After taking the inspirational route with her highly successful first single “Roar”, the Queen of Pop Katy Perry has finally decided it’s time to get darker with her music. “Dark Horse”, the first promotional song lifted from her third album ‘Prism’ is definitely unlike anything we’ve ever heard from the Queen before. For one, it’s the grittiest beat she’s ever rode in her career, and for two, it features Oscar-award winning rapper Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia. On “Horse”, Katy explores her witchy side as she sings about the connection between love, heartbreak, and magic. The beat switches from hip-pop to trap during the chorus, adding a true urban feel to the promo single. With his odd delivery, Juicy J comes in towards the end and raps “she’s a beast so I call her karma, she’ll eat your heart out, call that Jeffrey Dahmer”. Upon first glance, you would think that Juicy J would be the last person to call for a feature for an A-list artist, but since the rapper is now signed to Katy’s producer Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, it’s a no brainer. Once the industry insider reviews began to surface regarding Katy’s upcoming album, I was worried that she wouldn’t have a bonafide song for hip-hop clubs, but “Horse” proved me wrong – it’s possibly one of the best urban releases of the year. Listen to the studio version of “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry (featuring Juicy J) below.
Live performance review:
With a song with the caliber of “Horse”, you would think an equally impressive dance breakdown would come with its live performances. Sadly, we’re dealing with the “queen”, who feels that a song’s message is enough to sell it – no vocal theatrics or #8counts necessary. As the album gains momentum over the next few months, this song will cross people and they’ll want a quality live performance. The #katycats may not get a Beyonce-eqsue “Dark Horse” live number, but we’ll get some great Katy moments to enjoy instead. Dancing isn’t my queen’s forte, but consistently presenting great music is. Katy’s first performance below is a less-than-stellar attempt to sell the song’s urban mantra to a crowd of live viewers. The predictable #dropitlikeitshot routine, booty bounces, and a live vocal proves to be too much for Katy. However, the second performance features a stripped-down version that echoes more sentiments of pop than hip-hop, but is still just as watchable. Sadly, both performances miss the mark, leading me to believe that inspiration (rather than crunk) should be the focus of Katy’s live performances. Watch the first two official performances of “Dark Horse” via the iHeartMusic Radio Festival (1) and iHeartKaty ‘Prism’ Special (2) below.
[iHeartMusic Radio Festival]
iHeartKaty ‘Prism’ Special