Friday, September 4th, 2020

Flo Milli – Weak

And what’s wrong with that?


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Imagine being so bored and tired of boys blowing up your phone that you had to create an entire track just to make crystal clear how pathetic you thought they all were. For a lot of pop stars, this would merely be a fun premise for a song, but on “Weak,” Flo Milli captures exasperation so naturally that I have no doubt in my mind how authentic she is being. When she incorporates literal onomatopoeias to vocalize her disgust — “EWWW” whispered so witheringly, freighted with impatience, without holding anything back — I can’t help but chuckle in admiration at her savagery. Add in the sample of SWV, and the end result is hilarious and inexplicably wholesome at the same time. 

Leah Isobel: “Used to text good morning/Now you don’t, that’s inconsistent” is a spectacularly elegant way of ripping apart someone’s character. In the hands of another artist, that observation might be grounds for existential panic. For Flo Milli, it’s just another item on the list of Why You Aren’t Good Enough For Her (before “Won’t let me sleep,” after “Too fucking boring”). But she’s not mad, just detached; the men around her are annoying but they can’t fuck with her confidence, since they’re incidental to her real goal. Observe how her brash, bratty delivery only softens to match the dreamy SWV sample on the post-chorus hook: “run that cash up.” Big mood.

Oliver Maier: Flo Milli came to us larger than life. What made her “Beef” remix captivating wasn’t just her Bratz doll voice piloting the monster truck beat, but the way she strung bars together. She packed in quips that no-one else would dream up, placed stresses on whatever syllables suited her and rapped so that lines began midway through the bar rather than at the beginning. The song was remarkable because she knew exactly how to break the rules, and it’s not surprising that many of the new tracks on her debut mixtape scan like lesser sequels. “Weak” is an exception, an attempt at a lowkey player anthem that Flo sadly doesn’t quite pull off. When Flo Milli raps she does so in balloon letters, sounding closer to the mic than humanly possible. It sounds here as if it’s taking all of her restraint to bring her intensity down to 95%, which is still wildly over capacity for the silky, SWV-sampling beat. Perhaps it’s weak to critique her for not suiting her surroundings when contrast is part of what made “Beef” so good, but there it felt thrilling, transgressive, like she was competing with the stomping piano for dominance. “Weak” just isn’t a fair fight.

Alfred Soto: A watershed for female rappers, 2020 can claim estimable developments after all. Blessed with a high voice that handles cadences with ease, Flo Milli presents herself as an around-the-way girl who grew up listening to her older siblings’ copy of LL Cool J’s All World before realizing she could turn herself into one of those objects of desire he respects, but who frustrate him too. 

Juana Giaimo: There is something almost addictive about Flo Milli’s cadence in “Weak”. It’s loud and a little high-pitched, slow enough for the words to be understood but with a constant pace. I like that all the lines in the verses are long and have internal rhymes, while the lines of the chorus and the hook are super short. There are interesting things going on in the background too, especially the autotune vocals that appear in the beginning but unfortunately get lost in the mix later on.  

Thomas Inskeep: Flo Milli’s debut Ho, why is you here? is one of 2020’s funnest: over simple beats and flipped samples, she spits direct, sharp lines. “Weak” is a highlight, utilising a sample from SWV’s ’90s classic of the same name to talk about, of course, weak men. The next Megan Thee Stallion? Maybe.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Very rarely does a single do so much with so little — Flo Milli needs only a ten-second SWV loop and one ad lib to completely enmesh you in “Weak.” Her first few singles (“In The Party” >>>> “Beef FloMix”, btw) were focused on establishing who Flo Milli is: a relentless taunter with near-supernatural ability to attract men and money. “Weak” doesn’t exactly stray from this formulation of her identity, but with the table already set by her prior singles, she takes a slightly different tack. While those first few songs took an abrasive, iconoclastic approach, from the first bars of “Weak” Flo Milli seems relaxed, luxuriant in power. She welcomes you in conversationally, listing off the men she’s toying with as if you’re her confidante. And over the course of “Weak”‘s two and a half minutes, she doesn’t seem to break from that confident display of power. SWV croon, J White throws in hi-hats and a Juicy J-soundalike chant vocal, and Flo Milli remains empress of all, 2020’s rap champion.


Reader average: [9.5] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Leave a Reply