Should Have Been Bigger: Britney Spears’ “Make Me…” Deserved More
Being a Britney Spears fan is not for the weak of heart. There are a lot of soaring highs and crushing lows that go into stanning the Princess of Pop. But luckily, she never lets us down for long. She proved just that with “Make Me…” in 2016. After the travesty of a personal album gone wrong (Britney Jean), she turned things around with the lead single to her appropriately titled 9th LP Glory. The track, a collab with G-Eazy, signified a much-needed return to creative risk-taking.
After 17 years of launching eras with dance floor bangers or saccharine bubble gum, the Holy Spearit explored a new direction with the ethereal midtempo produced by Burns. Laying her voice over a production lush with outlandish synths, she urges a lover to take her to another level. She only wants one thing: to be made to “ooh.” And her collaborator delivered a surefire verse of his own. All things considered, it looked like a serious hit. So much so that the bop almost immediately claimed the top spot on US iTunes.
Not only that, but it debuted at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. In doing so, it became her 20th Top 20 hit on the chart. Really, legends only. However, the quirky pop delight could have been so much bigger. B-Girl was poised to ride it at least into the Top 10 if not higher with a planned performance at the 2016 VMAs. But disaster struck when the song’s original music video (directed by David LaChapelle) was scrapped at the last minute for unknown reasons.
Brit dropped a hastily thrown together visual courtesy of Randee St. Nicholas. Suffice to say what we got was not exactly up to par. As fans rallied behind petitions to see the original, buzz died out. Even her long-awaited return to the VMAs (another underrated event) wasn’t enough to rekindle the fire. Had things gone a little differently, “Make Me…” could have changed the trajectory for the era. But by the time we got a truly solid video for “Slumber Party,” there wasn’t enough life left to send that track up the Hot 100.
Instead, the single lives on as a reminder of the magic that happens when Britney Spears pushes the boundaries of pop. Revisit the gorgeous gem below.