Over the weekend “BTSTU,” the Jai Paul demo (and eventual XL single) first posted here three years ago, appeared on a surprise Jai Paul LP posted to Bandcamp. The album has since been removed. In his first-ever tweet Monday morning Paul, who’s only done half an interview ever, wrote, “demos on bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don’t buy. Statement to follow later.” A statement has yet to follow.
Since 2010, “BTSTU” has been famously sampled by Drake and Beyoncé. Meanwhile, a lot of people have shared clips of themselves dancing along with it on YouTube. The dancers’ styles and skill levels are varied, but there’s something drawing them all there. The song is angelic and liquid one moment, hard and robotic the next, built with dramatic pauses. Bouncing off of dance studio walls, its muffled low gets even fuzzier; people pound, pop their shoulders, rise gently on pointed toes. My favorite troupe from the brief survey below is the group of French teenage girls. They’re comfortable and loose, not taking the menace of the I know I’ve been gone a long time/ But I’m back and I want what is mine refrain too seriously, and all the tougher for it.