It's Pretty OK
Solving the paradoxes of our time since 2016


A Pretty OK Song: "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin


It's that time of year once again: time for Spotify to recap the egregious amount of time I spent listening to music in the last year. The statistics can be a bit unsettling, but I do love the Top Songs playlist. I get a kick out of seeing which songs made the list and trying to figure out which ones missed the cut.

So in honor of Spotify’s Year in Review, let’s talk about my most listened-to song of 2018: Offset and Metro Boomin’s “Ric Flair Drip.”

Let’s start by defining some terms. What’s an Offset? In case your head’s been in the sand for a few years now, Offset is one of the Migos. (He’s also the guy who keeps obnoxiously pestering Cardi B about taking him back. You keep track of celebrities however it makes sense for you.) And Metro Boomin? He only produced some of the biggest rap tracks of the last five years (“Tuesday”, “Bad and Boujee”, “Mask Off”, etc. etc. etc.) and crafted a production style that would come to be imitated by countless others.

[Editor’s note: His production style may be iconic, but that doesn’t change the fact that seeing a producer “in concert” is terrible, as I learned, fittingly, when I saw Metro “perform” in Richmond in 2015 as an opening act for Chance the Rapper.]

Despite their collective fame, I got on the Metro Boomin bandwagon pretty late, and the “Ric Flair Drip” bandwagon even later. In the episode of Song Exploder breaking down “Killmonger” from the Black Panther score, composer Ludwig Göransson name-checks Metro Boomin’s beats as one of his influences, which definitely sparked my interest.

Hearing a Swedish film composer drop Metro’s name brought me to the party, but what is it about “Ric Flair Drip” that I couldn’t resist?

The mere act of listening to it makes me feel tough and intimidating. The tense, ominous beat helps me power through tough climbs at the rock gym. The 808-based drums are low and heavy. A light, eerie piano melody floats over the top, painting the picture of a midnight hour where you can’t help but feel that something bad is going to happen.

Offset’s rapping doubles down on this vibe; his raw, almost cruel snarl reminds me of Pusha T, who would also be an ideal match for this beat. And the ad-libbed oohs and yahs that Metro adds don’t feel overdone in the way they sometimes can. In this case, they make you feel like Offset—who is selling the tough rapper persona hard— is backed up by an equally menacing crew. The lyrics paint a classic gangster-rap picture, with references to money, women, and violence that dovetail perfectly with the production.

I'm not sure what I expected to reign supreme as my top song of 2018, but I’m not exactly surprised that it was “Ric Flair Drip.” What about you? Was your top song unexpected?

Until next time.

-Ian Wood