Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Screenshot: Wiz Khalifa (YouTube)

There is no reason to expect much of anything from the Sonic The Hedgehog movie. Now that the blue creature has been redesigned to smooth away his awe-inspiring anatomical idiosyncrasies, the movie looks like it’ll at best just be an okay exercise in brand-boosting nostalgia indulgence that, hopefully, some people enjoy watching before immediately forgetting what they just saw as soon as it’s over. And yet, despite erasing the ‘hog’s compelling original visual design, robbing this generation’s children of a formative series of nightmares, the people behind the film have managed to at least find one more way to make their work unique: recruiting Wiz Khalifa to make a wild music video for an actually-pretty-good promotional track.

“Speed Me Up,” as its title warns, is littered with goofy references to the Sonic games. Verses featuring Khalifa and guests Lil Yachty, Ty Dolla $ign, and Sueco The Child treat us to lines like Yachty’s incredibly funny “stand in my lane/best friend named Tails/balance running on rails, as well as bits about Knuckles and “rings of gold.” But, if you ignore that stuff (and the frequent Sonic game sound effects), it’s also a catchy as hell song with a music video that, while incredibly dumb, is a cornucopia of hilarious imagery. Khalifa blows into a Genesis cartridge and gets sucked into the game, transforming into a pixelated version of himself who, along with the track’s guests, runs fast enough that his legs turn into blurry circles. They also avoid Robotnik’s evil drones and visit 16-bit-style versions of sets from the movie, which are then shown through clips of the actual film.

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The history of promotional tie-in songs is littered with shit like Vanilla Ice rapping about ninja turtles, Chad Kroeger over-dramatically wailing about superheroes, and Will Smith creating novelty tracks themed around movies he stars in. In lieu of the many, many, many moral implications of digging out Michael Jackson’s probably-existing Sonic-themed songs, this is probably the most listenable movie promo song we could have hoped for. If nothing else, it also backs down from the implicit threat of the first Sonic trailer’s baffling use of “Gangster’s Paradise” as its soundtrack, letting us know that no, that track probably won’t be used for a credits sequence.

[via The Verge]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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