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Katy Perry and Juicy J’s Trap-Minded ‘Dark Horse’ Easily Beats the Spread

Dr. Luke and Max Martin-produced 'Prism' track is a winning bet despite clumsy lyrics

picture-18576-1373300776By: Marc Hogan // September 17, 2013

In Katy Perry’s most recent pop-culture cameo, her name stood in as a surrogate for whiteness. “Inside’s whiter than Katy Perry’s face is,” Jay Z raps on Drake’s recently surfaced Nothing Was the Same finale “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2.” (It’s a rhyme with “not racist.”) For the pop singer’s latest track, she teams up with Memphis rap icon Juicy J for what is essentially hitmakers Dr. Luke and Max Martin’s version of the spare snap of Southern trap music. The lyrics are every bit the cliché salad of her October 18 album Prism’s previous single “Roar” — “So you wanna play with magic? … Are you ready for a perfect storm?” — but as with that song, it’s an obvious hit, with the soaring hooks and sleekly sculpted production to rattle trunks just about anywhere.

Considering Perry also features this year on John Mayer’s acoustic ballad “Who You Love,” her latest is also a sign of surprising versatility. At the very least, it’s definitely no punchline.