Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Lil Kim ft. T-Pain and Charlie Wilson – Download

If you thought the “We didn’t have no innuh-net” bit of “All Summer Long” was the worst technology reference in pop – think again…


John M. Cunningham: The effect of the computer on modern romance has been sung about at least since Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love,” which “Download” (possibly inadvertently) references. But this must be one of the first mainstream pop songs to take on the realities of hooking up in the digital age, rather than just alluding to the Internet in passing or using it as a larger metaphor. Maybe Kim had some first-hand experience while under house arrest? That’s not to say it’s a particularly good song, and in fact, some of the lyrics are still pretty silly — the constant crooning of “com-puuuu-ter” in the background, e.g., or the anachronistic mention of floppy disks in the service of some forced innuendo. But I dare say the sexting generation has found its anthem.

Alfred Soto: “He wanna explore me like the Internet” almost made me laugh out loud, and I actually did at the bassline and this most ideal context for T-Pain’s theoretical man-machinery. But any track advertising the vocal and sexual chops of Charlie Wilson damn well deserves more than a couple of his patented exclamations. Kim does no better; she sounds like a smuttier Mary J. Blige. It’s sexier than 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology,” but no pox on Prince’s “My “Computer.”

Martin Skidmore: I guess autotuning is apt for a song about the internet, but I’d rather have heard Charlie (Gap Band) Wilson straight. T-Pain is looking at sexy pics of her over the internet. Kim tries to sing in parts, which is hopelessly weak, T-Pain does his usual job, and it’s all very predictable.

Al Shipley: Lil Kim demonstrated that she may be the most ill-suited rapper to ever tackle AutoTune with the pixellated barf she left all over remixes of “Sensual Seduction” and “Pop Champagne” last year, but she’s less offensive than boring and forgettable here.

Edward Okulicz: Perfectly functional, but despite the fact that it’s a) about cybersex, and b) a Lil Kim song, it’s not even remotely raunchy. It’s possibly the least sexual thing I’ve ever heard.

Alex Macpherson: Oh no, Kim, oh no. Really, few people should be as suited to getting something original, or at least cheerfully and enjoyably smutty, out of the done-to-death cybersex theme than the woman who can pretty much claim to have kickstarted the whorification of pop culture, but this is just lazy. MySpace? Girl, it’s not 2004 any more. “He a thug, so I hit him on his Gmail” is probably the best line here, which tells the whole sad tale in itself.

Jonathan Bradley: With its T-Pain hook, it would be tempting to chide Lil’ Kim for trend-jumping. But remember “Lighters Up,” her great reggae hit from 2005 that unashamedly rode the coattails of Damien Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock”? Kim can trend-jump far more enjoyably than she does here.

Michaelangelo Matos: T-Pain’s insidious, isn’t he? The title of this is like Smokey Robinson’s “Cruising”: gay code disguised as squeaky-clean bubblegum, or vice versa, or something. Anyway, the closeness of the title to “down-low” ought to be a hoot at select nightspots. Meanwhile Uncle Charlie’s still using the phrase “cybersurfing” half a decade after everyone else stopped, haw (and awww).

Ian Mathers: Charlie Wilson might as well not be here, and really the same goes for Lil’ Kim; this is a T-Pain song with her popping in occasionally, which is something T-Pain is usually able to avoid when he guests. I guess in this case he couldn’t because she’s so colourless and uninteresting, not to mention the way they all throw around “floppy disc” and “hard drive” as if they’re your parents trying to talk to you about the internet in 1999.

Doug Robertson: Who remembers Britney’s “E-Mail My Heart”? Exactly.

Additional Scores

Anthony Easton: [5]
Chuck Eddy: [6]
Martin Kavka: [4]

5 Responses to “Lil Kim ft. T-Pain and Charlie Wilson – Download”

  1. Kim’s “Pop Champagne” verse is great. Well, half-great, until she stops bothering midway through and wanders away from the beat, but still, “Champagne in my veins, even put it in my douche bottle”!

  2. What I wrote:

    A crass commercial for multi-platform digital marketing, with references mostly 10 or 15 years old. But said cluelessness feels sort of sweet, and refreshing. And better than the obligatory T-Pain collab on Charlie Wilson’s own current CD, which also contains my favorite (and the most convincingly old-school) major r&b hit of the year, “There Goes My Baby,” which rhymes “shoe store” with “food court.” (On the rest of his album, the old Gap Band grandpa tries too hard to come off up-to-date, acting like a droopy-drawered 22-year-old player, and naturally comes off preposterous instead–not entertainingly so.)

  3. But I dare say the sexting generation has found its anthem.

    Hmm, I think this one might have it beat!

  4. Awesome.

  5. Yeah, her Pop Champagne verse was great. Much better than Luda’s or Juelz’s.