On first listen Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III was drop-dead stunning — even worth sitting through “Lollipop” to hear gems like “3 Peat” and “Phone Home.” I mean: “I’m rare, like Mr. Clean with hair”? Ace.
But too often this unabashed pop crossover opts for gooey R&B hooks with the likes of T-Pain and Babyface. There’s a time and a place for all that — like when the Wordsworth staff drops the top on the LeBaron and kicks some summer jams on the way to Myrtle Beach — but these rap/R&B hybrids can result in the most grotesque of lyrical abominations. Rap and R&B are like cousins: They act similar and get along really well, but they should NOT make babies with each other.
Slate‘s Jody Rosen nailed this dichotomy in her column about ringtone bestseller Akon:
It’s pointless to complain about hip-hop sexism at this late date—but it is dreary to find it seeping into R&B, once an oasis from rap’s brutish sexual politics. The larger problem with Akon’s “love songs” isn’t moral but aesthetic: the brain-numbing banality of another ode to a big-booty stripper whose “pussy get wet” when a playa flashes his cheddar. The poetic imagination at work here is summed up by the title of Akon’s biggest hit to date (in its unbowdlerized album version): “I Wanna Fuck You.”
And from thence comes “Mrs. Officer,” one of Lil Wayne’s more syrupy entrants into the library of sexual congress. The hook:
When I get up all in ya
We can hear the angels calling us
We can see the sunrise before us
And when I’m in that thang, I’ll make that body sang
I make it say wee ooh wee ooh wee…
That last bit’s kinda nice actually, a breezy police-siren melody just annoying enough to ring in your head all day. But there’s nothing romantic about the sticky way Bobby Valentino promises to “get up all in ya.” It’s like replacing a dozen roses with a six of Smirnoff Raw Tea and a box of Magnums. Maybe some E, if it’s Valentine’s Day.
It’s unclear who wrote those lyrics: Wayne, Bobby Valentino, or producer Deezle (who also did “Lollipop”). So in the name of justice, we’re putting them all in the Registry.
Throw in Akon, too. I wouldn’t trust him around my sister.