Monday, July 31st, 2017

Yo Gotti & Mike WiLL Made-It ft. Nicki Minaj – Rake It Up

Why they gotta say it like Short?


Joshua Minsoo Kim: I always laugh (in a good way!) when listening to Too $hort’s “Freaky Tales” — the reverbed vocals, minimal 808s, and repetitive lyrics make it feel like it’s really never going to end. But that’s what makes the track all the more interesting: they conjure up an anhedonic haze that runs antithetical to the song’s intent. “Rake It Up” dares to sample the classic gooey bassline but both Yo Gotti and Nicki Minaj aim for the song’s cool demeanor without any of the panache or sense of humor. The unfortunate result is a song that’s mostly tedious, hurt more by nigh serviceable raps that find the two unable to transcend the bassline’s sinister lurch.

Ryo Miyauchi: A revelation this year is that Mike WiLL can’t really make good West Coast bass. I get neither rapper here hails from the Left, but the slow crawl of the bubbly electro bass, tinny clicks and Too Short’s biyatch! are ingredients fit to cook up a trunk-knocker from Oakland. Perhaps because this is made by Mike WiLL, the beat’s materials remain static in this vacuum-like void, including Yo Gotti’s equally flat delivery.

Jonathan Bradley: Just cause you know Short Dog (the real Short Dog) is no reason to recycle his better hits for a half-hearted half of your second verse. It’s particularly poor form following a characteristically inventive Nicki verse that has a lot to say about automobiles, China, and the myriad sexual connotations they might contain in recurrent combination. Yo Gotti, a thick-tongued and tough-minded rapper is not a convincingly sexual presence, which is a problem for a song he introduces as “the strip club anthem.” It shows; Gotti’s most engaging lines here are those establishing his business bona fides (“I was sendin’ bricks to Harlem back when Jay was still with Dame”). 

Thomas Inskeep: Another “strip club anthem,” zzzzzzz. Except that a) Mike WiLL should be ashamed of this lazy-ass simple beat, b) Yo Gotti is a terrible rapper, c) with terrible lyrics, and is a woman-hater to boot, d) and is Nicki trying to spend 2017 dropping one weak-ass verse after another, ruining her rep? If so, she’s definitely winning. This is hands down one of 2017’s worst.

Will Adams: A sleepy performance from both Yo Gotti and Mike WiLL isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s hard to find anything to highlight beyond the rapid-fire hook. And if you’re waiting for Nicki Minaj to salvage this, prepare to hear her rhyme “China” with “China” about five times.

Micha Cavaseno: Years and years ago, I learned that GQ Magazine had the nerve to say Too $hort is one of the worst rappers of all time. Now, the obvious lesson to be learned here is to not trust a magazine that thinks LeBron James can dress himself. But the lesson I’m reminded of is that rap fans will love a rapper who has no obvious redeeming qualities and many will disregard as being one of those things nobody “actually” listens to. Because Yo Gotti has definitely not been a man who kept Memphis as a Southern rap mainstay and his Definition of a G mixtape with Gucci Mane totally isn’t something I’d consider one of Radric’s top 10 projects. And that’s the thing, I guarantee that plenty of people will talk about Nicki, despite having the temerity to lazily rhyme the word “china” about 5 or 6 times to the point, because she’s good. We’ll bring up Mike WiLL making a hyper-distorted “Freaky Tales” redux that really doesn’t have a lot of finesse, because he’s good. But Gotti’s going to do the standard d-boy rhymes he’s been providing without haste for over 20 years, perhaps without a lot of “star-power” but no lack of function, and still getting no recognition beyond the loyalty of his fans.

Ashley John: For all that is catchy about “Rake It Up,” it is balanced out by clumsiness in equal measure. Yo Gotti’s hook bounces over the beat, but once he rolls into the first verse the pace of the song gets away from him. Nicki’s feature finds its footing only after the hurdle of rhyming Chyna with China (and then again with China itself twice more). The hook will be useful for transitions into Travis Scott and 21 Savage, but that might be this song’s entire shelf life in a summer of more solid radio hits. 

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One Response to “Yo Gotti & Mike WiLL Made-It ft. Nicki Minaj – Rake It Up”

  1. Those who don’t blurb don’t get to complain about the score but I loooooove Yo Gotti’s “fuckitupfuckitup…” in this.