Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hot Collabo!

Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for collaborations. There is nothing like a group of rappers on the same stage doing what they do. The divergent styles on the same track, one after the other, are literally and figuratively music to my ears. That said, I was surprised to find that I like this song, despite some obvious flaws. Here are some random thoughts I have about this song:

• Is it me, or does Akon sound like Wyclef in this song? I half-expected him to belt out “SOMEONE PLEASE CALL 9-1-1!!!” Akon’s voice was already annoying. Now, he is annoying AND he is using someone else’s voice. Very good rap battles have resulted from such insults. (Which reminds me: Nas’ “Hip Hop Is Dead” is really growing on me, and the conversation concerning the meaning of the album’s title has been fruitful and often times engaging. If nothing else, Nas has started a much-needed discussion concerning the state of rap music and the culture at large.)

• I like the fact that T.I. can flow. He doesn’t need punch lines or gimmicks to get his point across. That is missing in a lot of rap music today: there is an abundance of punch line abuse (Luda) and far too many gimmicks. In the sporting arena great players are simply great, better than the rest. Players who rely on gimmicks or who are “one trick ponies” are good for one or two seasons at best. I do believe that is applicable to the rap game. While T.I. isn’t great (yet), I sense that he is in the midst of perfecting his craft and attempting to achieve greatness. I liken it to D. Wade back when Lamar Odom was still in Miami. I look forward to seeing if he turns out to be Kobe or Vince. The skill set is there; let’s see what he does with it…

• Rick Ross is completely out of place. It’s as if Pattie LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, and a pre-crackhead Whitney Houston were sangin’ their versions of an old Negro spiritual like “God’s Trying To Tell You Somthin’,” and then Brandy walks on stage singing “Sittin’ Up In My Room.” Like I said, completely out of place…

• For that matter, Joey Crack is out of place as well. Has there been a more overrated, disappointing rapper than Fat Joe? When I heard his verse in “I Shot Ya”,” I thought he was going to be legit. Alas, his albums are always mediocre at best, and his best single was “Lean Back.” Yet he still has a loyal audience. Go figure…

• Is anyone impressed with Baby’s verse? I sure am. It’s short (which forces him to relinquish cool points), but I didn’t know he even had that much quality in him.

• It’s getting hard to deny Wayne at this point. He’s good, really good. Not Jay-Z good, but indeed good (eloquently put, if I may say so myself). And since he’s taking the Beyonce approach to marketing (completely deny there is a such thing as overexposure), he’s positioning himself to claim King status of the next generation of rappers (whoever they are).

1 comment:

Brother Lightness said...

TI's verse is absolute fire. Seriously, I feel like I'm listening to an instrument when I hear his flow.

(As usual) I was less than impressed by Baby's verse. Did he even spit 16?

Why is DJ Khaled allowed to even have his name on this song? From what I understand, he didn't even produce the track.

The footage of Khaled and Ross driving in reverse is taken straight from Biggie's "Hypnotize" video.

TI and Wayne, alone and on this beat, would have been a better use of resources.