Kendrick Lamar owns his moments in the pop spotlight and “The Greatest,” his partnering with enigmatic pop artist Sia, is no different. Though on paper lines such as “I transform with pressure – I’m hands-on with effort, I fell twice before my bounce back was special” scan as inspirational hokum, they’re positively thrilling in the throes of the song’s electro dancehall bounce. (Sidenote, it’s been a good year for dancehall as both Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” collabo with Sean Paul and Drake’s “One Dance” have hit number 1.)
For her part, Sia carefully careens all over “The Greatest.” Only in the chorus, with its proudly defiant “I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive,” does she ever really take the time to stretch out her uplifting message. Elsewhere she insists “I’ve got a stamina.” By the time this bundle of energy wraps up, you absolutely believe it. This one has stamina and agility and endurance. It’s not just enough. It’s more than enough.
(The video, which sadly doesn’t feature Kendrick Lamar, is an eye-watering tribute to the Orlando nightclub shooting.)