Sunday, 2 May 2010

2004 Usher (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris): Yeah!

A double collaboration of sorts; not only does 'Yeah!' see American R&B star Usher join forces with fellow rappers Lil Jon and Ludacris, it's also a fusion of hip hop and it's offshoot 'crunk' (which, for the uninitiated, has been defined in the Oxford dictionary as "a type of hip-hop or rap music characterized by repeatedly shouted catchphrases and elements typical of electronic dance music, such as prominent bass". So now you know). But old funk/new crunk, there's nothing new under this particular sun and, typical of the genre, 'Yeah!' is all about the ladies. But while it's tone is upbeat celebration, its relentless three note riff comes hard enough to deflect bullets and it carries a song charged with a machismo of sexual aggression that leaves me uncomfortable. "Forget about the game I'm a spit the truth, I won't stop till I get 'em in they birthday suits. So gimmie the rhythm and it'll be off with they clothes, then bend over to the front and touch your toes" - the three leads are on crotch grabbing form, but their jock, locker room bragging is no more than the Mr Hyde to the Outhere Brothers' gooning Dr Jeckyl. Yet though it sells itself largely to the same demographic, there's no fun in 'Yeah!' at all, and for all its shiny surface it has a dark, emotionless heart that reflects precious little light or warmth. Ciara would have something to say about this soon enough.

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