feels mismatched with Azalea’s unintentionally ludicrous image. That said, though Azalea has (rightly) garnered plenty of criticism in the past for her dubious rap credentials, there’s a noticeable improvement here. Perhaps because the beat is slower, perhaps because the bridge is sung rather than rapped, Azalea just about manages to pull it off.
For the most part, Azalea is outshined by Quavo, his chorus more memorable than Azalea’s rap. Her brash, cartoonish swagger has been toned down, meaning at times she fades into the scenery, only just pulling it back for a last-minute stab. Overall, the effect is a track that doesn’t outstay its welcome, but doesn’t beg for a second listen either. Though ‘Savior’ is a step in the right direction, the likes of Cardi and Nicki won’t be losing sleep any time soon.