Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

B.o.B. ft. TI & Playboy Tre – Bet I

The modern rapping man is a complex beast. Sometimes he is happy…


Jonathan Bogart: In which Bobby gets showed up. His genial old-school flow worked great on the classicist “Nothin’ On You” and didn’t get in the way on “Airplanes,” but T.I.’s on autopilot here and he’s rapping rings around him, as is the otherwise undistinguished Playboy Tre. It’s a pleasant enough get-together, but shouldn’t a statement of purpose sound more, you know, purposeful?

Al Shipley: This song would’ve been more convincing earlier in B.o.B.’s career when he seemed more like a ’90s Dungeon Family nostalgist than a devotee of The Love Below, but it’s still a strong posse cut where he gets handily outshined by both his superstar mentor and his less famous sidekick.

Rodney J. Greene: Ever since I took to his debut single, 2007’s “Haterz Everywhere” (notable as likely the first rap song smart enough to swipe the trance-synth-as-hook idea from “My Love”), I’ve been waiting for B.o.B to release another rappin’-ass rap song. This isn’t quite as satisfying as I had envisioned, because, to B.o.B, “tough” apparently means loud and disjointed. This isn’t too surprising, as the videos for his two more street-minded singles both betray an unconvincing theatricality, but such a characteristic didn’t affect his actual rapping on that previous effort. His veteran guests here know better, though. T.I. is especially lucid, finding ways to incorporate the fad of “garbage bag” punchlines without them sounding corny or, their greater sin, disruptive. In fact, he’s fairly hilarious, especially when he promises to “put ’em down under Australia, Sidney.”

John Seroff: The production elevates nicely over B.o.B. on “Bet I”, biding time until TI and Tre show up. There’s plenty to entertain in the meanwhile: fuzzed out metallic echo chamber coughs, machine gun percussion and loopy figure-eight electronic flute fill the space snugly. It’s noisy and engaging in the same expansive way as “Shutterbugg”; both are rapid, maximal, tilt-a-whirl rides.

Matt Cibula: This lost a point — because what kind of manager would bat T.I. in front of Playboy Tre? — but withal an enjoyable booty-bouncin’ bragfest, minimal in many senses (including in originality and vision) yet still fun and effective.

Ian Mathers: Sometimes this kind of belligerent confidence can come across as winningly brash; certainly, T.I.’s biggest hits demonstrate that. But here he’d be better served by more laid-back menace and less frantic wordplay, which plays less like he’s eager to get back to business and more like he’s trying too hard. It’s still better than the relatively anonymous B.o.B., whose delivery suits the middling production well enough that he practically disappears. It’s down to Playboy Tre to inject some personality into the song, and he mostly does that by having a vaguely annoying voice.

Chuck Eddy: Bet I…am not the only person who who’d rather hear B.O.B. with Hayley Williams. (Unless I am.)

Additional Scores

Michaelangelo Matos: [6]
Martin Skidmore: [7]

3 Responses to “B.o.B. ft. TI & Playboy Tre – Bet I”

  1. T.I. does a fairly good job here.

  2. You’re not, Chuck.

  3. lol “garbage bag”