Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain – Blame It

Yes, this is the one that has Ron Howard in the video…


John M. Cunningham: In a way, I respect that Jamie Foxx in 2009 is making bawdy club songs with T-Pain rather than the ponderous, serious cat R&B one might expect from a recent Oscar winner. Especially when they’re seemingly a cut above most club songs featuring T-Pain. The ubiquitous AutoTune, for instance, doesn’t seem to be just slathered on for kicks here; its distortion niftily mimics the fuzziness of drunk logic, even as it renders the two vocalists indistinct.

Martin Skidmore: The use of auto-tune is getting more and more prevalent, and I don’t like it, any more than I liked the vocoder in the past. I don’t mind artists adjusting their vocals to be in tune, but the robotic effect seems particularly poorly suited to emotional songs, and makes performances sound literally phoned in. The stuttering bits here undermine any feeling further. I found this completely tedious and rather unpleasant to listen to.

Martin Kavka: The production on this isn’t bad, but the lyrics are a date-rapist’s anthem. “She say she don’t, but I know she’s frontin’.” How? Could we have some evidence for this, please? “Just one more round and you’re down, I know it.” Great! “Baby I’m about to show you what you’ve been missin’ in your life when I get inside.” OK. But how is she going to remember the glory of your twelve-inch cock the next morning when you’ve gotten her so drunk tonight? Did you think about that, Jamie? Idiotic asshole.

Al Shipley: At first blush, it didn’t seem even seem like a particularly exceptional T-Pain feature, much less the jam of the year, but that’s what it’s shaping up to be. Chistopher “Deep” Henderson’s beat should single-handedly launch him into super-producer status: the sliding, swelling synths, and the relaxed swing of a rhythm that patiently builds to the song’s money shot, the stuttered hook over snare drum triplets. The inspired inanity of Foxx’s “feeling on your butt – what!” and T-Pain’s “she looked me dead in the eye, and my pants got bigger” only helps to make casual brilliance of the track more fun.

Dave Moore: Anyone decrying overuse of Autotune in hip-hop has not listened to enough Jamie Foxx songs without Autotune on them. The production is like a sliced-and-diced “Flashing Lights” and the monotone chorus occasionally flirts with a daring second note, but it’s kind of perfect.

Additional Scores

Hillary Brown: [5]
Ian Mathers: [6]
Doug Robertson: [5]

12 Responses to “Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain – Blame It”

  1. The fact that, as Dan McRae points out in his review of Asher Roth, there is competition for the date-rape anthem of 2009 is sufficient to put a poptimist on antidepressants.

  2. my single of the year. i think shipley hit it right on the head with “inspired inanity” (a compliment id project onto much of t-pains career), though it’s not that surprising seeing as foxx started out in entertainment with his own sitcom. i think the fact that the way the autotune slurs everything (and how… fluid the beat is) is just an added bonus, cuz really this just has the chorus of the year + t-pain’s genius verse, dream quoting and all

  3. I’m not getting either this OR “I <3 College” as being at all about “date rape”! (If the criterion is “song you could play while committing it, frankly anything could be the anthem to a date rape.) But I think you’re casting the net way too wide if songs about getting really drunk at a club and hoping you might have sex with someone THAT VERY NIGHT! all = date rape.

  4. Dave, I don’t think the point is that this is about date rape, but the narrator’s attitude is creepily like a date rapist’s. He “reads” the woman as into him when there is little evidence for it. Everything she does is, to him, just “fronting,” so it’s like the message of the song is, “She shows a complete distinterest in me, but I know that’s just code for ‘I want you to give me teh sex.'”

  5. Well, without speculating TOO much on the motivations of date rapists, I would think that hoping that someone who doesn’t seem into you might, as the night progresses, get MORE into you shouldn’t automatically align someone with being a date rapist.

    I just think too much is being read into the song here — there isn’t much “evidence” for ANYTHING except that the the club is hoppin’ and the booze is flowing and Jamie Foxx is horny. It might make him an asshole, but I don’t think that’s quite enough to incriminate him unless, again, we’re ready to count about a thousand club songs as “imminent date rape.”

  6. And y’know, if you really want to give credence to vague lyrics, it seems to me that this song isn’t so much about someone who isn’t into Jamie Foxx because she’s not attracted to him, but about someone who isn’t into Jamie Foxx because she’s with someone else, hence T-Pain’s The-Dream quote from “I Luv Your Girl.”

  7. Whatever the motivations of date rapists, I hesitate to see how “couple more shots you open up like a book” is anything other than despicable.

    Perhaps, the “What? You don’t even care now?” line is meant to be funny. All this posturing is done for a woman who won’t even be able to appreciate him. But it seems to me that the story Foxx is telling is that alcohol has made the woman, at this point in the evening, unable explicitly either to grant or withhold consent, and that her silence is being understood as consent to sex.

    Maybe she doesn’t care, but if she does, Foxx says we can all just blame it on the alcohol, as opposed to blaming it on the guy who uses alcohol to get laid. How is this attitude not blameworthy? Indeed, blaming the alcohol would only make logical sense if the goose were fucking the woman while Jamie Foxx watched.

  8. Your points are valid if we can agree that the story you’re describing is valid (i.e., “alcohol has made the woman, at this point in the evening, unable explicitly either to grant or withhold consent, and that her silence is understood as consent to sex”). I just think that’s a hugely presumptuous interpretation! There is nothing in this song that definitively suggests that (1) the woman is being manipulated by a “sober” Jamie Foxx, (2) that Jamie Foxx himself thinks that this is a good idea on his part, or (3) that the reason she’s reluctant (according to the song) is that she doesn’t want to have sex with him. If you factor in T-Pain’s verse, which I think is fair especially since you can’t qualitatively tell their voices apart, the actual point of the song is that, like “I’m a Flirt,” this girl IS attracted to Jamie/T-Pain, but doesn’t want to act on it because her boyfriend is RIGHT THERE (the “open up like a book” is in T-Pain’s verse).

  9. Hm, I guess points (1) and (2) aren’t the strongest in the world, but (3) is certainly important. I guess what I mean to say is that there is a difference between seduction and rape — one is (potentially) problematic and one is inexcusable. And yes, it involves alcohol, and yes the characters are kind of assholes, but there’s nothing about silence equaling consent. As skeevy as “maybe if I get her drunk, she’ll want to have sex with me” admittedly is, it’s NOT the same thing as “I’ll get her drunk so that it doesn’t matter whether or not she wants to have sex with me, since I’m going to do it anyway.”

  10. After having watched this video more times than anyone ever should and trying to distinguish consonants slurred by all the AutoTune, I think that the lyric is “Just one more round; if you’re down, I’m for it.” Not as skeevy as what I’d thought it was. But still skeevy, given that her being “down” seems to be contingent on Jamie plying her with drinks (and thinking that she gets even hotter as his buzz sets in).

    Is there any rap song about a guy who can’t get it up because he’s so drunk? There’s just something about this whole scenario that violates everything I’ve read about penile plethysmography.

  11. “2D2F” by Avenue D, though told from a slightly different perspective…

  12. Is not a rap song, but first verse of “Mambo No. 5” recalls the previous week’s alcohol debacle:

    One, two, three, four, five
    Everybody in the car, so come on let’s ride
    To the liquor store around the corner
    The boys say they want some gin and juice
    But I really don’t wan’ a
    Beer buzz like I had last week
    I must stay deep
    Because talk is cheap