Time for the return of our favourite photo, then…
Martin Kavka: To a simple beat and a repeated four-note descending keyboard riff, Jim Jones tells a woman that she is so hot that she makes him want to spend money on her. The woman responds, of course, by saying that she’ll put out (“you can have it any way you want it”), on Gucci sheets. So this is an exchange of money for sex. Can’t love be structured in some other manner than according to the relationship between a whore and her john?
Jordan Sargent: Jim Jones, despite persistence from various corners of the internet, is not a compelling rapper. His best singles— “Crunk Muzik” and “We Fly High”— get by on a fair amount of quirk, be it the “-ato” riff in his verse on the former or the worthy additions to the post-Jeezy ad-lib canon on the latter. More to the point, those songs are identifiable as Jim Jones songs (as is “Na Na Nana Na Na”, the first single off of his new album), and “Blow the Bank” is not. It’s a crossover attempt so blatant and misfired it doesn’t seem right that it’s not a Fat Joe song, and though it scans as passable, Jones’ typical droopy-eyelid delivery moves it into groan territory.
Al Shipley: Before he was at least floating along on his own level, focusing on silly ad-libs and not even pretending to be able to put together rhymes. Now that he’s making an ill-fated bid for the A-list, though, he’s got ghostwriters gassing him up with halfway clever punchlines, but he recites them as awkwardly as a dog that was taught how to say “hamburger” phonetically.
Jonathan Bradley: There’s one reason this boilerplate Rap&B jam is even slightly interesting, and that’s the adlib-happy (“Oui Oui!”) chap with the alliterative name who’s made it his creative mission to chronicle his experiences living the Splash Life. That involves heading to Japan (where he says “Konichiwa”), flying to London (where he spends Euros) and checking the balance of his bank account (20,000,000, no currency disclosed). But the midtempo disco beat and the strobed synth backing aren’t even slightly exciting, and Jones, usually such a font of irrational exuberance, resigns himself to sleepwalking through his verses. The economy sure could use some Dipset-driven stimulus, but Jones approaches the task with all the excitement of a central banker. These are hard times indeed.
Martin Skidmore: He does sound very dopey, or doped, on this. The music is smooth and seductive, as is the female voice, but this isn’t him at all; he doesn’t sound at all convincing. The lyrics remain rather aimless and pretty uninteresting throughout. I’ve liked him a lot occasionally in the past, but this is not a winner.
Rodney J. Greene: Jimmy usually sounds best when getting ignant over an obligingly roughnecked banger. He tried his hand at this type of sleek droptop disco before, with the Isleys-sampling “Summer Wit’ Miami”, and more or less fell on his face, so it’s hard not to look at this askew when the formulation is presented on paper. That is, until one hears the 90-in-the-shade synths and Michael Jackson copyright-skirting hook, enough evidence to acquit him. Jones does well to stay out of their way.
Hillary Brown: Maybe you don’t want to call to mind a song as enduring as Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” in your ephemeral and, in fact, already outdated ode to spreading cash around, you know?
Trey Kerby: If Pray IV Reign is Jimmy’s Reasonable Doubt, then this must be whatever the worst song on Reasonable Doubt is. Even his ad-libs aren’t anything to write home about. (Writing on the Internet, still acceptable)