Monday, February 18th, 2019

LightSkinKeisha ft. B Smyth – Ride Good

But who’s in the driver’s seat?


Crystal Leww: It’s 2019 and I’m shocked that most women who are rapping still somehow end up releasing a sultry R&B hit as part of their “commercial” rollout. We’ve not done a good job creating ways for women to take other paths, and it comes to show how the industry as a whole has seemingly organ rejected attempts to positively cover the wave of women who got famous rapping on the internet (e.g. Azealia Banks, Dai Burger) or women who were part of local scenes like Chicago drill. In the last couple of years, LightSkinKeisha made a lot of songs that honestly weren’t that different from each other sonically, but she stood out for her playfulness. This has sanded down all that made her fun and youthful and has turned her into another entry in the crowded lane of female R&B singers. 

Alfred Soto: Times have changed, so why stick LightSkinKeisha behind an R&B performer whose”hope you can handle a stick shift, babe” is an example of his marvelous wit?

Joshua Minsoo Kim: It’s inherently lame that LightSkinKeisha made a middling R&B track that ended up being considerably more successful than any of her rap singles. Chalk it up to the tough barrier to entry for female rappers, or the general public’s bad taste, but “Ride Good” is a bottom of the barrel mid-2010s R&B duet that would feature Jeremih or a Jeremih-like singer. The lyrics are unabashedly sexual, which isn’t bad in and of itself, but the beat is too flimsy and inert to make any of it convincing. The two sound like they’re flailing, like strangers cosplaying as a sexually confident couple. They may feel the chemistry, but to spectators they appear awkward and inexperienced.

Iris Xie: It’s sad (or expected) that the hook is fuckboyish, because everything on this track coasts on the strength of the bassline and skittering, crystalline instrumentals in the back. But LightSkinKeisha is a feature on her own debut track, and while I find it interesting in terms of B Smyth having to constantly convey and yearn to her, the last third appears to dawdle and he’s stagnant. Is he stuck while shifting his stick shift? This song is worth the duration of at least one well drink, when you’re waiting for more hype songs to come on at the (straight) club.

Thomas Inskeep: A cushy vibe, a phat-assed bassline, a male singer in B Smyth who sounds just pleading enough — but the star here is rapper LightSkinKeisha, who’s here to tell you just what she wants from a man. “Ride Good” is easy on one hand but also just seductive enough. (Upped a point because every time I hear it on the radio, I stop and listen to the end.)

David Moore: I’m generally down on the pornographic detail that’s overtaken sexual innuendo for about a decade running now, but if you’re really going to go with “stick shift” as your central image, couldn’t you put a little effort into at least one additional euphemism?

Andy Hutchins: Americans have made pop music strangely obsessed with the fuckability and/or anthropomorphic aesthetic appeal of motor vehicles for a long time, going back to at least “Little Deuce Coupe.” But it feels increasingly like most who have come of age since “You Remind Me of My Jeep” have inexplicably taken inspiration from a songwriter whose tendency was always toward literalism that only worked because it bordered on the absurd. And so we have “stick shift” used here to just mean penis, which confounds “You shiftin’ the gears on my stick shift, babe” in a purely painful way. This could have worked better as a dialogue, but the overlong hook puts too bright a spotlight on a sub-Trey Songz vocalist who tries very hard to outshine the other side of the ft. credit, and the too-short verses — the second of which begins more than two minutes into a four-minute song — don’t actually care enough about trying to interact with the metaphor to accelerate out of the turns.

Reader average: No votes yet!

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Leave a Reply