Photo: Jonathan Weiner
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
The similarities between Sub Urban and Bella Poarch are readily apparent. Both saw their careers launched by pivotal, viral breakout moments, the former's single "Cradles" quickly going viral on TikTok and the latter currently holding the record for most-liked TikTok video. And with the release of her debut single, "Build a Bitch," Poarch added another commonality between the two - the desire to create a transfixing, haunting vision for pop that directly challenges the prevailing norms of the genre.
"Inferno," the collaborative single between Sub Urban and Poarch, unsurprisingly then arrives as a twisted piece of macabre pop art. Over flitting, surreal production that feels like a waking nightmare in the best possible way, the two trade verses that range from historical beheadings to flirting with the idea that Poarch is the reason hell's so shot. The entire infectious affair plays out like a coquettish grin, reveling in the subversive star power of its two primary anti-heroes.
However, underneath the production theatrics and radio-ready choruses, there lies a deeper, vulnerable message. "As a survivor of sexual assault, this song and video mean a lot to me," shares Poarch. "This is something I haven't been ready to share with you just yet. It's very hard for me to talk about. But I'm ready now. I decided to express myself by creating a song and video with Sub Urban based on how I wished my experience went. It's a fantasy I wish was true."
The accompanying video sees a litany of guest appearances from fellow viral stars, including Pokimane, Valkyrae, Bretman Rock, TommyInnit, Adin Ross, and more, all of who assist Poarch in bringing her fantasy to life. As the video reaches its conclusion, and the fantastical air spurred on by the track fades away, we are left with the bittersweet, relative quiet of Poarch hoping to enjoy her night, scored by the muffled sounds of revelry and glasses clinking in celebration.
Watch the "Inferno" video below:
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to contact the RAINN-operated National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 or chat online at online.rainn.org. Both are confidential, free, and open 24/7.