Bazzi Is In ‘Fuckin Love’ On His Sun-Kissed New Song ‘I.F.L.Y.’

A year after his ubiquitous hit “Mine” ruled the airwaves, Bazzi is making another play for pop radio domination. On Thursday (July 18), the singer released “I.F.L.Y.,” a single he’s been relentlessly teasing all week long. And while some fans initially weren’t sure what to make of that head-scratching title — is it “I Fly” or what?! — Bazzi gives us some answers on the breezy, flirty summer jam.

Turns out, “I.F.L.Y.” is an acronym for “I fuckin’ love you,” a lyric Bazzi repeats on the chorus, with his vocals multiplied for dramatic effect. He rides solo for the rest of the track, sing-rapping about reforming his “player” ways and finding a summer love that could turn into a forever love. “When I’m with you, you bring out the best of me / God made you a twin, but you the one I see,” he sweet-talks. You blushing yet?

“I.F.L.Y.” is the latest in a string of singles Bazzi’s released this year, following the politically charged “Caught in the Fire,” the 21 Savage-featuring “Focus,” and the easy-breezy “Paradise,” which he performed at last month’s MTV Movie & TV Awards. There’s no official word yet on a follow-up to his breakout debut album, Cosmic, but all signs are pointing to more new Bazzi music soon.

Let NCT 127 Take You On The ‘Highway To Heaven’

At the heart of every NCT 127 single is confidence. That unwavering bravado has become their signature sound since their 2016 debut in Korea, and it’s usually projected through heavy bass lines and powerful choreography. Their swagger comes naturally. But “Highway To Heaven,” the K-pop act’s latest English release (available now), hits different. It’s confident, yes, but it’s also dreamy and atmospheric.

It’s a smooth ride on a warm summer’s day, as the suave group entices the listener to come along for the journey. “We’ll take the highway to heaven and I can’t wait to love you all alone,” the members harmonize on the chorus. “We’ll take the highway to heaven on the 101 let’s see just where it goes.”

Originally released in Korean on the album We Are Superhuman, “Highway To Heaven” is a relatively simple synth-pop track, but it shimmers thanks to the 10-member group’s vocal line. Produced by Social House (Ariana Grande’s “Thank U Next”), the slick summer song is structured almost entirely around the vocalists — the layered vocals and harmonies on the hook make it feel massive — and even the rap verses from Taeyong and Mark are more melodic than anything we’ve heard on previous singles. “When I’m with you it’s a vibe baby,” Taeyong raps. “I can’t lie / Hit my line / Anytime.”

It’s a song that keeps expanding, with NCT 127’s honey-voiced tenor Haechan reaching a divine crescendo on the bridge until the track slides back into its catchy, comfortable rhythm.

A song like “Highway To Heaven” has the potential to be big for the Seoul-based group with global aspirations. It’s arguably their most mainstream release in the U.S., a synth-pop confection perfect for summer, and it could score them coveted radio play — the last frontier for Korean acts making their way stateside. Even the single’s visual aesthetics invoke the spirit of denim-on-denim Americana.

Still, having the perfect song is only part of the equation. There are so many factors that determine a group’s success, but one thing is certain: NCT 127’s confidence — in themselves but also in their own dreams — will take them far. Maybe they’ll even reach heaven.

15 Years Ago, Daddy Yankee’s Barrio Fino Set The Template For Reggaeton’s Big Rise

By Lucas Villa

When Puerto Rican reggaetonero Daddy Yankee hopped on Luis Fonsi’s 2017-conquering hit “Despacito,” the pair kicked off a historic run. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record-tying 16 weeks (with some help from Justin Bieber) and is often credited for sparking the Latin-music explosion in pop that continues to thrive today thanks to vibrant artists like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and more. But “Despacito” was hardly the beginning for Daddy Yankee, who laid the groundwork for the genre’s big breakthrough 15 years ago with the release of his album Barrio Fino in July 2004. Superstars in his wake like Ozuna, Maluma, Bunny, and Balvin were able to rise up after Barrio Fino‘s biggest hit “Gasolina” (which charted at No. 32) warmed up the world to reggaeton music. “Gasolina” wasn’t just the fuel; the song also lit the fuse for the larger música urbana movement that’s still blazing brightly.

Daddy Yankee, born Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, spent the ’90s and early 2000s getting his name out in the Latin-music industry alongside fellow Puerto Rican rappers like Tego Calderón, Don Omar, and Ivy Queen, now known as the queen of reggaeton. He released his first album, No Mercy, in 1995, and grew his audience with subsequent releases like his El Cartel compilations and 2002’s El Cangri.com. Reggaeton connected at home in Puerto Rico and later with Latinx audiences in the U.S., but the rest of the world took notice when Daddy Yankee dropped his third album, Barrio Fino, in 2004. Loaded onto the record are hits built for perreo, a dance with Puerto Rican origins that involves lots of grinding, like “Lo Que Pasó, Pasó,” “No Me Dejes Solo,” and the Glory-featuring “Gasolina,” which became ubiquitous.

“Gasolina,” Spanish for gasoline, became a worldwide hit. The dembow-riding banger pulled off a rare feat for a fully Spanish-language song at the time by peaking at No. 32 on Billboard‘s all-genre Hot 100 chart and at No. 5 on the U.K. singles chart. The music video features Daddy Yankee at a drag-race track, and little did the OG reggaetonero know that he would be behind the wheel of his genre’s international victory lap. As Salute magazine noted last year, the lyrics in “Gasolina” were simple and repetitive, but made it something that people could connect with whether or not they knew Spanish. “I think the song was so popular because there was a lot of different meanings for the song,” Daddy Yankee told Rolling Stone. Naturally, its rhythms also helped this dance song become a universal club staple.

Colombian superstar Shakira, who was previously known for her more rock-leaning releases in Spanish, changed lanes in 2005 for the Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 album and with the reggaeton-influenced “La Tortura,” featuring Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz. “La Tortura” climbed to an impressive No. 23 on the Hot 100 chart while “Gasolina” was making similar moves. To highlight the undeniable popularity of reggaeton, the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards invited Shakira and Sanz to perform their hit live. That night, MTV also made history as Omar, Caulderón, and Daddy Yankee performed their biggest hits together, marking the first time that Spanish-language songs were performed at the VMAs.

KMazur/WireImage

As the 2000s gave way to the 2010s, Latin music on a global scale hit a valley as EDM and empowerment pop both reached their own stratospheric heights. But Daddy Yankee helped the genre reach a new peak in 2017 alongside fellow Puerto Rican singer Fonsi with the “Despacito” remix featuring Bieber that shattered more records for a mostly Spanish-language song. It became the first Latin song since Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” in 1996 to top the Hot 100 chart. Since then, the new generation of reggaetoneros have landed more hits in Spanish — J Balvin’s “Mi Gente,” the “Te Boté” remix with Ozuna, and Maluma’s “Felices Los 4” all made appearances on the chart. As reggaeton music rides again, música urbana has become more of a force with other subgenres like Latin trap, and traperos like Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny and Anuel AA are scaling the same charts.

As one of the vanguards in reggaeton music, Daddy Yankee remains a power player in the genre. He recently outpaced the success of “Gasolina” with his latest hit, “Con Calma,” featuring Canadian rapper Snow and Katy Perry, which reached No. 22 on the Hot 100 chart. He’s still got that gasolina to get going and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

In February, Daddy Yankee performed his biggest hits with contemporaries like Puerto Rico’s De La Ghetto, Zion y Lennox, and Yandel alongside J Balvin and Ozuna at the Premios Lo Nuestro awards. The medley was an early celebration of Barrio Fino‘s 15th anniversary. After saluting Daddy Yankee and reggaeton’s beginnings on last year’s hit “Reggaeton,” for the grand finale, J Balvin performed “Gasolina” with his hero in one of the live tribute’s best moments.

Following the performance, J Balvin presented Daddy Yankee with the honorary La Trayectoria award and said to him in Spanish, “Without Daddy Yankee, there wouldn’t have been reggaeton in the world. J Balvin would not exist if it weren’t for Daddy Yankee.” Daddy Yankee then spoke about how far the genre has come since Barrio Fino‘s breakthrough: “Our genre has grown because there is a union. There is a brotherhood.”

Cardi B And Offset Enlist Jimmy Kimmel To Explain ‘Clout’ For Geezers

Cardi B and Offset‘s “Clout” is a powerful response to clickbait chatter. Released earlier this year on Offset’s debut studio album Father of 4, the song finds the two rapping loudly and passionately about a shared disease that they hate: clout, or doing anything for attention, and how easily transmittable it is. There’s a lot of punchlines in it made up of new lingo and different kinds of slang that make it harder for older people to understand if they don’t keep up with the times. Luckily, there’s Jimmy Kimmel to make things clear. Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Cardi B, Offset, and Kimmel translated the song for the elderly in his popular segment, “New Lyrics For Old People.” They also performed the song to show the elderly how it sounds live.

Both Cardi B and Offset stood on stage beaming, ready to see their song given new meaning. Offset started things off with “Straight out the streets to a penthouse, Miami beach, yayo!” and Kimmel listened for a second, running the slang through his internal translator. With his most serious face, the host then said, “I came from humble beginnings but now I own a condominium in Miami. Yayo.” The trio went through the song line by line, with Kimmel getting nearly everything right, aside from a slight misread of a Cardi lyric. “They know I’m the bomb, they ticking me off/Say anything to get a response,” said Cardi with Kimmel ready to fire off his translation immediately after. “They are aware of her talent and they’re just trying to get a rise out of her,” he said, smiling along with Cardi. After this amazing translation, there’s no reason that anyone should question any of the lyrics’ meanings.

They also performed the number at Kimmel’s outside stage, showcasing the impact of social media on attention-seeking. They start the show off on the street and make their way to the stage, the entire time, people following them and attempting to post them on their profiles. Profile names popped up as people approached them, showcasing how we’re really all just a name with a few underscores online.

Earlier this month, Cardi shared an unreleased song on Instagram in celebration of her daughter Kulture’s first birthday. In June, she dropped the chaotic “Press” video that followed an army of nude dancers before Cardi killed them.

Watch Cardi B and Offset get their song translated and perform it up above.

Hayley Kiyoko Casts A Spell On Herself In Whimsical ‘I Wish’ Video

Hayley Kiyoko is back, and she has a few things to get off her chest.

The Expectations singer returned on Thursday (July 18) with the new single “I Wish” and its spellbinding video. True to form, it’s a self-directed mini-movie of sorts, centering around Kiyoko’s last-ditch attempt to wish away the girl who broke her heart. With the help of her plaid-skirted coven — which includes actresses Maia Mitchell and Madison Pettis — she gulps down a witchy potion that whisks her off to a different reality: one where Kiyoko confidently asserts her self-worth and puts her no-good ex in her place.

“We butt heads / ‘Cause you’re paying him attention / And you’re selfish with your affection,” she sings over a snarling bass line, as she furiously dances out her feelings in a candle-lit attic. “Your black heart / You ain’t even budge when you tore mine apart / You wild out / So I wild out too, motherfucker, what’s up?” She’s clearly in command now, but at the heart of her venting is a simple, relatable longing: “I wish, I wish, I wish I found love.”

In a press release, Kiyoko said of the video, “It’s really hard when you love someone who doesn’t feel the same way. In this video, I wanted to bring to life the support group we all need when our love for someone isn’t being reciprocated. Having a strong support system of friends is so important to remind us we are loved and we are not alone.”

The VMA winner echoed the same sentiment in a recent interview with MTV News, adding, “I wanted to showcase friendship. And when you’re not getting love from someone that you want, or you maybe get declined, or you’re not feeling love for yourself. Having your friends there to pick you back up and support you and be there for you. It’s a whimsical take on that.”

Check out Kiyoko’s full MTV News interview below to hear her talk about her plans for album No. 2, her cameo in Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down,” and more.

A$AP Ferg Is A Wheelie Magician In ‘Floor Seats’ Video

A$AP Ferg loves a good bike. He’s released a video for “Floor Seats” that’s all about the beauty of the mechanical beast and the resulting partying that takes place after a good ride, showcasing the beauty of New York City. In the wake of the other wild singles that A$AP Ferg has recently released like “Wigs” and “Pups” with A$AP Rocky, “Floor Seats” feels tamer in comparison. But it’ll do one thing for sure: make you want to pop wheelies in the middle of Times Square.

If rap doesn’t work out, A$AP Ferg has a future as a BMX stuntman. In “Floor Seats,” he gets some serious airtime as he and a crew of fellow riders rip the streets of New York. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. They head out to a party and allow a drunken camera to capture the fun in woozy fashion. Then they hit the streets for a smooth night time ride and bask in the darkness. The lasting image of the entire thing is Ferg, goofily grinning, with one wheel high in the air.

“Floor Seats” should appear on A$AP Ferg’s forthcoming album of the same name and it follows his other previously released singles. MTV News spoke to A$AP Ferg at the Something in the Water festival and he revealed that he had a bunch of music set to come out, as well as a wish to someday do a collab album with Pharrell. (“N.E.R.D. changed my life!” he said.) There’s no clue when the LP will be out but hopefully, it’s in the near future.

Watch A$AP Ferg pop wheelies in “Floor Seats” up above.

Charli XCX’s ‘Gone’ Video Has It All: Rain, Fire, Bondage, And Christine And The Queens

The latest taste of Charli XCX‘s third album, Charli, is here and it’s an absolute banger. “Gone,” featuring Christine and the Queens, arrived alongside a rain-soaked video on Wednesday (July 17) that features the two artists bound to opposite ends of a car. They eventually break free, furiously dancing it out as a fire rages around them and a rain machine drenches their bodies.

As for the song itself, Charli sets the anxiety-ridden scene on the first verse, admitting she’s “caught up by my insecurities.” That’s echoed by Christine, who’s “scared and confused” by other people’s judgments of her and vents, “I feel so unstable, fucking hate these people / How they’re making me feel lately / They’re making me weird baby, lately.” What really brings “Gone” to another level, though, is the monstrous, bass-heavy outro, which is a solid minute of distorted vocals, trippy synths, and steely drum fills. It all makes way for Charli and Christine’s final declaration: “I’m already gone, baby.”

A day before the release of “Gone,” Charli talked up the track on Instagram, writing, “This song is about those situations where you are surrounded by loads of people but feel so isolated and alone. I feel like that a lot of the time in social situations. I never know what to do with myself, I feel so insecure and out of place and lost. … This song is about breaking down but it’s also about breaking free. It feels like one big external scream.”

She continued, “Both this song and video are a huge release of energy for me. When I hear it and when I dance to it I feel truly euphoric and alive, like I’m pushing out all the bad feelings from my brain. It’s like I’m channeling all my anger and frustration (and sometimes sadness) into dancing it all away.”

“Gone” is the latest promising taste of Charli, which arrives on September 13 and also includes the Troye Sivan-featuring “1999” and the Lizzo-assisted “Blame It On Your Love.” On top of those, the album also features collaborations with Haim, CupcakKe, Sky Ferreira, Big Freedia, Clairo, and more. Pop is saved!

Ellie Goulding And Juice WRLD Show The Many Ways To Despise An Ex In ‘Hate Me’ Video

Ellie Goulding and Juice WRLD‘s “Hate Me” is about a boiling dislike for an ex. We’ve all been there, wanting to hiss venom at an old flame after everything’s said and done. Maybe that’s a little bit much. But in the accompanying video for the heartfelt record, the pair shows us how other people deal with breakups in different, creative ways. Plus Goulding rides a giant knife like it’s a carnival ride. It’s a little out there, and a touch creepy. It’ll make you think twice about doing someone dirty.

The video for “Hate Me” is as beautiful as it is sad. Its dim, multi-colored rooms are stirring, simplistic backdrops that are populated by suffering people. Someone makes a voodoo doll for an unsuspecting ex and another person punches a wall, cracking its foundation as he angrily copes. This tortured world is run by Goulding who, with her knife, carves an imposing leader of loveless loonies. All that she has left of her last relationship is her phone and its pictures, videos, and messages. She balances it on her finger as she angrily reflects on the past. Juice WRLD comes in fuming, singing his entire verse as smoke comes out of his mouth. Afterward, Ellie’s knife has grown to an enormous, Pokemon-like size as she sits atop it. We feel sorry for whoever is on the receiving end of it.

Goulding released “Hate Me” last in June. It follows her  recently released videos for “Sixteen” and “Flux.” She was also featured on the Game of Thrones album For the Throne – Music Inspired by the HBO Series.

Listen to the toxic environment of “Hate Me” up above.

City Girls And Saweetie Are Financial Analysts On ‘Come On’

Reporting live from Hot Girl/City Girl Summer, it’s MTV News! The temperatures here are hot and heavy, the skies crystal clear, and the water here on the beach is more than fine. Providing the sounds for this three-month vacation are the City Girls and Saweetie with their new collaboration, “Come On.” This high-energy, twerk-centric romp puts you in good spirits with its energy. The air is hot, but the song is hotter.

“Come On” is fast and furious, yet light and bouncy. It sounds perfect for how carefree its whimsical lyrics are. Saweetie kicks things off with a verse requesting her partner to have eight figures in their account because six just won’t cut it. From there, she makes it clear what kind of guys she likes and that she won’t take anything not up to her standards. JT and Yung Miami of City Girls come in with financial analyst rap, examining the spending habits of prospective partners and designating their willingness to accept or deny what they see. All three rappers sound powerful and make it painfully apparent that in these hot stress-free months, what they say goes. And that’s that on that.  “Come On” will appear on Quality Control Music’s forthcoming compilation, Control The Streets Volume 2.

City Girls have been bringing their billionaire brand of rap to light recently, appearing on Juicy J‘s “Three Point Stance” with Megan Thee Stallion and “Wigs” with A$AP Ferg. “Come On” looks to be their next foray into twerk rap following the aptly named “Twerk” with Cardi B that appeared on their debut album, Girl Code, that dropped last year.

Listen to “Come On” up above.

Bishop Briggs Is A Shaved-Head Badass Warrior In Galvanizing ‘Champion’ Video

On her 2016 single “River,” Bishop Briggs reached deep into herself, both in the song’s lyrics and via her throaty delivery, to invoke both nature and desire in a potent cocktail. “There’s an implication of a sexual undertone, but it was more about empowerment,” Briggs told MTV News in a 2018 interview. “It was more about facing your demons and facing things that are limiting you to your full potential and facing it head on.”

If “River” was a rallying cry to stand down whatever manipulative angst rolls your way, her latest video for “Champion” makes that empowerment explicit — namely by allowing Briggs to absolutely juice a bunch of dudes in the face.

It’s unclear precisely why, but Briggs is on a Kill Bill-style mission of vengeance here. She even appears as a would-be bride in a desert church and everything. But for most of the clip, Briggs is a militant avenger — shaved head, tank top, can’t lose — out for revenge. She slugs a few guys with a metal briefcase outside a biker bar, then enters and decimates a few more, leaving one intact to retrieve from him something to put inside the attaché: a heart? Symbolism, man.

“I’m a champion,” Briggs sings on the shout-along chorus. By the time you reach the end of this new visual — directed by Tim Mattia — you believe her (if you didn’t before). And if you still don’t, “Champion” is also billed as the first part of what looks like a saga, so there’s still plenty of time for her to change her mind. Stay tuned to see what happens next, and likely what happened before.

Watch the bruising “Champion” video above, and catch it airing today on MTV Live and mtvU.