Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood…
Jer Fairall: This year’s attempt at “Fuck You,” with (possibly violent) misogyny and an un-sanitizable expletive resisting the cuddliness of last year’s model. Yet “Fuck You” managed to sound less like a novelty the more time you spent with it, while this one has the snickering quality of a schoolboy who knows he’s getting away with telling a dirty joke. Which is all my way of saying how embarrassed I am about kinda liking it.
Zach Lyon: Well, I guess one of the things “Fuck You” had going for it was that Cee Lo didn’t sound like too much of a giggling schoolboy when he sang naughty words.
Katherine St Asaph: “Fuck You” was, to put it stupidly, a big success. It’s also a one-time gimmick, the longevity of “fuck” aside. Now suppose you’re Lloyd, known to the greater world as the hook guy on “BedRock” who sounds 11, but you want to replicate that gimmick anyway. What to do? Do more! Go full Mutt Lange in your whoa-no chorus! Go semi-Michael, semi-Peter Gault in your vocals! Go full Duffy with the “Mercy” track and hope it astonishes people new or anew! Get Andre 3000, which shouldn’t be too hard because he’s OK with appearing on tracks in 2011 alongside people who say “Swagu”! Say “pussy” a lot. Does it work? As blogbait, you’re reading enough about this, so undoubtedly; as a song, almost too well. Like Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” the sheer force of the thing makes you sympathize with Lloyd, despite his complaints — the ahem probably didn’t change, metaphorically or literally, and the “I’m about to kill this bitch” line and the last few seconds are inexcusable. But unlike Robyn, Lloyd hasn’t recorded five other songs like this.
Al Shipley: The Lloyd album is great if I pretend it starts on track 3.
Brad Shoup: Now this is how you do a conflicted song about sexing the exes. Masks for everyone! Andre’s dropped into his Slick Rick gear while Lloyd and producer Polow da Don take pages from the Daptone/PPP playbook. But the major difference between a Daptone production and “Dedication”? This song isn’t about abstract relational concepts.
Matthew Harris: Pussy notwithstanding, the stars of this song are, in order: the echoing piano-string stomp, the worrying bass that underlines and contrasts Lloyd’s falsetto, and the Gary Glitter-esque football-chant chorus. Together, these parts clockwork out a pumping backing track of sexual tension and release, while Lloyd’s high-pitched voice sings the part of a lovestruck cartoon cock. And don’t be stingy: all 34 pussies are important, because repetition is the sign of an obsessed mind. Like Prince, Lloyd knows the gleefully unhinged can swim furthest into morally inky waters, where the brightest pop jewels are found.
Anthony Easton: Mixed metaphors and confused, ambigious reactions to the nature of desire. Not quite sure what it’s saying, but it’s amazing to have Andre back on the horse.
Chuck Eddy: Frat-boy-bonding shoutalong for the Animal House toga party, docked because even Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts would’ve come up with misogynistic risqué resentment funnier and more creative than repeating the boring word “pussy” over and over, and because Andre’s gratuitous tacked-on rap adds not a damn thing. Still, I await a remake by the Swingin’ Medallions, who should sound more drunk.
Jonathan Bradley: Lloyd has blessed the northern summer with a fantastic single featuring a great Georgian rapper, but that single was “Be the One,” and the rapper was Young Jeezy. “Dedication to My Ex”? Shit, son, if you ain’t ever heard naughty words in a pop song before, this might just be your generation’s answer to the Offspring’s “Bad Habit.” The rest of us can wonder whether Dre 3K is trailing his old DF affiliate Cee Lo in steadily refuting the innovation the two were so known for in their younger days, or if it was actually Andre Benjamin who pioneered Vegas soul revivalism back when he took off his cool with Norah Jones. The best moment is the sneered “fuck that bitch” at the end, because it means the song is over and because it’s mean. Meanness is always more interesting than pantomime.
Michaela Drapes: Offensive beyond comprehension, and this is coming from someone who is prone to singing the rousing chorus of RuPaul’s “Pussy 4 Sale” at inopportune times. I guess Andre 3000’s appearance is supposed to give the paint-by-numbers faux-retro proceedings some kind of credibility, but his august presence doesn’t do anything to bolster the gracelessness of the grade-school double entendres and insults. Lloyd delivers this kiss-off with such artless histrionics that you might think this song is actually about that time he lost his Fleshlight.
Rebecca Toennessen: “That pussy is a stranger.” Well, if you’re going to reduce your ex to her ladybits, then sod off anyway. But wait! It’s her PUSSY that changed, not him! Sometimes I wish I could just listen to lyrics and ignore stuff I feel weird or uncomfortable about, but the music isn’t interesting and the rapping not fluid or quick enough to cover this. I guess I’m doomed to be a fun-hating feminist.
Hazel Robinson: I’m sure I ought to find this offensive, but it lays its cards so blatantly on the table that it’s hilarious and pathetic and heartbroken and paranoid and awesome fun. Sure, it’s the equivalent of the first track of an “ULTIMATE GIRL’S NIGHT IN” compilation, but that doesn’t stop the pony’s one trick being great. Anything so begging for a Trina answer record about cocks is fine by me.
Jonathan Bogart: The throwback bounce of this song, with its springy Motown piano lines and Lloyd’s Young Michael Jackson cries, hooked me from the first listen. But Andre 3000’s best guest verse in forever, and the gleeful chutzpah of the whole thing, Weezy’s giggles and all, was what kept me coming back. Yeah, the lyrics are disgustingly proprietary (it was always her pussy, boys, it was never yours), but I don’t believe for a second that they’re committed to the premise. They’re pushing buttons, and they do it so well.
B Michael Payne: I get that the song refers to Cee Lo’s “Fuck You,” but it’s most indebted to that sketch on Kanye’s album, right? In fact, I can’t even imagine listening to this without having heard Chris Rock’s extended riff on upholstering pussy. I believe we’ve all heard a piano run through a high-pass filter and a few handclaps in order to vaguely evoke a time some time before this time. But this pussy talk and wanting to kill a bitch — well, I guess that’s nothing new, either. The problem with this song is that the place you get to on MBDTF where Chris Rock freaks out about a bezel is the culmination of a pretty tiring journey. But we learned something along the way: people destroy each other and themselves, and life is generally pretty dire and terrible. “Dedication to My Ex” is contextless. Music doesn’t have to be didactic, but there’s something upsettingly empty about this song.
Alfred Soto: Guess it’s about time that the guy singing about pussy sounded like one.