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…music reviews: “Look at Me Now” Chris Brown

April 22, 2011

“Look at Me Now” Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes (#7 Hot 100, Week of April 30, 2011)

Apparently reasoning that the ends justifies the means, Chris pulled out all the stops on this track and has succeeded in landing another hit.

Following up on his newly-discovered street cred in the wake of last year’s mixtape with Tyga (which produced the smash “Deuces”), Mr. Brown takes it a step further here and realizes his barely-concealed fantasy of being a thuggish rapper.

If it were me, I’m not sure I would choose to make my rap debut trading verses with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne.  Predictably,  Chris doesn’t quite measure up, but taken alone, his verse isn’t half-bad.  All three rappers’ verses are of negligible substance (typical testosterone-filled boasts), but much like scatting in jazz, the point here isn’t really what’s being said, but how it’s phrased rhythmically and, to some extent, melodically.  Busta in particular kills it on that front.

Add a ridiculously sinewy beat for the rappers to ride on, and there you have the formula for a hit.  Chris Brown the singer did not show up for this one, but he still gets credit for it.  Chalk it up.

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