The World Cup is coming to Russia this summer, and tournament organizers FIFA have just unveiled the tournament’s official song, which doesn’t even sound remotely Russian. It doesn’t even feature any artists whose countries will be represented in the tournament. Instead, it’s a Diplo-produced and vaguely Latin-flavored EDM jam that features generically motivational vocals from Puerto Rican reggaeton star Nicky Jam, Albanian Kosovar pop singer Era Istrefi, and West Philadelphia born-and-raised Will Smith.
In the past, World Cup songs like Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)” have at least made some attempt to nod toward their host countries. That is simply not the case with this year’s “Live It Up,” though it’s a bit tough to imagine how a Russian-influenced global pop banger might sound. Reuters reports that some fans aren’t happy with the way the song doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the tournament. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that it’s not a good song.
“Live It Up” is a uniquely forgettable song, a combination of overexposed past-decade pop tropes and Will Smith huffing about getting it poppin’. All the people involved are presumably getting paid a bunch, so good for them, but all you soccer fans should mentally prepare yourselves to hear this one a bunch while the TV broadcast cuts to commercial. Here’s the song:
Remember Will Smith won the first Grammy? And they ain’t even recognize Hov before Annie.