Track Review: Khalid, ‘Shot Down’
Up-and-coming teen R&B singer Khalid shows incredible potential on his throwback urban contemporary single, “Shot Down.”
Khalid is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in R&B. That’s amazing considering he’s still a kid – just 18 years of age. IT DOESN’T MATTER. Khalid has already proven he has pipes on his breakthrough single, “Location,” and he continues to flex on the fine “Shot Down.”
“Shot Down” features soulful production work. Yes, a number of R&B records earn this characterization, but “Shot Down” can be classified somewhat differently. The sound isn’t anachronistic, but there’s a clear throwback vibe that is too often eschewed in contemporary R&B. The vocals by Khalid also play into this magnificent retro-soul vibe. The teen has a distinct voice that sounds like it could’ve appeared back in the 1970s (that’s a compliment).
Romance as opposed to sex
Lyrically, “Shot Down” is all about romance as opposed to sex. The song is built upon dedication, as opposed to physical pleasures. Khalid establishes this early on:
“If we’re keeping it a hundred, you’re all that I need for me / From the jump until forever from now, I would ride for you.”
Clearly, he wants to be with her and only her. He confirms the affects and effects of love on the memorable chorus:
“But you got me shot down by love / You got my heart now / Why won’t you stop now? / Oh I’ve been knocked down by you / You got my heart now / Why won’t you stop now?”
Hmm, the chorus suggests there’s some uncertainty – the relationship isn’t locked up. This explains the pain and the yearning in Khalid’s voice. The uncertainty is confirmed in the second verse, where Khalid commits a cardinal sin.
“I been through it whole / I’ve been through the worst / But I never knew how much our love could hurt / Over my family I put you first…”
Clearly, Khalid was deeply infatuated – too much so. His pain is the listener’s pleasure. No, it’s not an instance of schadenfreude, but the kid does a superb job of putting his emotions out there for the world to hear. Ultimately, “Shot Down” is exceptional, setting up American Teen as a potential must-have album (March 3).