David Raposa: I don’t know much about UK Funky, but if it’s anything like this onomatopoetic little dancehall-flavored ting-ting, I’m signing up for a crash course ASAP.
Martin Skidmore: I really like the crudity of the sound on this: rough synth noises, enthusiastic almost-soca rhythms, with a deep voice rambling in a dancehallish style over the top, plus some joyfully clumsy rapping. It sounds as if it was recorded quickly with more interest in energy than precision, and it does evoke some happy excitement — this is more my taste in club bangers than Flo Rida, though it has no chance of that kind of success.
Jonathan Bogart: Ecstatic without ever leaving the ground, a hiccuping beat and a chopped-up vocal that boasts inclusively. Still feels caught in the 90s, though, a remnant of humid club culture that hasn’t really assimilated the furnace-dry oughts.
Alex Ostroff: UK Funky gone minimalist. As much as I love Meleka, Kyla and their fellow divas, there’s something appealing about stripping the genre down to its most basic element — those glorious syncopated rhythms. Donae’o’s enthusiasm takes it over the top, but, energy aside, he has yet to make much of an impression on me, and “I’m Fly” doesn’t change that.
Michaelangelo Matos: I was always pretty cool on “Party Hard.” But this parties really hard. The last record to hit me upside the head in a similar way was “9Xs Outta 10”: urgent voice shadowboxing with minimal drum track, heavy, heavy beats and bass, the sense that a veteran was out to prove something. Obviously, Donae’o doesn’t have the years Quik & Kurupt did, but this track steps to the front of post-grime pop/surging UK funky so clearly and confidently it makes much of what came before seem like a warm-up.
Chuck Eddy: Not bad (funky drum beats!), though starting with fly buzzes then later comparing himself to an eagle seems odd.
Anthony Easton: I really like this, but I am not sure why. Maybe because it’s relentless, because it goes super sonic, because it doesn’t mean anything, because of how the music stops sometimes, and his voice pushes forward in ways that are shiny and shallow…