Monday, October 11, 2004

Tweet track restores balance to universe

Something new, something different
So would you please give a warm welcome to
The Rhythm

Missy always comes back to reconstitute the hip-pop radio formula (she brought us Timbaland, nonsense rhymes that we all memorized, and the first backwards chorus) and she’s doing it again with the new Tweet song ‘Turn da Lights Off.’ Sadly she’s the weakest part of the track but we’ll let her slide because she rights a wrong that always stuck in my craw.
When Biggie dissed ‘Kwame and those fucking polka-dots’ most folk could understand the ‘played-out’ fashion criticism of the Notorious line but, damn, why he pickin’ on harmless ol’ Kwame for a sucker-punch-line?

The man we all know and love (Big, even you know his name is Kwame-eee) has been on the grind in the shadow of that dis for a minute now. Producing as K-1 Mil, he even scored a certified hit with the Lloyd Banks/Eminem seal of approval called ‘On Fire.’ But don’t call that the comeback because it is Missy that realigns the scales of justice when she screams out on the opening samples of ‘Turn da Lights Off,’ ‘Kwame! We gonna take ‘em back like polka-dots.’

The scratched intro along with the pitched up and chopped vocal sample (‘You’ve been so good to me…If-if-if this world were mine…’) combines with a drunken string-sounding sample filtered through your grandma’s old radio and memory. There is Prince-like underwater piano sound that plinks under Tweet’s vocals. The dreamy concoction gets cut through by a rewind here or a backwards drum track there but stays held together by a chopped Tweet chorus (T-T-Turn!-Da!-Lights!-Off!) that sits right on top of the bump!-bump!-bump!-bump! Her high pitch ‘Try to put the needle back on the record…’ balances the screwed down vocals ‘Let’s make a toooooaaast…’ that get sucked down with the distortion of that opening sample.

I’m always waiting for a new Youngbloodz, Freeway or TI song and The Boy Genius is providing the tracks for all of their upcoming joints. Nas is joined on my short list of ‘Hip-hop Artists That Made Me Curious About Will Smith Songs’ by Kwame as he produces Mr. Smith’s next single ‘Switch.’