Shygirl and slowthai Collaborate in New Electro Hit “BDE”

Image credits: Trinity Ellis / Rolling Stone

With the release of her latest 15-minute music video—or shall I call it a film—BLU, people are talking more and more about British singer-songwriter and rapper Shygirl, born Blane Muise in South-East London.

Throughout the video, Shygirl—who, despite her stage name, does not seem to be shy at all— changes stations on her car’s radio, which is conveniently playing songs from her debut E.P. ALIAS: I’m talking about songs like SIREN, SLIME (co-produced by late producer SOPHIE), TWELVE, FREAK, BAWDY, and her latest single, the sex-positive anthem “BDE,” featuring Northampton rapper slowthai. The strong erotic energy of the track proves how the rapper is following the steps of many other artists whose lyrics could be classified as dirty rap, like the music of Chicago rapper CupcakKe.


Qveen Herby’s acoustic live version of her song “BDE”

The term “BDE” aka “big d*ck energy” is not new to the music scene: Nevada rapper Qveen Herby wrote a song with the same title featured in EP 5, later explaining in a video by YouTube channel Jubilee that she was using the term as a metaphor to explain that her creativity has big d*ck energy.

On the other hand, Shygirl’s definition of BDE is far more literal. She repeats countless times, almost like a mantra, “beat the p*ssy right,” and that she needs a “big d*ck boy;” while slowthai’s version of that same line is “read my lips, I need a thick chick toy.”

Whether you call it a music video, a film, or a visual project, BLU really stands out for its visuals: while in most of today’s music videos you might find half-naked females twerking all over the place, in BLU, Shygirl is sitting in a convertible car the entire time, her face partially covered by what looks to be a see-through face mask.

But where’s slowthai? Well, he’s laying on the floor next to the car, singing in a microphone as if he was giving a live performance. Although the two are portrayed next to each other in the single’s cover, they never touch nor look at each other in the music video, which is also a peculiar choice that surely makes the circumstances even more unique.

What are Critics Saying?

Shygirl’s film BLU (2021)

Pitchfork reviewed the song shortly after it came out: “songs about sex can sometimes feel over-workshopped and unnatural, but one of Shygirl’s greatest strengths as an MC is her ability to write for the club,” they wrote, praising the “pounding kick drums with casually flung-off bars.” They concluded that “Shygirl’s ‘BDE’ feels like an instant calling card, a purer distillation of the slick sex raps that have defined her recent ascent,” comparing her to what Missy Elliott managed to achieve during her time.

Finally, let us not forget about slowthai’s contribution to the track. The best way to describe it is through the words of Salvatore Maicki from The Fader when its editors included the song in their list of the “10 songs you need in your life this week:” “’BDE’ is very, very much within the realm of what we know Shygirl does well—it’s horny, it’s gross, it’s incredibly strange—but that’s of little concern when the results are this good. Add in a wild, psychotically thirsty verse from Slowthai, and you’ve got a late-breaking song of the summer contender.” slowthai not only brings his unique style to the song, but he also adds his fair share fair of horniness in a song that is literally about the famous concept of “big d*ck energy.”

What else is there to add? All that is left is for Shygirl to take over today’s music scene with a much-awaited full-length debut album.

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