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City Girls, 'Twerkulator'

Built from two dance floor classics — "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa and "Percolator" by Cajmere — City Girls' latest single, "Twerkulator," bounces between sensually whispered hooks and bombastic verses guaranteed to induce a twitch of movement in even the grumpiest of grandfathers. From gaining traction through TikTok's "Twerkulator" challenge to a publicized behind-the-scenes sample clearance issue, the song has been subjected to months of social media discourse, creating a mythos that extends beyond two minutes and eighteen seconds and turns Yung Miami and JT into de-facto mascots of Hot Girl Summer.

Now paired with a nonsensical Missy Elliot-directed music video, "Twerkulator" has positioned itself to be the anthem for post-pandemic liberation. It's the first song that, to me, feels genuinely free of anxieties that dominated the past year, making it the perfect song to reclaim releasing our collective inhibitions. It's rowdy, memorable and hypnotic: this, paired with the still-futuristic syncopation of "Planet Rock," situates the City Girls as alien beings, coming in peace to take over. It is, in fact, time for the twerkulator.

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Reanna Cruz is a news assistant for NPR Music's Alt.Latino.