Song You Need to Know: Joeboy, 'Sip (Alcohol)'

The 24-year-old Nigerian singer Joeboy quietly keeps getting better, from his 2019 breakout single “Baby” to 2020’s “Call” to a handful of songs from his debut album, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic — especially “Better Thing” — released earlier this year. These tracks achieve the kind of gravity-resistant glide that’s almost vanished in modern popular music, which is often concerned with achieving maximum density, shattering windows and blowing through club doors. While producers keep looking for new ways to plow through obstacles, Joeboy prefers to levitate over them.

His latest and greatest is “Sip (Alcohol),” a beautiful merger of Nigerian afrobeats and South African amapiano. It makes sense that the signature bass sound of amapiano would appeal to Joeboy — the rub-a-dub low-end programming has jabbing power, but it usually avoids marring the pristine surface of amapiano productions. That means it adds oomph to “Sip (Alcohol)” while also allowing Joeboy to maintain his anti-gravitational powers. He swoop-sings in swashbuckling arcs — littering sweetheart harmonies behind him like jets leave vapor trails — over a gauzy beat, which could be a spoon knock-knocking on a tabletop.

“Sip (Alcohol)” has already earned more than 10 million streams on Spotify in less than three months. If it continues hooking listeners at this rate, it’ll surpass “Baby” on the platform by the spring.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

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