On July 16th at 12AM EST Normani made her long awaited comeback with “Wild Side (feat. Cardi B). Just hours before the release of the song, she sat in front of a screen on Instagram live chatting to her fans. “Shout out to my fans, two years of no music. Like, yall really have been my support and like I said, I know I’m not the easiest,” she says as she lovingly thanks her fans for their unwavering support. After delivering a song that has strong production, visuals, and vocal performances, she is looking at a successful performance on the International music charts. 


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Since the release of “Wild Side,” Normani has seen immense success with over 17 million music video views on Youtube in its first week. Topping the iTunes charts and placing on several Spotify playlists. Earning her highest debut at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, the song is set to become a summer favorite. 



Raising the bar with songs like “Waves” and “Motivation,” Normani has cemented her spot as an artist to be on the look-out for. “Wild Side” veers away from her 2019 upbeat pop single “Motivation.” Taking on a more mature sound for her single, Normani takes full authority over her sexuality.  

Incorporating the sounds of 90’s R&B, Normani manages to keep her sound familiar and timeless. Already known for her nostalgic usage of 90’s and 2000’s imagery, she incorporates complex dances and sensual beats reminiscent of Aaliyah’s “One In a Million.” These little hints are one of the many ways she manages to show respect and give her flowers to the greats who came before her.


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The song catches the listener immediately with 808’s, drums and the sounds of birds singing and chirping. Normani’s sugary sweet vocals and harmonies add depth to the song on the second chorus and third verse. In her music video, a bridge is added to the song where Normani’s harmonies are especially prominent. Her one liners such as “load it up and doot – doot – doot” (which has been a popular lyric amongst fans) are catchy and engaging. Producer Starrah’s melodies and adlibs on the outro are well incorporated throughout as she says “pull up in a err mm Benz, make me say ah, let me do that shit again.” Which sends the song off in a way that is meant to stay stuck in the listeners head. 



Directed by Tanu Muiño and creatively directed by Maxime Quiolin, the music video for “Wild Side” is artistically captivating and expressive of Normani’s vision. Known for her visuals and outstanding music videos, the release displays Normani’s ability to execute well thought out music video experiences. Leaning into Afrofuturism, Y2K and 90’s aesthetics, all four minutes and five seconds are worth watching. Starting off with Normani placed in a red room, the music video is eye candy. Incorporating dynamic camera work and editing, the video is technically strong. 


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Adopting Y2K and Afrofuturism, Normani dances with ease to her second verse. The backdrop of the video is a roof top which veers away from the red color scheme in the video. The modern building in the backdrop and Normani’s leather outfits are reminiscent of artists like Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot and Ciara. Aside from her many choreography scenes, she also manages to elevate herself as she dances to a mirrored version of herself. Her choreographer, Sean Bankhead, revealed on Twitter that Normani even went to the lengths of learning both sides of the dance for the ease of editors. 

Centering Black people in her videos, Normani incorporates Black creatives in front of and behind the camera. Sean Bankhead’s creative visions for Normani display a celebration of Normani and Black culture. It is necessary to pay attention to the work that Sean has been doing with Normani. With decades in the industry, some of his most recent projects include “Up” by Cardi B and “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X. Incorporating difficult choreography that highlights Normani’s talent, he also makes it interesting and fresh. It is clear that Normani and Sean are able to come together and create intricate work. 


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With her brash delivery, and explicit lyrics, Cardi B’s “Wild Side” verse has been a hot topic on the internet. Normani revealed on Instagram live that after hearing the demo of “Wild Side,” Cardi B wanted to be on the song. With an eye for talent and record of supporting artists in the industry, Cardi B’s support for Normani comes at no surprise. Advocating for the record to be pushed, Cardi B has continued to uplift Normani. Though she is carrying a child, Cardi’s commitment to her music and music shows as she embraces Normani in the music video. 


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Cardi B also can be heard singing on the song. Already delivering a brash rap verse, she then switches on listeners with a soft and soothing vocal. Singing parts of the last chorus, she manages to show her own wild side. 



Normani showed love to her fans throughout the week by interacting with fans’ tweets frequently. Whether it be a simple retweet, like, or response she made sure to let her fans know how much she appreciated their support. Although very vocal about the long wait between music releases, Normani’s fandom “Nation” showered her in love and praise for the track.

The hype has definitely spread as “Wild Side” has sold over 100,000 units in the first week, a clear indication that Normani’s future as a solo artist is bright. With her debut album on the way, Normani has imprinted herself as a prominent artist of this generation.


You can listen to “Wild Side” on all music streaming platforms!

Want more new music? Check out our breakdown of D.O.’s debut mini album Empathy!


Thumbnail courtesy of @normani on Instagram.