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Normani (Feat. Cardi B), 'Wild Side'

Fine, lesson learned: Don't rush Normani. Thursday night at midnight, two years after 2019's "Motivation" single, the singer-dancer dropped "Wild Side," a sultry video with Cardi B that pushes the Fifth Harmony breakout star one step closer to pop sensation. Hinging on a sample of Aaliyah's classic R&B standard "One in a Million," "Wild Side" was directed by Tanu Muino (who also helmed Cardi B's "Up") and choreographed by Sean Bankhead. The video amplifies the single's debts to the past: dance moves inspired by Janet's Rhythm Nation; visuals reminiscent of TLC, Blaque and Missy Elliot; and a direct nod to Golden Hollywood entertainer Debra Paget. And under all the pastiche is the intoxicating charisma of a star performer, a rare find these days, basking in the shadows of her foremothers.

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LaTesha Harris is NPR Music's editorial assistant. A relentless jack-of-all-trades, she takes turns writing, editing and producing music coverage. Invested in the culture behind pop, hip-hop and R&B, her work highlights the intersection between identity and history. Once in a blue moon, Harris moonlights as a talking head with no filter.
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