Tate McRae is officially Gen Z’s pop girl. In the days leading up to its Nov. 17 release, a snippet of the singer’s song “exes” went viral on TikTok. This highly anticipated track is the second one McRae has dropped ahead of her sophomore album, Think Later, which is set to be released on Dec. 8. If this track and the upcoming album’s lead single “greedy” are any indication, fans should brace themselves for more gritty yet heartfelt bangers. Throughout this era, McRae has drawn inspiration from early 2000s pop music, and I’m seated for some of McRae’s best work yet.
In her own “exes” music video, McRae included a few nods to Christina Aguilera’s music video for her song “Dirrty,” despite not even being born when this smash hit came out in 2002. A couple of the most obvious ones include the Xs on McRae’s shorts and her dancing inside of a boxing ring.
The music video gave a lot of fans of sense of nostalgia, given the fashion and scenery. “Watching exes took me back to the early aughts and the number of times I would study/do Brit & Xtina choreo in front of full mirrors before even attempting to fully learn the lyrics of a song,” one user wrote on Reddit.
Fans were also quick to notice how McRae took full advantage of her background as a professional dancer for the music video. Before posting covers on YouTube, McRae won Best Dancer at the 2015 Dance Awards and competed on Season 13 of So You Think You Can Dance the next year. Her live performances have always featured impeccable choreography, which more fans are getting to see in the “exes” music video. Judging by X (formerly known as Twitter), to say that the people are here for this song and music video would be an understatement.
Just like I would’ve guessed, McRae is a huge fan of Chrisitna Aguilera and even expressed her admiration for the iconic singer during her November 2023 cover story for Billboard. “When I look at my favorite icons or videos or performances, it’s always the biggest pop stars, so I think that’s always a goal,” she told the outlet. “I think what defines a pop star is how iconic [they are]: Madonna, Britney [Spears], Christina [Aguilera]; they would put on these shows and blow everybody away and make timeless art.”
I’m obsessed with McRae’s breakout era, and cannot wait to see what Think Later has in store for us.