A side benefit of the fact that Hollywood is determined to create Fast & Furious films in seeming perpetuity is that every other year or so we are given a soundtrack loaded with A-list rappers and collabs that we might otherwise only fantasize about. While few, if any, of these songs ever push the envelope creatively, the soundtracks do consistently serve up a sizeable portion of microwaveable fun not quite up to the level of a DJ Khaled album, but with an equally long all-star list of artists that warrants listening out of curiosity if nothing else. For the most part, these songs end up amounting to less than the the sum of their parts, with artists having fairly narrow parameters regarding what they can talk about, being that the movies the songs are made for revolve primarily around outlandish car chases and storylines that serve little purpose beyond acting as a segway into the next action sequence. Still, there is something irresistible about artists at the top of the commercial food chain joining forces on the same track, and while very few of these songs stay in memory for long, the film franchise has produced some gems over the years (See You Again (Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth), We Own It (Wiz Khalifa and 2Chainz), and Horses (PnB Rock, Kodak Black, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie)) to name a few.
Ride Da Night, one of the latest singles released as part of the buildup to when Fast & Furious 9 hits theaters on June 25th, is a noteworthy track that joins Kevin Gates, Polo G, and relatively less known rapper TeeJay3k. This song is significant because while the film series soundtracks most closely resemble DJ Khaled projects in the fact that both exhibit an explicit preference for artists that are hot right now, Teejay3k doesn’t fit that typical mold. He’s certainly not a nobody (he generated a healthy buzz for himself through a previous mixtape and is currently garnering a monthly audience of 146,000 listeners on Spotify. However, this is a far cry from the type of numbers most artists who land a spot on a Fast & Furious track are generating, and significantly lower than that of the artists he shares the track with.
Teejay3k takes full advantage of his placement, leading the song with a wavy, goosebump-inducing hook that is easily the highlight of the track. Polo G comes in with a well-delivered first verse that serves as an excellent transition from Teejay’s hook, speeding up the flow but keeping the cadence before the hook comes back again. Kevin Gates, who is one of the most consistent rappers in terms of delivering quality, finds himself in the rare position of being the low point of the song. There’s nothing wrong with his verse per se, however, compared to the content usually found in his songs, the verse is relatively shallow and talks about little besides driving fast, which, to be fair, is pretty in line with what the movies are about as well. Gates feels a little out of place on this track, as his style seems to clash somewhat with that of Teejay and Polo, who in contrast pair together as well as any two rappers you will find. In the grand scheme of things, it is of little consequence, because Teejay’s hook is where the gold is, and is so well-executed that virtually anyone could have filled in the verses without it affecting what makes the track memorable. Hopefully Teejay3k will gain wider recognition from this song and a greater spotlight, as his sound certainly has potential to succeed commercially, and could easily fit alongside numerous other popular artists on collaborations.