Review: “Cheat” by Mahalia feat. JoJo

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

Remember the good ole days when labels would commission collaborations between their new and veteran artists? Warner Music hasn’t forgotten: “Cheat” by Mahalia feat. JoJo teams the up-and-coming UK R&B singer with the ever-underrated icon JoJo for the second single off Mahalia’s upcoming sophomore album, “IRL.” Not only does it take sonic inspiration from late 90s and early 00s R&B, but its music video (featuring a bedazzled RAZR phone and MySpace) does too, for what is essentially “The Boy Is Mine” (Female Empowerment Version).

Calling on JoJo to jump on the track was a wise choice. Boasting nearly 20 years in the game, her signature sass and seasoned soulfulness add weight to this vibey anthem. Effortless in their harmony of voice and message, the pairing is perfectly complementary. JoJo manages to serve a subtle reminder of why she’s that girl — but keeps it cute by never attempting to overshadow Mahalia’s shine.

For many, this track will be an introduction to Mahalia, who, with this fresh delivery of a throwback sound and proving she can hang alongside JoJo, proves she’s one to watch. If it were 2003, this definitely would’ve been a summer anthem… and if the people of today have any sense, it’ll prove true for 2023 as well. Once a cheat hit, always a cheat hit.

Watch the video or stream “Cheat” by Mahalia feat. JoJo


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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.