The journey of "Wild Thoughts" from low-key curiosity on DJ Khaled's album Grateful to absolutely inescapable bop to onstage dazzler has been fun to follow. So of course, it makes complete sense that its proper celebration onstage at the 2018 Grammys, where Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller linked up, would be just as fun.
"They said I would never perform at the Grammys," Khaled said to lead off the song, immediately before he began to perform at the Grammys. Then, Rih hit the stage clad in a pink gown amid a crowd of nearly mannequin-still dancers to deliver the best line of the entire song: "I know you wanna see me nakey nakey naked."
When Tiller entered the scene, he rapped his verse as he made his way across the stage to Rih, eventually passing the proverbial spotlight back to her to close out the song in a drunken blur of magnificent shimmying. (Editor's note: Several publications and viewers have since pointed out that Rihanna was actually doing the Gwara Gwara, a South African dance, here.) Khaled, meanwhile, told everyone to put their hands up and to keep them up. Good stuff all around.
"Wild Thoughts" — as a "remake" of "Maria Maria," Santana's other 1999 hit, featuring The Product G&B — was in its own unique class of big '90s-hit updates that rolled out in 2017. On the Grammys stage, though, "Wild Thoughts" was a great mid-show wake-up to help all the folks who'd gotten a bit groggy because of the show's marathon length.
But hey, where was Asahd? For my money, Khaled's 15-month-old son was the only thing this performance was missing.
Next time, I bet. The dude's not one to ever pass up a branding opportunity.