Whoa - AYLØ, Amaa rae

Best New Music: With Amaa Rae, AYLØ’s “Whoa” is a sweet sultry tribute to lost love

If Sza’s “Love Galore” is the song about two exes ruminating on the state of where they are and where they left things, AYLØ’s “Whoa” would be the premise for that kind of toxic relationship

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Like Travis Scott’s grungy second verse on “Love Galore”, AYLØ comes into “Whoa” with a slight irritation. “Baby Whoa, hit the door won’t cha?/ I’m on a low/ don’t hit my phone/ What you want from a nigga?”, he sings with a languid calm. One would presume his refusal to be more sentimental about his proposition is a show of willpower, but AYLØ’s craft thrives on such moments of candour and realism. Any one who has ever pursued a lover knows, the process requires a balance of self-worth to hide insecurities like you hear when AYLØ raps “Oh you don’t think I’m man enough/ give me time the boy be planning stuff”.

Ironically his partner on the single does nothing to quell his self-doubts. Amaa Rae’s uncanny entry does not only dismiss AYLØ’s vexation as the musings of a bitter suitor trying to brag his way into her heart, it also eclipses his presence on the song as a whole. Coming in with a sultry voice that stirs with the accompanying ghostly back-up vocals, Amaa Rae’s verse almost levels at the spiritual; self-assured, omnipresent and precise. Rae wants to hold on when she airily sings “I’d be fucking tripping If I let you go”, but elsewhere she also jokingly asks her lover “Don’t you like thumbs in your ass?”. It’s cheeky way to ease the sparks (or tension) between them, but it also indicates her remiss about his pitch.

While AYLØ’s presence calibrates the narrative for “Whoa”, Amaa Rae transforms the track into the perfect tribute to late night phone calls with past lovers that never really go anywhere or want to fix anything. Perhaps, as sensually and sweetly as Amaa Rae sings as though to taunt her amour, it was probably always more lust than love all along.

Stream “Whoa” by AYLØ below.

This post has been updated for clarity

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