Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Ron Browz – Cheese & Crackers



Michaelangelo Matos: A quick check of Urban Dictionary nets “A nickname for a girl whose vagina smells of cheese and crackers” (uh, great), “The very wrong act of wearing white socks and sandals” (er, doubt it), “A respectful alternative to, ‘Jesus Christ!'” (something tells me if that’s what Browz meant to say, he’d say it), and something too stupid to bother cut-and-pasting. Anyway, stupid metaphor, lame chorus, and a production job I’d like a whole lot more if it were attached to something else.

Martin Skidmore: I’ve not heard anything quite like this — all sorts of off-kilter and off-key sounds thrown into the mix, plus tuneless backing vocals on the chorus, with Browz having fun on top. I suspect he is a more interesting producer than rapper, not that his rapping is bad, and I want to hear lots more of him.

Ian Mathers: This has the dumbest sounding, most annoying hook on a rap song in many a day (at least among those we’ve covered here). I feel like someone more talented than Browz could have done something with that dangerously listing, quesy sounding synth hook, but here it just sounds goofy. Bonus demerit points for resurrecting “p-noid” from that awful Clipse song.

Kat Stevens: I loved “Trap Goin Ham”, a song dedicated to the wondrous foodstuff that is ham. I adore ham (and pies). So to be logically consistent I should also like “Cheese & Crackers”. The problem is that low quality ham (e.g. the sort of ham you get on pizza) is still pretty tasty and just a little bit of extra time and effort can make it a true delicacy. Whereas cheese is a more complex beast: shit cheese doesn’t even taste of cheese, and even with posh cheese the categories of flavour veer so wildly apart that it’s difficult to say confidently “I will like this cheese because it is cheese” (difficult but not impossible). If this was brie, I’m sure it would be palatable, but I have an awful feeling it’s that gruyere sitting in the fridge that I’m too scared to unwrap from its clingfilm so I can chuck it in the compost.

Jordan Sargent: I have a problem with the general conceit of this song. If cheese isn’t good enough, I usually go for a fine pork product of some sort. And it’s not like chanting “cheese with salamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” would be any more retarded than this song already is.

John Seroff: As mindless club cuts go, you could do worse that “Cheese and Crackers”; there’s a solid danceable beat under all that bullshit and a siren hook that’s eminently easy to segue to and from. As hip hop, it’s not particularly adroit, clever or original. As a producer/rapper Browz is more 2010 Timbaland than ’05 Kanye. As music you’d choose to listen to off the dance floor (or critical) path, it’s wholly unnecessary unless you really need a bookend to Cam’s “Cookies and Apple Juice” on your nappytime snacks mix. Choose your poison.

10 Responses to “Ron Browz – Cheese & Crackers”

  1. I like cheese and crackers but it’s a bit of a step down from ohhhh! pop champagne!, isn’t it?

  2. Mathers, did you just cast aspersion on one of the greatest rap songs of the last decade?

    For shame.

  3. It’s a rather large step down from “Pop Champagne”.

    It is kinda bizarre what passes for NYC club-rap these days. The best moments in this subgenre (I’m thinking stuff like “Chicken Noodle Soup” or the original, non-Dipset version of “Pop Champagne”) are the ones that completely abandon any pretention of rappiness and just go in whatever weird direction they want. This doesn’t.

  4. To make it clear, I don’t actually like “Cheese & Crackers” the song, I like cheese and crackers the food. Camembert or brie, for preference.

    I don’t even dislike Hell Hath No Fury (that much) but even at the time I thought it was obvious that “Nightmares” was the worst track on it, and “p-noid” the worst thing about “Nightmares”.

  5. Do you like cheese and crackers more than ham or pies?

  6. Definitely more than ham (though…does pepper salami count as ham?), depends what’s in the pie. Cheese and crackers is my default snack though, and a good cheese >>>>>>> most things in the world.

    Goddamn I can’t believe I didn’t get to host my annual port and stilton evening this winter.

  7. Lex, I have no opinion about “p-noid,” but “Nightmares” isn’t any kind of worst song. The tepid Neptunes keys have a queasiness perfectly suited to the song’s theme, and the way the music stalls for a minute and a half before the actual rapping starts enhances the sense of unease. Then the rapping itself is fantastic, especially the clarity of the last verse: the Geto Boys bite, the sorrowful but matter-of-fact statements like, “Something’s wrong with me; niggas don’t get along with me,” and the ugly, haunted nature of “Was it that nigga I took his powder with a smile/Pray to the lord the gun don’t pop and hit the child.” Or the way boasts about luxury goods dissolve into paranoia: “Top off the coupe, that’s how JFK got shot.” The song has a real sense of dread in it. It’s masterfully done.

  8. heh, i think nightmares was one of my fave tracks of that year.

  9. I think Nightmares was one of my least favorite songs of the last decade. The Geto Boys bite is shameful. The rapping is not fantastic. Pusha does a bad Willie D imitation, Malice ends with a verse with, “until then I’m Leonardo, Catch Me If You Can.” Yes, and I am Marlon Brando – THE GODFATHER. Then you’ve got the incredibly literal, “do you not get what paranoia is, maybe I will explain it to you then” hook. And yes, tepid describes the beat rather well.

    As to this song, I (a) like the beat well enough, but (b) think Ron should stick to autotuned yodeling. Pop Champagne was terrific (as was the Obama remix, hearing that guy singing “VP Biden – oh-h-h, pop champagne” is priceless), stick to that sort of shit. 4.

  10. “but it’s a bit of a step down from ohhhh! pop champagne!, isn’t it?”

    If that’s even possible …