From a young age I been burdened with hiphopcephalus, so I ain't immune to tha drippiness that afflicts so many lovers of the genre. But I'm about tha weird shit as much as the good shit. While the MSM bugs out over KANYE's collaboration with PAUL MCCARTHY, I find more titillation in the subtler left-field pairings that make you go, "Damn, they usin the same eggs, they in the same kitchen, but those ain't the same omelets." An otherwise forgettable mediocrity, "How Much" pits together occupants of vastly different worlds of tha rap ecosystem. We have a legit OG in JUVENILE, a literal gangsta rapper in REDD EYEZZ, and the being known as FLO RIDA.
What is FLO RIDA? He ain't a rapper. I ain't even sure he's a natural organism. His face look CGI, his hair and beard seem to be made of Play Doh, and his body looks like someone sculpted the human clay with a homoerotic action figure as they model. Although he dominates Zumba playlists and raucous evenings at TGI Fridays, FLO RIDA is essentially a pariah within his own genre. Tha peanut gallery hates on him the most, but no one's really callin upon him for guest verses or mixtape drops either. How can a commercial powerhouse also be a nonentity? It's not accurate to call him a sellout cause he never fronted like he had integrity. He came out the gate as a schlockmeister, an audaciously commercial rapper whose sole aim was to become your mother's favorite rapper. His music is a neutered revision of hip-hop, bowdlerized of its roughest edges yet retaining enough bawdiness that when it comes on at an office party Mabel from accounting all fanning herself like, "Oh, that FLO RIDA is something else!"
That kind of brash cynicism kinda makes me love the dude. FLO RIDA knows who he is, never tried to "spit bars" or be taken seriously as an "artist." From a technical standpoint he ain't even that bad: a little NELLY, some TWISTA fast-rappin mixed wit BONE THUGS sing-rappin. He just chooses to make the corniest shit imaginable and takes it to the bank. More power to him. You can't eat prestige.
So here he is appearing with JUVE THE GREAT and original ZOE POUND goon REDD EYEZZ. Over a chintzy mid-'00s ATL-style stripclub banger, amidst gyrations of booty, the trio make concessions to everyone while appealing to no one. JUVE tosses off a forgettable rap for the aficionados, REDD EYEZZ growls a bunch of generic sub-T.I. posturing for dudes who only watched the first half of Scarface, then FLO RIDA comes out of fuckin nowhere with his weirdly grating melodic hiccups, totally hijacking the song like that Michael Bolton SNL joint from back in the day. It's terrible and it's great. Bonus points for the video's opening segment, featuring a cheeky young man who could learn a thing or two about the insidious evil of catcalling.