Friday, May 10th, 2013

Kid Cudi ft. Too $hort – Girls

I can’t tell which is earworming more, Santigold’s “Girls” or Britney’s “Boys”…


Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: “Hmmm,” goes Kid Cudi. We’ve caught him in the middle of his verse, trailing his train of thought. He wakes up, completing his stray thought: “I want them/I need them”. He’s talking about girls. This slump between thoughtfulness and blunt horniness is Cudi’s career in a nutshell: pretentions of sophistication bumping heads with dunder-headed directness. Even at its hookiest, like on “Girls”, his music is unaware of its brusqueness. He lacks the means to express himself as adroitly as he imagines, which leads him to attempt K-Ci style wails of “let me see that bodayyy!” without stopping to consider how absurd it seems. He gives the K-Ci wail his all, though, following the idea through to its natural conclusion. Too $hort, who understands quite how preposterous his pimp persona can be, is in firm control here, dropping time-honoured sleaze bars like nothing changed since “Blow the Whistle”. His cameo reminds me of an anecdote he shared on a recent episode of The Champs about taking his friend Mike to a party wearing pimp curls and a suit. Mike, out of his element and in clothes completely unlike him, was unsure how to talk to any women. $hort Dogg advises him to fully commit to how absurd he looks: “Walk up to every girl that you like and just say ‘What up, my name is Mike, bitch’.” His essence on “Girls” is very much the same as with poor Mike — he mentors Cudi in a devotion to potentially foolish behaviour.

Jer Fairall: Backing up Cudi’s stoned drawl, the ominous accompaniment has the effect of making the chorus hook sound like the mantra of a serial killer, something that the tiresome, yet no less appalling, misogyny of Too $hort’s verse only helps literalize.

Crystal Leww: Kid Cudi’s attempt at a “girls of all different kinds are beautiful” type song ends up being a racial fetish anthem. The worst part is probably Too $hort’s verse where he starts with “open up those exotic thighs” and makes it worse by rattling off all the different races and how he wants to have sex with all of them and then leave them because he is just that sexually competent. Shockingly, it comes off as gross instead of flattering. The production matches this level of creepiness, with some sort of weird grinding noise in the background, foreboding synths, and some male voice intermittently saying “right, alright” in the same cadence that shady dudes licking their lips and lurking in corners of bars do. Thanks, Cudi!

Patrick St. Michel: I love when a song features a guest verse so bad that it overshadows everything else going on in the track with its rankness. Makes writing so much easier!

Brad Shoup: From the What a Difference, etc. File… Too $hort’s assurances of pan-racial fuckery now makes me think of Mad Men‘s Pete Campbell sputtering about his father-in-law cavorting with “the biggest, blackest prostitute you’ve ever seen!” Sad to say, Too $hort’s appearance is the hip-hop equivalent of a Mike Bolton guest spot, which… ahem. As for Cudi, he seems to be embracing a process-based pop approach, which leaves us to tap our fingers while he tries to solve a melody maze. That he ends up like Tunde Adebimpe on the bridge seems to validate his method somewhat. For keeping the busted-transmission rhythm of the source material, I’m adding a point.

Anthony Easton: It just had to end with “bitch.” It’s too bad because Cudi has one of the best voices in hip-hop right now. 

Katherine St Asaph: What would it take for me to get this song? Smoke a lot more weed? Be a lot prettier, so any of this shit would apply to me? Smoke even more weed? Blowtorch my ears until the concepts of “on key” and “musical coherence” are just so much charred cartilage? Only the weed seems doable, and I’m not sure there’s enough in existence.

Alfred Soto: $hort’s bit ranks with the rankest of contemporary bitch baiting, but let’s not kid ourselves: Cudi’s timbre can’t save his bit either.

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One Response to “Kid Cudi ft. Too $hort – Girls”

  1. so here’s the Too $hort anecdote I reference above: