Thursday, May 13, 2010

Electrocute a barracuda, I'm here to bring the drama

55. Craig Mack - "Flava in Ya Ear (Remix ft. Puff Daddy, the Notorious B.I.G., Rampage the Last Boy Scout, LL Cool J, and Busta Rhymes)" (Bad Boy Entertainment, 1994)

Before we get to the complete headfuck that is LL Cool J's verse on here, let's discuss the stuff that's good in the conventional sense. First, there's Easy Mo Bee's beat, an unquestionable East Coast Rap classic, two notes and hazy waves that are perfect whenever they come in. It's not Biggie's best verse ever, but it's still a Biggie verse. Busta is 1994 Busta, so he's one of the most joyfully unhinged rappers ever. Mack has "your album couldn't fuck with one line," which is wonderful (in a recursive way) because if that's true of any line Craig ever said it's that line itself. Rampage is solid if unspectacular and Puffy, well, it's actually kind of impressive how sure he was of his impeding world domination (even for a rapper), considering they were pretty much just getting started here.

But the LL verse is what really elevates this to sublime. Remember this was after 14 Shots to the Dome, a relative commercial failure for him, and just before Mr. Smith, which had "Doin' It" and "Hey Lover" and pretty much established the grown up loverman LL we have today. So the vocal style at the beginning of his verse does, I think, prefigure that sort of thing, more calmly seductive than on his late 80s songs for the girls. But the content! What the fuck?
Uh! blowticious
skeevy (mmmm)
Give me cous-cous, love me good
Hollis to Hollywood, but is he good?
I Guess like the jeans, uh!
Flava like pralines
sick daddy knaamean?

They way people use the term "ironic" when it comes to enjoying music means either "enjoying something bad" which, you know, why would you, or "enjoying something for a reason opposite to which it was created" which, you know, how the hell would you know and who cares? Is it safe to assume from his MO directly following this song that LL thought screeching "HEEESHEEE" was sexy?

However you explain my enjoyment of LL's verse here, it's good enough for science to rocket this song up to #55 on our countdown. We should all be using the word "blowticious" more often.