Not even going to lie…when we heard about this remix, we were worried.
We love Bruno Mars and Cardi B can definitely make a jam, but the two of them occupy distinct lanes when it comes to music. Cardi is very wrapped up in her modern sound and Finesse, while a bop, is so rooted in its nineties vibe that we thought she might not fit in with the overall aesthetic that made the song so good. Of course, the worry at the opposite end of the scale was that the production of the song would be entirely changed to a more trap beat and leave the throwback vocals in place, making for a different kind of train wreck that would leave Mars looking crazy.
But damn if they didn’t do the thing and leave our worries in the dust.
Cardi B starts out the new rendition and her flow is perfect for the New Jack Swing of this bop. The fact that she comes with the same vibe as Mars–throwback sound with modern elements–and makes it seem like she does it all the time is no small feat. She was engaging and managed to bring a fun tone to her delivery without losing the confidence of her more serious tone. We know that she can do it when she’s speaking, but that can be hard to translate when you’re trying to ride a beat and she did just fine.
As for Mars, if you’ve heard the original track, nothing has changed. He still sounds great, conforming his tenor sweetness to the era the song reflects and owning it completely. Considering that he still manages to dominate the track despite Cardi’s big personality says a lot for the singer’s stage presence and confidence in his abilities. There seems to have been a little mixing done on the vocal balance to make his fronting sound pop a little more over the full harmonies, but it’s a good fix and really makes the adlibs he does stand out.
As for the visual itself…IN LIVING COLOR baby! To say that my nineties baby heart skipped a beat when they went from the iconic first season intro to The Fly Girls stage is an understatement. It’s basically a performance video, but it’s done in an interesting way and will make those of us who still have them pull out our Cross Colors and dance around.
We already liked the song (per our review) but this just put it over the top and showed that you can never guess what someone is capable of delivering until they’ve tried it. We wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t but a fifth track with Cardi B’s name in the Billboard Top 10 and renew purchases of Mars’ album in the process. Well done.