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Song review: "Who hurt you?" By Daniel Caesar

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"Who hurt you" was the first Daniel Caesar release since his wildly successful debut album Freudian was dropped in August 2017. Even though he appeared on a song alongside Unknown Mortal Orchestra on The Free Nationals's "Beauty & Essex" just a few weeks before this song was released in October 2018.

The song is a bit special. Caesar said that a stripper from Atlanta’s Follies strip club, which he gave about $3400, inspired him to make this song. So the song is like a letter to find her. The day before the release of the song, he created an ad which he took down very quickly, on Craigslist to find her.

It reads: 
Voluptuous beauty at Follies on a Tuesday. Blonde wig. You danced on me all night. I threw about $3400. You said you liked my gap. You gave me your number but I lost my phone. I hope I find you. Please email me. Btw, I wrote a song about you, it’s called “Who Hurt You."

Produced by Matthew Burnett & Jordan Evans, already long time associates of Caesar with whom he co-founded his indie music label, Gold Child recordings, the track aptly features T-pain's vocals during the chorus. It is an unashamed ballad to sexual desire,  mimics and remembrances slow sex at night with all the crests and troughs. 

It opens with single guitar strums and a hypnotic synthetic voice that stays in the background almost throughout the song, changing with the flow of the song. The drums begin with a slow rhythmic beat intended to mesmerise the ear and Caesar's voice comes in as he croons "Take me back to Georgia, back to Atlanta/Funny how present turns past/I might fly Priscilla out just for 'Bana/So mesmerized by that ass/The way she moves it I can tell that she loves me..."
With those few lines, he immediately singles out the object of his desire.
The song slows in the refrain and the pre-chorus where he confesses his weakness and accepts it "You make me feel so primal and/That's what I am, I'm just a man" 

The chorus picks up as Caesar begs for a taste of the cookie. "Take that pussy, drop it in my lap/I love it when you move like that." The song brings to mind intimate bodies in a nineties nightclub, painted with muted neon lights, suspended in time, the air thick with alcohol, weed and the promise of all-night seduction. With T-pain's voice and legend in the mix. On the second verse however, Caesar changes his voice and his style, it almost sounds like a trap verse. He proceeds to talk in detail about that night and the woman's body, comparing it to strippers in Vegas and New Orleans who don't measure up and also made a reference to the money he spent that night. "Not one stack or two/Look at all the cash I blew."

On the second refrain, his voice reverts to his signature style. He goes on to employ his sultry falsetto in the second pre-chorus, along with the harmony of backup singers. The effect is a mesmeric romancing of ears, hearts and naturally tumescent organs for some, especially when he gets to the final chorus which ends the song with that slow thumping rhythm. 

A Review Of Daniel Ceaser's Who Hurt You by Moses Chimeremeka


December 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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1 Comments

  1. I haven’t heard the song but the review gives a detailed explanation of it. It also has me interested in listening to the song👍🏾 Keep up the good work

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