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Released: 2022Features: ShygirlWith “papi bones” by FKA twigs featuring Shygirl, we dive into a sultry, entrancing, and unapologetically confident mindset. The song is a celebration of liberated sensuality and the potency of dance as a form of self-expression and power.

“Let me tell you somethin’, yeah? Gyal that can wine or gyal” introduces the central theme immediately: it’s about a woman who exudes confidence through her dance. Here, “wine” is a style of dance marked by sensual and rhythmic body movements, popular in Caribbean culture.

“You had to call John Johnny, UK dance hall general! And right now me ah gon’ introduce her song” highlights the UK’s rich dancehall scene, which blends cultural traditions with modern club music.

The repeating chorus: “Don’t stop, don’t stop, Papi, papi, don’t stop…” serves as an commanding incantation, symbolising the relentless spirit of the titular “papi” dancer. The “Papi” title could refer to a romantic interest, pushing the narrative of the dancer enticing them with her captivating movements.

In the line “Strong grip, gripping on my body”, FKA twigs is singing about being in control of her body while dancing, showing that she’s not just performing for others, but also for herself. The follow up, “Eyes wide shut, we can rock ’till the morning” suggests a transcendent dance floor experience, vivid yet dreamlike.

The lyric “Papi got an itch, I could pacify”, allows an interplay of roles here—the dancer as both temptress and soother. The addition of “Tell me when, tell me where I can read your body fine”, suggests connection and mutual enjoyment over mere performance.

Shygirl’s verse, “Don’t stop, backtrack if you wanna tap dat, Real steady, in fact, can you even handle that?” adds a cheeky, defiant angle to the narrative, challenging the listener with her confidant dance abilities.

Ultimately, “papi bones” presents a picture of empowered dancers fully in control of their bodies and their environment, using their moves to exert power and command respect. It’s a dance track that goes deeper, intertwining movement, music, and the power of self-expression into a delicious, heady mix.

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