By Nick Faber ’18
40 year old Flo Rida is the worst artist in the modern age. Let me explain why:
He hasn’t had a solid hit since ‘Wild Ones’ featuring Sia. And Sia was the only good part of this song. ‘My House,’ released in 2016, is alright but it didn’t strike me as anything important.
Now looking at these last 3 sentences, three major things stick it. The first is that he hasn’t had a relevant hit in a while yet somehow he still gets 12 million+ monthly listeners on Spotify. How? Beats me. But I can guarantee you that nobody listening is tuning into his new music because that would turn them off. I’m assuming it’s because a few of his songs were put in party playlists and that’s where he gets his plays.
The second is that the features are the only saving grace in his songs. He gets the hits due to his features. The features are generally pretty good, I don’t find them annoying at all (except Sage the Gemini, those are annoying). But how good can an artist really be if he/she can’t even make a decent song alone? (Decent is the key word here, by the way.) Think about it, a single is supposed to be your best song from an upcoming project. It may be a little more radio-tuned to appeal to the most listeners, but Flo Rida’s recent singles make me want to turn off my radio, smash it with a baseball bat, then smash my ears with that same baseball bat. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating but I want to get m point across: his singles are terrible.
The third is that no matter how relevant he is, he adds absolutely nothing to the culture. Don’t get me wrong, his song ‘Low’ is a cultural phenomenon. But that is literally it. We haven’t seen him release a song as powerful and iconic as that. I give him credit, though, it’s 1) hard to make a song transcend time, especially in an era dominated by quickly passing fads and 2) it’s even harder to make a song that will be more popular than a song that does transcend time. Kendrick Lamar, 21 Savage, Dr Dre, and Vanilla Ice may not seem related but they all have contributed something important to hip hop, and music in general. What has Flo Rida contributed other than ‘Low’…? I’ll let you think about that one.
But what makes me mad is not that he keeps trying, I actually commend him for that. It’s great that we have artists pushing themselves to be better than their previous selves. But I swear this guy is stuck in 2010 because all of his songs follow the same predictable, EDM, pop-rap blueprints. If you were to play me a song he made in 2017 and told me to guess when he made it, 2010-2012 would be my first, second, and third guesses.
Enough of the breakdown as to why I think he’s terrible, I want to give my proof.
This op-ed is a little different because I’m going to ask you to listen to each song that I mention below. I will have a link to each song. *FYI some of these I really consider to be part of the worst songs released in 2017 (that I heard).
-0:00; Zillionaire isn’t even a real word. This is going to be great if he can’t even start off the song with a real word.
-1:11; “Now that was perfect.” Did you really need to add that? There is absolutely no need to add this at the end of your chorus.
-1:25; “Do what you want because I’ll let you.” No, that’s not how anything works. If this is how Flo Rida thinks, we need to seriously stop him from becoming close to a zillionaire.
-1:28; He had 31 words before his pre-chorus came back on. That’s seriously the shortest verse I have ever heard. And this is not just a one-time thing, it happens in most of his songs. The total time it took him to say these 31 words was, drum roll please, 17 seconds. This can’t be a real song.
-2:14; This trumpet addition is not needed at all. It’s sloppy and there seems to be 0 talent or care actually put into this. It was just a filler so Flo Rida didn’t have to sing another 17 second verse. I haven’t heard the rest of the song so I’m assuming that he is going to jump straight back into a chorus again.
-2:29; I wasn’t correct on my prediction, but a chorus would have been much better in my opinion.
-3:50; I’d think that the first thing he should buy after becoming a zillionaire is a better ghostwriter and a better producer. Or maybe a whole new career in finance or something because this music thing just isn’t working for him.
2. ‘Cake’ ft 99 Percent
-0:05; I wish a Flo Rida song could start off decent, but I don’t think it’s possible.
-0:16; Actually this is the shortest verse I have ever heard. It seems like he just wants to cut straight to the pre-chorus/chorus.
-0:26; The millennial whoop!
*If you don’t know what that is, click on the link.
-0:45; This repeated “cake” word is going to have no meaning by the end of the song. I just wish they could have made it less annoying. Whose idea was it to do this?
-1:19; I don’t know who this 99 Percent guy is but he should stick to making 17-second verses, not singing the 19-second pre-chorus.
-2:52; I don’t know how scientifically accurate this statistic that I’m about to say is, but here it is anyways. The word cake was more than 75% of the song. Somebody do the math and figure that out for me, but I betcha I’m pretty close.
3. ‘Game Time’ ft Sage the Gemini
-0:00; It features Sage the Gemini, you can already bet that this one is going to be bad.
-0:24; There is a reason I saved this song for last. And this is the reason. Who in the world would have thought that this melting pot of hideous sounds would be acceptable? I get the reference of shoes on a court, that’s cool. But the sound is not cool. Nobody likes to listen to the squeaky sounds coming from shoes in real life. So whose bright idea was it to put it in a song, let alone a single? This is your best work Flo Rida? Are you kidding me?
-0:25; Horns are not needed. They don’t even fit the “game time” theme Flo Rida was going for. I have only heard those in movies where there is a nuclear fallout or something… then again if this is the way music is headed, a nuclear fallout may not be so bad after all.
-0:42; “They gon’ watch me ballin’ like I’m Michael Jordan.” First off, trashy line. Not good at all. I guess it isn’t supposed to be deep or anything but I’ve heard this in every pop rap song on the planet. Secondly, is this song supposed to be basket ball game or a football game or a cricket match or what?
-1:23; Here it comes. I don’t know if I can stand it.
-1:35; The background sound of a ball going into a chain basketball net. NBA nets aren’t chains, they are rope. Therefore you can infer that this game doesn’t matter. In this era, the only basketball games that matter are in College and NBA levels, but neither use chain nets. So all of this celebration that Flo Rida has been talking about in the pre-chorus is for nothing because he’s not playing in a college/NBA game.
-1:36; Sage the Gemini enters, the game gets real.
-1:50; Rhymed ‘endzone’ with ‘endzone.’ First rule of rapping: never rhyme one word with the same word unless it has 2 different meanings (i.e. ‘there’ can rhyme with ‘their’ because they mean different things). Just shows that Sage the Gemini is a lazy rapper.
-2:27; This part is the worst part now that I listen to it. At least Flo Rida has some inflection is his voice. Sage the Gemini sounds like he was asked to share a eulogy at his 3rd cousin’s parrot’s funeral. He has no interest in being on this song and I don’t blame him. It’s obvious that it’s just a quick cash grab.
-3:10; The good ol’ fade away (probably an airball). Hopefully they retire soon.
In conclusion, I think we can safely say that Flo Rida is running out of ideas. He is dry, he has very little talent without his trusty auto-tune, and he is simply not a good artist. I believe that he got lucky and has continued to hold onto a bit of the spotlight.
I’m not looking to end his career, rather I want to show people that he is a washed-out artist who should reinvent himself. He has recently dabbled in reggaeton, the rising latin genre (song: “Hola” ft Maluma) but that seems like nothing more than a quick cash grab as well. I will readily admit when he drops a good, decent song. But until then, my expectations will be nothing more than low.
-Nick Faber ’18