On May 24th, the official song for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, “Live It Up” by Nicky Jam feat. Will Smith and Era Istrefi, produced by Diplo, was released.
Does this one live up to the hype of being No. 6 on the Youtube trending page? Let’s discuss.
NOTE: This review will over-analyze everything, which is the point because no one is tuning into the World Cup for the song, but there are definitely people that will seriously review this as something with substance.
First off, you have to realize that Diplo, an EDM artist, produced this, so the song has a very hard dance-like feel, almost overbearing. The song is very Latin/South American-influenced, just ideal for a football tournament in Russia.
I would’ve used Slavic hardbass because when you’re in Eastern Europe, you should make it known that you are in Eastern Europe.
At no point in the song do they bring up soccer, so that doesn’t really make sense for a song written for the biggest tournament in the world. I mean, FIFA could’ve easily just taken the Champions League song and just bass boosted it to avoid copyright infringement, or just kept it the same since they’ve gotten away with about every illegal thing they’ve done to date.
Istrefi’s voice is very powerful and melodic on the track, but I feel like the verses of the song, not just hers, were very bland and non-substantive. I mean she repeats the line, “One life, live it up, ’cause we got one life” way too much.
We get it. Everyone has one life. This isn’t “Rick and Morty,” where there are an infinite number of universes and alternate timelines, so you don’t have to keep shoving it down our throats.
Then, it’s Will Smith’s verse, just 38 words long. In those 38 words, he repeats the word “one” eight times. Eight times. Imagine “Panda” by Desiigner, but converted into a verse for the 2018 World Cup Song.
Then, Nicky Jam raps in Spanish, which is just the worst idea for a song that will be blasted around Russia. Not saying that rapping in Spanish is bad, but just recognize your listening audience. Again, Slavic hardbass is a much better alternative.
There are 24 lines of “oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh” and the comma is necessary so that you can differentiate which “oh” you’re listening to. Each one is significant because when you listen to music, you listen for the “ohs” and “yeahs” and “uhs.”
At one point, I think they accidentally allude to the Olympics, and it pretty much sounds like a modern version of “Go The Distance” from the 1997 Disney animated film Hercules, just delete the heroic tone and add in Diplo as the producer. Basically the same message from both songs, but one has Danny DeVito and one has Will Smith, so which one is really better??
My overall analysis of this song is that “Hercules” is an animated classic that is underrated and not respected by Disney movie purists to the degree it should, there should definitely be a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion and I’m super hyped for season four of “Rick and Morty.”