Shygirl releases raunchy new single, ‘BDE’

Image by Trinity Ellis

You’d be forgiven for feeling as if Shygirl seemingly arrived out of nowhere with her infectiously cool brand of sex positive Y2K nostalgia. Following her debut EP Cruel Practice in 2018, the London rapper and DJ unleashed a string of singles that ushered in a refocusing of her image away from arty avant-gardism towards cyberspace kaybug, adopting the style, motifs, and attitude of 2000s pop culture. The music honed in on this specific aesthetic brand, itself being a blend of early 2000s rave, RnB and pop tropes synthesised for the age of hyperpop saturation and designed to pack a dance floor. These singles would culminate in last year’s ALIAS EP, a defining collection that flexes the rapper’s stylistic versatility and features production from some of the zeitgeist’s most prominent tastemakers. LSDXOXO lends their flamboyant queer techno to sleeper hit TASTY and late progenitor of Shygirl’s pop maximalism SOPHIE boasts credits on SLIME. Her shameless point of view coupled with ALIAS’s ridiculously beat-driven tracks and penchant for lusty pop hooks would catapult her to prominence, marking Shygirl as one of the most exciting new acts in the spheres of pop and electronic music. 

BDE is the latest in her arsenal of sex driven singles, and is a nod to 2000s hip house in the vein of Missy Elliot and Fatman Scoop. Her subject matter, here, is overtly and unashamedly smutty, returning the acronym of “big dick energy” back to the bedroom. Lyrically, BDE follows suit in its horniness. Shygirl once again explores lust and desire, exuding sexual confidence in her demand to “beat that pussy right” and swinging her vocal delivery from deep and seductive to helium-soaked hyperpop processing. The production sees UK producer Karma Kid eschew his usual acid house style to lean into dance inflected hip hop tropes, with pounding bass and kick drums and soaked distortion. Northampton rapper, Slowthai, provides an appropriately unhinged verse that matches Karma Kid’s thumping, brazen percussion in both . 

Compared to tracks like the outstanding SIREN and TASTY which lean more towards Shygirl’s 2000s club influences, BDE continues the explicit hip hop of BAWDY and SLIME but is instantly more accessible than those songs, presenting what may be the artist’s most straightforward pop track. As a continuation of the sonic aesthetic proposed on ALIAS, BDE lacks the sense of tenacity and originality that differentiates those tracks. It’s nothing alarmingly new, nor does it display Shygirl’s daring sense of stylistic experimentation. Though, if considered as a step toward the inevitable evolution of Shygirl into mainstream pop, the track sticks the landing. 

BDE is released as a part of Shygirl’s long form music video project, BLU, which sees her perform music from ALIAS against the backdrop of a glowing, blue neon soaked motorcar. The single is released via Because Music and is available to download here. Watch BLU in its entirety below.

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