The ongoing promotion for Warner Brothers/DC Comics full-length Hot Topic ad Suicide Squad continues, with music front and center throughout. Suicide Squad: The Album is a fascinating mix of the absolutely expected (Did you really think you’d get through the movie without hearing Eminem’s “Without Me”?) to some baffling covers (Panic! At the Disco doing “Bohemian Rhapsody” seems like a stretch), to some fascinating collaborations. Noteworthy among them is “Purple Lamborghini,” a Skrillex/Rick Ross collab, and intriguingly, “Standing in the Rain,” which features indie-rap darling Action Bronson teaming up with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and producer Mark Ronson, whose upbeat, horn-fueled pop arrangements for Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen helped both of them take Britain by storm.
The most recent news in all this is the music video for “Sucker for Pain,” which hit last week and showcased a massive collaboration between Lil’ Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, and X Ambassadors. That’s insane. There’s no denying the star power behind it,and there’s no telling how much money went into making it happen. DC has recently released a behind-the-scenes video as part of their DC All Access feature. The video features the various musicians talking about their involvement with both the song and the shoot before jumping into the actual music video in full:
All in all, it’s catchy enough. It doesn’t break any new ground in the world of music or lyrics, but if you like any of the people involved, it’s fun to see them all thrown together. The songs sits on a hook by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, which you may know for their hit “Radioactive,” or from being Tumblr’s favorite band. They can certainly set a mood, and if you like the mood they set, you won’t be disappointed here.
Some of the verses here feel a little perfunctory. Ty Dolla $ign gets the ball rolling, but he doesn’t really display any of the drollness that got him attention for sitcomesque concept songs like Paranoid. Logic’s verse doesn’t really break any new ground lyrically, but it stands out. He chooses to emphasize the film’s apparent theme of makeshift family instead of hammering home the “pain” theme of the hook, and turns in some nice flow and nimble delivery here. Ultimately, his upbeat-but-intense verse injects some energy into a track that’s catchy enough but in need of a little bounce.
Lil’ Wayne is either the world’s biggest genius and a massive troll, or else a holy fool who strikes gold sometimes. Look at songs like “Mrs. Officer” or his verse on Drake’s gloriously ludicrous “I’m Goin’ In” (not at work, obviously) and you can’t deny there’s talent there. When Weezie is on his game, there’s nothing more fun in the world, but his sense of quality control is dismal. Fortunately, he brings his talent to bear here with a verse that’s appropriately cartoonish, boasting of his ability to withstand any pain the world can throw at him in a way that’s reminiscent of RZA’s song for The Man With the Iron Fists.
(Let’s just go ahead and watch that, by the way, because it’s a masterclass in the comic exaggeration that rap was built on, and quite possibly the greatest rap single to ever come out of a movie.) Well, almost the greatest, anyway, Cradle 2 Tha Grave notwithstanding.
While Lil’ Wayne doesn’t quite reach the absurd heights RZA does, he also doesn’t have nearly enough time to get rolling, and what he does turn in is charmingly outsized.
Wiz Khalifa’s international stardom continues to be a thing that exists. His music video for “See You Again” with Charlie Puth became only the tenth video in YouTube history to crack a billion views, which seems to have as much to do with its status as Paul Walker memorial than with the song itself. The attitude is in place, but his ability to deliver on the promise of his swagger is sort of hit and miss, and honestly his effort here is a little underwhelming. This isn’t even the best use of Wiz Khalifa by WB/DC. That honor goes to the LEGO Batman Movie trailer, for its brilliant use of “Black and Yellow.”
Sam Harris from X Ambassadors gets a moody outro, which gives us some nice harmonies and a little bit of sexy slink, but unfortunately fades out before it gets to go much of anywhere.
All in all, it’s a solid song. It’s probably better than a lot of what we’ll be hearing on Top 40 as summer kicks into high gear. If you’re not a fan of this kind of thing, it’s a perfect storm of obnoxious and you should probably stay indoors for the next couple of months. If you like the people involved, it’s a treat. If you don’t care one way or the other, it’s a perfectly inoffensive star-studded rap banger that you’ll probably catch yourself humming a few times. In any case, it’s an enticing teaser at some of what’s up next. We’re still holding out for that Rick Ross and that Bronsolino, though. The full tracklist is below:
01 Skrillex & Rick Ross” Purple Lamborghini”
02 Lil’ Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, & Imagine Dragons – “Sucker For Pain” (Feat. Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, & X Ambassadors)
03 Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
04 Action Bronson & Dan Auerbach – “Standing In The Rain” (Feat. Mark Ronson)
05 Kehlani – “Gangsta”
06 Kevin Gates – “Know Better”
07 Grace – “You Don’t Own Me” (Feat. G-Eazy)
08 Eminem – “Without Me”
09 Skylar Grey – “Wreak Havoc”
10 Grimes – “Medieval Warfare”
11 Panic! At The Disco – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
12 War – “Slippin’ Into Darkness”
13 Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”
14 ConfidentialMX – “I Started a Joke” (Feat. Becky Hanson)