Monday, December 17th, 2012

AMNESTY 2012: 3D Na’Tee ft. Keri Hilson – I Want More

And fulfilling the industry mandate that no year can go by without a Keri Hilson track…


Andy Hutchins: Na’Tee is, for my money, the reigning queen of on-point references in rap, and even though this is only her in second gear or so, it’s great: “Work my ass off, feel like Kelly Price right now” is the kind of obscure bar rap dorks would love if they listened to Tee; “Legs spread wide like the Jordan symbol” is just a perfect contextualization of that less obscure one. But this is really just 2012’s “Super Bass”: Powerful women bounce around (Keri’s melody! Satisfaction demanded with a smile!) on an irresistible instrumental, anchored by Casa Di’s impeccable flip of the “Escapade” keys. And “just” equaling one of the best pop songs of the century is no small feat.

Alfred Soto: Amiable and innocuous, it adduces the inevitability of sampling “Escapade.”

Al Shipley: The Janet sample is sweet, and the Keri hook makes it even sweeter, but I won’t act like I’d be able to pick 3D Na’Tee out of a lineup of femcees even if I heard this song a dozen times. 

Katherine St Asaph: When, exactly, is this supposed to take place? Keri Hilson appreciates all the love he’s given to her, which suggests months if not years in; Na’Tee cuts in with “by this time of night I usually kick them out of my house,” suggesting sometime considerably sooner; but no, then the beginning goes “might let you see the love below (hashtag),” which suggests even that hasn’t happened. It’s pretty girl rock either way, but surely they should be able to use it?

Ian Mathers: The law of averages, the laid-back glide of the production and Hilson’s hook, and 3D Na’Tee’s infinitely likeable verses all mean that I can confidently say that the “boy” in the song doesn’t come even close to deserving her.

Anthony Easton: I love how this track makes you wait for a full three minutes or so until the other shoe drops, and then that thicket of more and more and more lasts for a mere few seconds. It makes excellent drama. 

Edward Okulicz: The magic of “Escapade” is, despite its cavernous beats, how the beautifully carefree, light chorus manages to shine through. Over a distinctly milder beat, the sample doesn’t sound quite as stunning, and the chorus is just average rather than timeless and perfect. But some of what’s been added is not a depreciation but a repurposing of “Escapade” — it’s sunnier, for starters, and Na’Tee’s rhymes are frisky and fun, like a less hyperactive “Super Bass.”

Brad Shoup: Could this be the last song to reference Kimbo Slice? If he hadn’t gone legit he could’ve been a folk hero. Na’Tee namechecks frantically, catching Jigga on his government name and doing the same old Bruce Lee thing. It’s a fine confection, essentially tacking a clangorous guitar figure to a Janet hit — normally, acoustic guitar is handled poorly in rhythmic pop, but not here.

Alex Ostroff: I’ve described this more than once as fluttery crushed-out loverap à la “Super Bass“, but I’m prepared to admit I might be slightly wrong. The Janet sample is more relaxed and less frantic in its crushing, but also less nervous. It still captures the swoon over those boys in the polos with the sickening eyes and the feminine sides, you know? Except instead of biding her time until the pre-chorus to make a move, Na’Tee spends the whole song in the driver’s seat; the entire first verse is one extended “Scuse me? You’re a hell of a guy.” And is there a more confident line to use on a cute boy than “We could be together like Shawn and Beyoncé”? Have no doubts, Na’Tee is the Shawn here. “I Want More” pulls the same trick as Jay’s best pickup raps, triangulating smooth player (see Na’Tee’s hilarious/awesome spoken interlude: “Hold up, Keri, let me talk to the boy right quick. You know by this time of the night I usually done kicked them out my house.”), industry professional too focused on the hustle for romance, and totally-smitten-despite-oneself. The second verse fast-forwards the plot, embracing the laid back comfort of long-term romance, but Na’Tee’s too busy in the booth to put a ring on it, squeezing in quick visits between tour stops to kick it, and having late night Skype conversations after shows. Meanwhile, her dude is dreamily picking out a best man and finding something borrowed and blue. As much as she protests and plays hard to get, every syllable communicates exactly how pleased she is that he’s totally hung up. She is too.

One Response to “AMNESTY 2012: 3D Na’Tee ft. Keri Hilson – I Want More”

  1. “When, exactly, is this supposed to take place?”

    Katherine, it’s not particularly clear, but I think it’s narrated-in-the-present-tense retrospective of their whole relationship up until this point?

    But yeah, not the clearest.