1520 Sedgwick Avenue: February 6th, 2009 Friday, February 6, 2009Posted by Andy Hutchins in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Rockabye.
I didn’t get the list I wanted to run today done in time.
I blame this song entirely.
Keri Hilson’s long been one of my favorite female artists out there, mostly because I almost automatically esteem the songwriters who give other people their words before they hit as solo acts. In Hilson’s case, those words became “Gimme More” and “Break the Ice” for Britney, the great “Ice Box” for Omarion, and part of Ludacris’ “Runaway Love.”
But she’s clearly got some stuff left for her debut album, which has been delayed and delayed and delayed (this is the third single to come from it, but the first to crack the Top 20 of any chart), considering the sharp writing here. She deftly flips from turn-ons to turn-offs, sexy and strong throughout, and it even crossed my mind that her verses make this sort of a bizarro, club-ready “Fallin’,” especially the “better recognize a real woman,” because, surely, this song demands that you respect Hilson rather than salivate over her.
Oh, and then there’s Lil Wayne’s low, humming verse, which races along with the thrumming, head-bob-ready beat beautifully. (More on the beat: it’s smartly dropped from time to time, and a smart key line showing up every so often; Polow Da Don is rapidly approaching a monopoly on this sort of underproduced, infectious wonder as other producers search for the right bombast.) Wayne trots out the tired alien metaphor and “make it rain,” but also calls his ice “albino white,” says “I hope your piranha bite,” and basically fills all the nooks and crannies of the beat with his voice and some light Auto-Tune. If he was only rapping “banana” over and over in the same tone, it would sound just as perfect for the beat; lost in some of the unfounded claims of Wayne as Best Rapper Alive is how good, technically, he really is, and he’s put on a clinic on beat-riding and voice control here.
I’ve played this about thirty times in the last two days. You will, too.
Update: like any good song, this one’s layers peel back over time, and I have to drop back in to praise the “Ay! Ay! Ay!” that recurs throughout. Just fills the sonic scenery.