Is nothing sacred?
Toto’s ‘Africa’ is the definition of sacred. Toto’s ‘Africa’ is like the idol from the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You grab that thing out of turn and you’re getting flattened by a boulder. Or Karen Allen.
Mr Worldwide has taken ‘Africa’ and done the most awful, unseemly things with it’s sweet sweet four minutes and fifty six seconds.
The beyond iconic opening lyric has been replaced with “They tried to get rid of me…” which I take to be the internal monologue of Pitbull’s gonorrhoea.
The handling only gets more obscene from here. That gorgeous and gentle synth ostinato that so perfectly encapsulates the sun rising over a shimmering savannah has been pumped full of steroids. Now it blasts and parps like the klaxon at an ice rink.
Tonally that feeling of childlike glee has had it’s toys taken away and been locked under the stairs. ‘Ocean To Ocean’ feels small, ugly and confused. At under two minutes thirty it barely has time to suck as hard as it probably would. Yet in that time they recycle the hook on repeat, without touching any other part of the song or showing any appreciation whatsoever for it’s pop quiddity. Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’ also gets a run-out (“Wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight“) just to muddle things further.
It’s a tie in for Aquaman of all things – you know, that film set underwater about talking fish people – which only raises further questions about the relevance of this sample. Although when I think of what Pitbull would have done with Bobby Darin’s ‘Under the Sea’ if he’d raised his nose from his drug mirror long enough to think of a more applicable cover, I shudder at the thought.