One of the things you’ll notice about these songs featuring Skylar Grey is that they’re all horrible, and not just in the sense that they’re corny rap songs with a wack R&B nigga taking the loop, as the RZA might put it, and that kind of cynicism makes baby Jesus cry – it’s her parts in particular that suck balls. I listen to the hooks she’s added to some of these songs, and I’m at a loss for how they could become a hit.
Skylar Grey wrote the hook to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” which was then sung by Rihanna, who’s much more famous than Skylar Grey, and who was once famously involved in a domestic violence incident, which gave the song an added believability. Could Rihanna have sung that song as well, if Chris Brown hadn’t put a shoe on her? She put some stank on that chorus, as if she were Tina Turner singing about hard times growing up in Nutbush, TN, or whatever state that was in. So far “Love the Way You Lie” has been the only Skylar Grey song to become a big hit, and if it wasn’t already clear that this has been due to America’s (if not NARAS’) inexplicable love affair with Recovery, and perhaps some lingering fascination with the Rumble in the Lambo, it should be clear now that songs she’s done with Dr. Dre and Lupe Fiasco have been released and no one seems to give a shit. Granted, both of these songs are sad, last ditch efforts at a hit by rappers who are clearly irrelevant, and it’s likely they would have sucked balls regardless of who sang the chorus, but isn’t that the whole point of bringing in a pop artist to do the hook, to elevate an otherwise irrelevant rap song into a big hit, if not an actual good song? Jay-Z never had a number one song a day in his life, until he did that song with Alicia Keys. I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of singing on his next album.
The Internets here in the shanty town where I live stopped working very well at some point during this past weekend, and apparently they’re never gonna work very well ever again, though I’m sure they still expect me to pay the full amount. Looking at Tumblr pr0n yesterday (which is necessary, for my mental health) turned into a five hour ordeal. At some point in the middle of it I logged on to Black People Twitter, to make sure no one famous had died, and I saw where the new Lupe Fiasco album We Are Losers sprung a leak, and the consensus seems to be that it’s an epic shit sandwich. Every other song on it is worse than the ones we’ve already heard, which I guess would be the one with Skylar Grey, “Words I Never Said” (previously discussed here, in a post about Lupe had to have made up that shit about not voting for Barack Obama because of Operation Cast Lead), and the similarly awful, “The Show Must Go On,” or whatever it’s called, no Freddie Mercury, which samples “Float On” by Modest Mouse, of all things. (The label must have told him he needed to whiten things up a bit, if he wanted a release date). I’ve heard it once or twice on Sirius, on my way to and from the BGM, which leads me to believe that Atlantic must have cut a few checks. Remember that time Lupe threw a bitchfit about Losers being shelved, then he had that meeting with the TIs at Atlantic, then there was that picture of him and one of the older white ladies who’s in charge of rap music, in a sweaty post-coital embrace? I thought they were bullshitting when they said Losers would be released in the first quarter of 2K11, but apparently they really did print up copies of the album, which is how these things spring a leak. Alas, now everyone has heard the album, a while still before it’s set to be released, and no one (literally no one) seems to like it, which suggests that Atlantic Records was right to have shelved the album in the first place. They’re probably only releasing it now because Lupe forced their hand, demanding to be released from his contract if they didn’t, as revealed in a post the other day on Vlad TV about how Lupe considered suicide back when he couldn’t get a release date, because he thought it would prevent him from killing someone else, and because sometimes the rainbow isn’t enough. I wonder how those ’90s babies who picketed the Atlantic Records building feel now that their efforts were all for naught? Or do they actually like this album?
At any rate, it seems less than likely that “Words I Never Said” will be able to save Losers, which I’m sure is why it was commissioned. I remember one of Lupe’s main points of contention with Atlantic was that they wanted him to record those songs that ended up being singles on that B.o.B. album, and he didn’t want to do it, because to do so would have meant signing over his rights to the publishing for those songs, and so he wouldn’t have made any money from them, because it’s not like he ever stood to make much money from selling copies of Losers on CD or even on iTunes. The term Lupe Fiasco numbers is based on the disappointing first week sales of past Lupe Fiasco albums. (Not to be confused with the term Little Brother numbers, which is like a low expectations version of the term. The Clipse, for example, often do Little Brother numbers. The Roots often do Lupe Fiasco numbers.) Lupe might not be able to read the copy of Empire of Illusion that he carries around with him to radio interviews, but he’s wise enough to know that if he’s gonna make any money at all from being a rapper, it’s gonna be from licensing his music to movies, TV commercials and shit, Jay Electronica-style, and I guess you don’t make any money from having your music licensed, if you don’t own the publishing to it. Who cares how many Mountain Dew commercials your song is in, if those checks go straight to the account Bruno Mars uses to pay his coke dealer and the lawyer he uses to have his cocaine charges dropped, because he got caught doing lines off of the toilet in a Hard Rock Cafe, which is supposed to be a rock-themed restaurant. They should have fake coke on the toilet anyway, as part of the decor. #marketingfail Speaking of which, in retrospect, Lupe should have recorded those B.o.B. songs, if only because they might have saved his career. Even if he didn’t make so much as a dollar from them, at least he could have continued to record on a major label. It would have been worth it just for the advance he would have received for his next album. Whereas, I can’t imagine Atlantic Records will be interested in dealing with him again, after the hassle he gave him with this last album, which didn’t turn out to be worth a shit, just as they predicted. It’s too late for him to try to play ball. He already did that with this Skylar Grey song. I wonder if it required him to sign over his publishing rights to it, like those B.o.B. songs. (Not that it matters.) Skylar Grey was hardly a household name when it was recorded, but neither was Bruno Mars when that B.o.B. song was recorded, and Skylar Grey supposedly had a track record, from writing that Eminem song.
It’s not like it matters that much to Dr. Dre how much it costs to get him a hit single. I’m sure he’s got money out the ass, from bizarre Illuminati sex rituals, not to mention whatever he makes from those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, which must be the most ridonkulously marked up items in the history of commerce, even more so than some of the higher priced menu items at Taco Bell, especially now that we know that the meat that they use contains so little actual meat that it can’t legally be called meat. Technically, it’s a “meat-like product.” It’s one thing to pay upwards of $4 for some configuration of sawdust, MSG and high fructose corn syrup, when you could just as easily pay $.89 for the same shit in a slightly different configuration. It’s another thing altogether to pay $200 for a pair of headphones that probably cost $2 for some poor kid to make in the same community where they shot Slumdog Millionaire, over in Indian. They may have even been made by the same kids. I heard they left those kids living in those same nasty, shit-selling slums, when they finished filming. #whitepeople Not that I’m complaining. Lord knows we’ve got enough Indian people living here in the US, not tipping at strip clubs and undermining our retail establishments by not buying anything at full price, when you know good and well they’re probably worth millions of dollars, from programming computers and shit. But I digress. Anyway, like I was saying, it’s not like Dr. Dre gives a shit about having to cut a substantial check to someone who can’t even sing. He’s done a lot of work in the past with Mary J. Blige. LOL And I’m sure whatever he spends on Detox can be written off as a marketing expense for Monster Cables. The key is to actually get a song on the radio. That way they can make a video, similar to the video for “November Rain” in its overall scale and likely price tag, in which Dr. Dre is somehow saved by a laptop computer with the Beats by Dr. Dre logo on it, a billion people will watch it on YouTube, as if it were one of those Lady Gaga videos, and even if only a tiny fraction of those people go on to buy one of those Beats by Dr. Dre computers, Monster Cables will make a veritable shedload of money, because those computers cost so much money. If those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones cost $200, and you can get a really good set of headphones made by Sony for $20, that computer must cost $10,000. Why else would Dr. Dre – a 46 year-old black man from Compton who became famous for singing songs about weed and popping a cap in people’s asses – be recording an emo ballad that sounds like it may have begun its life as a song about needing a shot for chlamydia, which is apparently rampant in America’s high schools, if that show Skins is to be believed/ (Even the chorus to “Love the Way You Lie,” come to think of it, could be viewed as having to do with gonorrhea. Think about it.) Clearly, there’s a lot of money at stake here. It makes you wonder if “I Need a Doctor” was recorded since that song “Kush” hit the Internets and failed to set the world on fire, like Skylar Grey’s crotch. “Kush” is more along the lines of a classic Dr. Dre record, with its lyrics about smoking weed (which is apparently a good time), and its beat that sounds like an ever so slight variation on the every other Dr. Dre beat since 2001 (the album, released way the fuck back in 1999, i.e. two decades ago), many of which were colossal hits. The plan was probably to drop “Kush,” have it blow up, then drop the album in quick succession. Hence all of the press around the time “Kush” hit the Internets, including the cover of the dead tree version of XXL. Then when no one gave a shit they figured they’d bring in the team behind Eminem’s big hit from last year. When that doesn’t work, they should consider having Dr. Dre have some sort of adverse side effect to ‘roids. You know, to give his emo ballads more of an emotional resonance. Imagine if he really did need a doctor. That shit could be a movie! He could be treated by a doctor using a Beats by Dr. Dre stethoscope. Someone get Jimmy Iovine on the phone.