My New Favorite Things…

March 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm 4 comments

…are reviews of rap albums by the Times. No matter what it is, it’s great. This review of the soundtrack to “Step Up 2 the Streets” ran last month:

“The song is called ‘Low,’ and it’s a smash: the No. 1 song in the country for six weeks running. But listen closely, and you might notice that it has a split personality. In the verses the rising rapper Flo Rida delivers an agile ode to an agile woman who dances for a living: ‘So sexual/She was flexible/Professional.’ But in the chorus, T-Pain seems to be singing the praises of an amateur. The woman of his dreams is wearing ‘baggy sweat pants and the Reeboks with the straps,’ an ensemble that hardly seems calculated to maximize gratuities.

Happily, these two agree on one thing: the woman in question gets low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low. (No footnotes are provided, but students of the subject may recall the influential work of Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins.) Add brisk electronic production by DJ Montay, including a sharp backbeat, and the result is a perfectly aerodynamic dance track that sounds (despite the lyrics) more athletic than lecherous.

Now ‘Low’ is getting an album release, on the soundtrack to ‘Step Up 2 the Streets,’ the sequel to the 2006 dance-battle movie ‘Step Up.’ And listeners who impulsively (or foolishly?) fork over their $15 for the CD might be pleasantly surprised by what they find. This is a smartly assembled compilation, designed to intrigue dance-pop obsessives. There are two new Missy Elliott tracks, along with recent hits from Trey Songz, Plies and Cupid, whose ‘369’ was a hit in at least one iPod.

Scrutinize the credits, and you’ll also find two new productions from Danja, who helped create many of Timbaland’s recent hits: Bayje’s ‘Impossible’ and KC’s ‘Say Cheese’ both confirm suspicions that Danja is perfecting his own electro-goth variant of R&B. And then there’s Cassie, a 2006 success story (remember ‘Me & U,’ or the toothsome self-titled debut album that contained it?) who may finally be returning to the radio. In ‘Is It You,’ she sings a breezy pop song over four crunchy chords; let’s hope she has a dozen more just like it.”

Thank you to the Times’ Kelefa Sanneh, who writes the most eloquent reviews of music that few subscribers tune into.


Entry filed under: Fun, New York Times.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Afton  |  March 3, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Omigod. I’ve never read rap album reviews in the Times before. Hilarious.

  • 2. Gangsta Shtick « the media nerd  |  June 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    […] Jump to Comments If you’re a loyal Nerd reader, you already know that I love it when The New York Times reviews rap albums.  They’ve outdone themselves this week though, with a review of Lil Wayne’s new […]

  • 3. A Quickie « the media nerd  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:59 am

    […] always, I love it when the NYT reviews rap albums. Here are excerpts from a review of the latest Luda jam: […]

  • […] but most certainly not least…Jon Caramanica did it again: A review of both Flo Rida and Mims’ new albums. “Like other […]


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