Lana Del Rey, Quavo – ‘Tough’; A Country-Trap Masterclass

It'll set the internet on fire...

Lana Del Rey signalled her intentions a few months back to make a country album. Yet it begged the question: what exactly is country in 2024? A glimpse at the latest Billboard country charts doesn’t help, either – the songwriting veers from plastic pop to trap beats via the odd (increasingly rare) dose of classic-sounding country.

Somehow, Lana’s new Quavo collaboration is all this and more. At once a whispered incantation worthy of the rolling plains, it doubles as a trap-house hymn, managing to sound utterly true to both locations.

Questioning the meaning of ‘country’ in 2024, the initial clip on social media went viral – clocking up a staggering 40 million views on Instagram reels with a tantalising teaser.

The full single is out now, and it’s a sure-fire hit. Condensing Lana’s catalogue into a single three-minute outburst, it’s hugely atmospheric, an incredible pop song that speaks from the heart.

Quavo’s input feels integral, an amazing collaborative sensibility that makes the song potent and whole. The hook purrs with barely constrained violence, a paean to beauty and ugliness: “Tough like the scuff on a pair of old leather boots/Like the blue-collar, red-dirt attitude/Like a .38 made out of brass/Tough like the stuff on your grandpa’s glass…”

Out now, ‘Tough’ is equipped with a stellar video shot by Wyatt Spain Winfrey, a tale of doomed lovers that recalls Bonnie and Clyde – who, after all, raced across the American south-west.

Our verdict? 8/10

Need more Lana Del Rey in your life? Her long-awaited country album ‘Lasso’ is set to be released in September, with Lana telling the crowd at a private Billboard event the material was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Nashville, Mississippi. “If you can’t already tell by our award winners and our performers, the music business is going country. We’re going country. It’s happening,” she said.

Related: Lana Del Rey: Her 21 Best Songs (So Far…)

Photo Credit: Wyatt Spain Winfrey

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.