Good MusicNote 6.11 23 MIKE WILL MADE-IT FEAT. MILEY CYRUS, WIZ KHALIFA & JUICY J

I think that’s how many times Miley sticks her tongue out in the video.

single: “23”

artist: Mike WILL Made-It featuring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J

Mike WILL Made-It (hereinafter “Mike”) is the It producer of the moment, following in the footsteps of Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, and the like. Smartly, he has capitalized on the buzz by releasing his own single, complete with immaculate, crisp hip-hop flourishes.

Much like DJ Khaled, he has maximized his own lack of innate star power by enlisting members of the current A-List in hip-hop: Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J.

The wildcard (with emphasis on “wild”) is Miley Cyrus, who was added to the single late. Mike is the production wizard behind Miley’s breakout coming-out jam “We Can’t Stop.” After recording Miley’s song, she offered to record a verse for MIke’s song.

And wonder of wonders, it works. Miley is not a rapper or a rap hook singer by nature, but what she is… is talented. She bites off exactly as much as she can chew, channelling Trina and Ke$ha to lay down a simple but effective verse, then deliver a killer hook with aplomb, without reaching to sound “hood.”

Miley, Wiz, and J are rapping about some standard-issue recreational nonsense, with a general Michael Jordan motif (Jordans sneakers and his jersey number, the inspiration for the song title). It’s cool nonsense, delivered just as crisply as Mike’s arrangement.

But that’s really the point of this record: Mike’s in charge, and his production skills are on full display.

And so are his music connections.