Trap beats swirl around some thumping, pumping piano (is that a Korg M1pre-set I hear?) that’s immediately reminiscent of the sort of 90s tunes that troubled the charts with a slick regularity.
The chords of the piano riff have been played at bone-crunching velocity, with notably close harmonic and discordant notes all thrown into the mix to make it thrum like a sore thumb.
It’s clever, and demands attention by its very declamatory nature. Agenda set, then. Money is brutal, and so is this aspect of the production. (Incidentally, I was initially put in mind of Britney’s Baby One More Time because of it, but that can’t have been deliberate, can it?).
What sets this apart from those 90s tunes is the modern twist of vinyl noise (I know that’s kind of a contradiction!) and vocal flow – all helping to make Cash Checks ATM a tune for right now.
As with many songs about money, the sample of a cash register is present and correct, but we also have a metronomic and icy muted keyboard sound picking out spooky arpeggios in the background. This, coupled with the crunching simplicity of the piano riff, creates the perfect backdrop for some skittering and syncopated raps, both of which feature heavily.
The intro experiments with phasing and slowing vocals down to create spot effects, and there are similar production tricks throughout, punctuating Cash Checks ATM with interesting ear candy moments. Even more interestingly, the raps themselves are, it seems to me, in the voices of different characters with different accents. There’s also a harmonic and melodic nod to Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking in the ‘You got money / Money, that’s what I want’ phrases. All these references and tweaks and turns make me guess about the motivations behind Cash Checks ATM, but they would only be guesses.