Planetary, planetary inter… no, not that.
Brad Shoup: Hey, good for Galactic, avoiding making Mardi Gras some second-line/Fats Domino/Meters/Dr. John thing. After his false start, Mystikal’s feeling it: funny, angry, and wry at turns. Shame he has to be his own hype man; surely one of Galactic’s unoccupied throats could have done it. Mannie Fresh puts enough swagger into the Rick James-checking chorus to make an extra verse a lamented loss. Triggerman’s the special guest, though, and it’s a big enough bridge to span the lyrical skills and the kinda trite funk backing.
Erick Bieritz: Galactic has previously worked with more obvious cross-genre collaborators like The Coup and Jurassic 5, but this NOLA-only combination of schooled funk musicians and straight street rappers is more intriguing. NOLA’s jazz-funk-brass and hip-hop scenes have certainly crossed paths before, but it remains interesting to hear parallel genres with common ancestors come together. Manny Fresh and Mystikal, both with unique, recognizable voices, are savvy choices to rap on the track.
Anthony Easton: One of the great things about recent New Orleans music (and by recent, I mean the last 20 years or so), is that they are really willing to have music by people who have genuinely strange voices — whose voices have a unique bit, that edge towards ugliness, and who are immediately identified. One of the other great things, is how well it swings, how much it is about the physical acts, how the music relates to an embodiment of pleasure — you can fuck to it and dance to it, with a seamless ease. The lyrics are amazing (the Tim McGraw, the Texan, shit besmeared boots) — when all three move in together, like the line “jump on the couch with my black boots on” reach a sublime state.
Jonathan Bogart: “Huh,” I thought to myself when I saw this track listed in the upcoming songs to be blurbed (not to give away any state secrets, ahem), “I guess there’s a rapper named Galactic now. It can’t be the New Orleans jazz-funk outfit, can it?” It can and is, and the result is essentially a Mystikal track with phenomenal live production. I’m a sucker for anything that overlaps the second line in a transparency with modern hip-hop, and even if Mystikal isn’t exactly modern any more — as he notes, “I’m forty baby, go slow” — he sounds engaged enough to tear the roof off the mother.
Alfred Soto: Mystikal’s forty so go slow, around long enough to accept that apples and bananas don’t make cranberry juice, to work that inimitable timbre as propulsion and self-mockery; he sounds more than ever like an exhaust pipe harmonizing with itself. As for Mannie and Galactic they keep up.
Patrick St. Michel: Galactic’s laid-back groove sounds nice enough, but it doesn’t mesh with Mystikal’s growling delivery (if anyone has ever said the words “cranberry juice” with as much intensity as Mystikal does here, please let me know). That said, I could listen to Mystikal shout about his back problems all day, so that has to be worth something.
Will Adams: Mystikal’s abrasive shouting gels with the molasses smooth funk much better than it should; maybe it’s that plus the electric piano flourishes that remind me of “Shake Ya Ass”, the mere evocation of which is enough to get me giddy. It all ends rather suddenly, however, and my head hurts a little from hearing the Black Eyed Peas namechecked so closely to Tupac.
Pete Baran: Here is one of the problems with live funk style backing for hip-hop. Galactic sound brassy and fine, but in the end the backing just lacks any production ticks which will work against Mystikal’s growl. There is the ghost of G-Funk here, but whilst it showcases the flow rather well, all I see is a genial crowd bouncing to it rather then really getting into it.
Colin Small: As disappointing as it is that Mannie Fresh isn’t actually involved in the production of this track, Mystikal slides into the Roots-style live band treatment surprisingly well. The comments about his age show a amount of personal honesty rarely seen in his generation of rap music. He’s so damn charming in song, you almost forget that he’s been convicted of multiple horrible crimes.