Thursday, October 13th, 2011

B.o.B ft. Lil Wayne – Strange Clouds

Hmm, what could that possibly be a reference to?


Katherine St Asaph: “Strange Clouds” is less a song than a check-in for everyone involved. Dr. Luke: much improved in squelchy beatmaking, although he probably ripped someone off (I’d research it, but the effort of scouring the Internet for his inspiration would probably be greater than Luke’s average effort per track). B.o.B: much improved, until you realize his flow has words (cliche-off: Inception vs. Nancy Kerrigan!) Lil Wayne: who knows anymore, considering the law of averages kicked in for his guest verses years ago. Pot-smoking frat boys’ lexicons: much increased, definitely not improved.

Iain Mew: I like a fair few of the sounds here, but (Top Ramen aside) nothing about what’s being conveyed by them. Inception references are almost as bad as Jagger ones by this point.

Hazel Robinson: I’m annoyed that I like this. I’m annoyed because it sounds like the verses of “E.T.” by Katy Perry in places and that song annoys me, I’m annoyed because it’s got B.O.B on it, I’m annoyed because that means there’s some lame-ass argument about whether Lil Wayne or B.O.B is better in the YouTube comments that bores me so significantly I want humanity to be scourged from the earth, I’m annoyed because the artwork looks like a Windows upgrade, I’m annoyed because the squelching, punctuating beat promises more than the chorus eventually delivers, I’m annoyed because the line “these niggas wake up on my dick, at least have some breakfast first” descends into genuine nutritional advice. I hate myself and I want to listen to this yet again.

Alfred Soto: With a title metaphor like this I thought the talent involved would have soared into the ionosphere. But no — the beat stays rooted in terra firma while B.O.B. parties in a VIP room of his fantasies and Wayne plays Gonzo the Muppet.

Michelle Myers: The generic pop dubstep would be more forgivable were it not so incongruent with B.o.B’s agile but ultimately unoriginal take on hashtag weed rap. It’s like an ill-advised mash-up of a Wiz Khalifa mixtape cut and the instrumentals from Femme Fatale.

Jonathan Bogart: I have to assume the “strange clouds” refer to ganja smoke, so it’s nice to hear a production that’s neither muted nor blunted, but sharp, fizzy, and technocratic. Weezy’s been playing a caricature of himself for a while now — not a criticism, it clearly works — but this only throws into relief how B.o.B doesn’t quite have a self that could be caricatured. He raps better here than he did on his 2010 string of excellent pop-rap hits, but I’m not sure the song, as a song, can stand up to any of them.

Brad Shoup: It’s got traces of dubstep, but the main beat tick… tick… ticks like Savage’s “Swing (Remix)” — which is a wonderful thing. Its main selling point is a phenomenal, dread-full chorus whose power is disrupted by B.o.B’s earnest enunciation. Someone teach him how to appreciate the ride.

One Response to “B.o.B ft. Lil Wayne – Strange Clouds”

  1. “this only throws into relief how B.o.B doesn’t quite have a self that could be caricatured.”

    I think B.O.B. used to have a self but then he lost it in the year or so running up to his first album.