Monday, 12 July 2010

2006 The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge and Avery Storm: Nasty Girl

In a neat squaring of a rap feud circle, former 2pac rival and East Coast rap star Christopher George Latore Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls aka The Notorious B.I.G.) gets his own posthumous UK number one some eight years after his own drive by shooting. Like 'Ghetto Gospel'before it, 'Nasty Girl' has undergone some post production from the original track to get here. A great deal more; Small's rap on 'Nasty Girl' is lifted from his own 'Nasty Boy' and then coupled to a completely different and decidedly un-hip-hop dance template borrowed from Chic (specifically, 'My Old Piano') and augmented by a pot pourri of living rap stars who chip in with their own ten cents worth on alternate verses in a kind of 'Rap Aid' but without the charity, making it far less of a 'solo' effort than the 2pac single was (there's a whole album of these posthumous duets should you be interested).

That new backing softens the menace of Small's original rap and fits it out with a commercial edge that rolls as smoothly as a tray full of ball bearings, yet for a genre forever keen to keep it real, 'Nasty Girl's new disco strut leaves it sounding remarkably false. The lads are on fine 'fuck dem bitches' locker room form throughout ("When I, whip it out, rubber no doubt. Step out, show me what you all about. Fingers in your mouth, open up your blouse, pull your G-string down South. Threw that back out, in the parking lot, by a Cherokee and a green drop-top, and I don't stop, until I squirt, jeans skirt butt-naked it all work"), but this brand of jock misogyny requires membership of a club I've never been keen to join; rap as a genre and B.I.G. as an artist are both better than this. Smalls himself is a big character but he's given so little room to breathe he becomes a supporting act, Banquo's ghost (literally) at the table of peers dining out on the weight of credibility his name adds to a song that neither they nor it really deserve; I don't doubt the intentions behind the whole 'Duets' project might have been pure, but this is all just so very unnecessary.

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