Calvin Harris - Dua Lipa - Young Thug - Potion

 "Potion" reunites producer Calvin Harris with Dua Lipa, who sung 2018's sultry "One Kiss," and Young Thug, who took the first line on Harris' "Heatstroke" for the forthcoming Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2. Melodramatic '80s guitar cheese opens the tune with a bit of a head fake — entirely unrelated from what follows — but rapidly settles into softly bubbled electro-funk that shimmers at the surface, emulating Daft Punk, who emulated Nile Rodgers. "Potion" is organized around a dazzling pre-chorus and chorus, and Dua Lipa lets us know that this song is about sex by mentioning the word "sex" eight times throughout the song. That is the source of the distraction.

Young Thug has only one verse and a far too short bridge. When he wants us to pay attention, he relaxes into the rhythm — "that's what this track's for," he appears to grin — yet he explodes out of weird corners when he doesn't. "Ball like LeBron James in the finals," he exclaims, electric guitar and bongos blaring, and a verbal karate kick punctuates "Free Big Meech." Big Meech, a member of the Black Mafia Family, is now serving a jail sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering, while Young Thug and Gunna were charged with racketeering last month by the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta. While the two situations are vastly different, the timing of the announcement is notable. It's a moment in Thugger's first tune since the accusations that, if you listen closely, pulls you out of an otherwise relaxing summer jam to examine how the criminal justice system punishes Black rappers just for speaking tales.

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