Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Chris Brown & Tyga – Ayo

Death, taxes, new Chris Brown singles that want covering…


Mo Kim: In which Chris Brown brags in stream-of-consciousness about his sex life over a synth loop someone made in Garageband then forgot to turn off.

Crystal Leww: DJ Mustard quickly became the figurehead of rnbass in 2014, kicking the year off with “Show Me” already strong on the charts and “2 On” in January. Nic Nac garnered plenty of attention for his work on fuckboy anthem “Loyal,” but he’s not new to the sound: Sean Kingston’s “Beat It” and Zendaya’s “My Baby” both came out mid-2013. In the meantime, Nic Nac’s kept himself busy, cranking out textbook rnbass tracks “Wake Up In It,” “Nothing,” and “Fuck with You.” “Ayo” has him teaming up with the ultimate R&B fuckboy Chris Brown yet again, this time joined by Young Money punching bag Tyga. Against all odds this is great, with the added joy of that “I need you!” lurking in the background, almost like it’s borrowing technique from the British pop-house beat constructionists who pitch shift and warp old R&B samples and drop them into their songs. Chris Brown and Tyga are both singing nonsense, but it doesn’t matter when that “Ayyyyyyy-oh!” drives the whole thing forward. If Mustard’s tag was heard again and again in 2014, we’re going to hear a lot of “letmeseeyou!” in 2015.

Micha Cavaseno: Where Nic Nac differs from buddy Mustard is the ravelike sample gasps riddling his productions. Here, they serve as equal bursts of sudden digital evanescence, a UK garage-like ghost in the subs of this R&B gem. The real problem haunting this record, however, is these two stalled-out braindead ex-TISA posterboys. Like bad horror movie series that never go away, Tyga and Bris Breezy are nagging voids where characters should be, and without the shock of the new or the guide of a firmer, more forceful hand (Ty$, where are you when we needed yo?) this song is flat-lining and lifeless. Also, someone somewhere get Chris Brown to stop rapping; he always ends up sounding like a cross between a chihuahua and Igor from Frankenstein.

Anthony Easton: His politics are odious, but his voice is angelic, and he is enough of a brown-noser to know who to choose and how best to use them. This is almost as morally problematic as his last one, but it’s also really fucking catchy. 

Patrick St. Michel: It’s basically “Loyal” except with the mean-spirited hook swapped out for something ecstatic. 

Michelle Ofiwe: Another song about nothing from Karreuche’s ex-boyfriend and Drake’s understudy. The most notable thing is when Brown sings “all my bitches got real hair” — a blunt dig at Black women who, as everyone knows, wear weaves 24/7 (what’s “natural hair?”) Hair has always been a factor for some Black men in the dating pool when determining who is desirable and generally easier to “handle,” so it doesn’t surprise me that Brown would sing the line with such ease. It’s still uncomfortable to listen to as a woman who still remembers when “Loyal” ruled the airwaves. Also, this beat blows, and is clearly Nic Nac’s impression of DJ Mustard, who is always doing an impression of himself.

Katherine St Asaph: I get my share of nihilistic joyless bullshit from life. I don’t need it from music.

John Seroff: Not content to only shit up what would otherwise rightly have been one of the best songs of last year, CB and Tyga inevitably reunite to shit up this “Loyal” cash-in as well. Baldly misogynist punchline raps and Jerky Boys-nuanced droogishness have been this duo’s stock in trade from jump, but “Ayo”s dominating lyrics are notably knuckleheaded and moribund even by their uneviable standards. “Bring the animal right out of me” sounds less like one of Breezy’s patented what-me-worry domestic violence double entendres and more a muted plea for someone, anyone, to inject a semblance of life to this rote retread.

Alfred Soto: “Car stink like ammonia” — what the hell? “I’m gonna bring her ass down when she bring her friend around.” They’ve mastered a cheerful, brain dead malevolence, I guess.

Brad Shoup: In the end, it turned out the most thug shit of all… was love. Also not killing pedestrians.

Luisa Lopez: When I was a teenager, I was living in suburbia and hanging out in parking lots with my friends after school or driving to the beach in the evenings with the radio so loud it made the other cars sound like sweet soulful cats. We called them rock music car rides, but it was really pop songs and hip-hop we loved; they were forceful sounds, sometimes joyful, often nonsense and they echoed the mania of our hearts which were pumping weird blood in those days, turning dull days into oracles and emptying out canals where we could shout the grossness of our longings and hear them carried back to us (she bring her friend around, fuck ’em both like —). We swore a lot and said things we didn’t mean. Nostalgia leaves a lot of room for forgiveness, but that’s a room I don’t think I’ll ever be able to meet Chris Brown in; so in light of that, I’m breathing easy when I decide Tyga’s verses are the ones that elevate these four minutes out of ugliness and into a misguided celebration, some kind of muddy waterfall where we can look at our own reflections and let our limbs move. That’s a place I can stay for a few minutes.

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5 Responses to “Chris Brown & Tyga – Ayo”

  1. welcome, Michelle!

  2. Welcome, Michelle! That is an awesome first blurb.

    This song sucks.

  3. Coming out swingin’! Welcome, Michelle :)

  4. “Lookin in the mirror like ‘I wish I could be me.'” [-10]

  5. Thanks everyone! Very glad to be here!