The-Dream Offers Song of 2085

Kanye rides an expensive Italian bike to the moon to meet the-Dream
Kanye rides an expensive Italian bike to the moon to meet the-Dream

Today The-Dream comes out with Love vs Money, his newest full length album.  I must say, the battle between love and money is truly eternal (and a much more fruitful and thought-provoking dichotomy than say, Love/Hate, the title of the-Dream’s last album, right?). I find my milli interfering with love all the time. “Is this really love in the club?” I think just about every other night, as a scantily clad cocktail server opens the third bottle of $300 Champagne and pours the bubbly for me and my man muffin du jour.

OMG! The-Dream is 19 but he’s already written some of the defining hits of recent years, including Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”

His track with Kanye, entitled “Walkin’ On the Moon,” recalls Michael Jackson in ways beyond the “moonwalking” connotation.

Mark my words, this will be the hit of 2009.

The song begins with the-Dream calling, “Hello? Hello?” into the silent abyss of space. Then, like a spaceship captained by George Clinton, a sparkling, laser-like screech of strings cuts through the lunar loneliness and lands on the surface. The-Dream soon finds his comfort zone and sweetly falsettos us to the next galaxy. He also declares the year is 2085, which everyone knows will be the year man finally reaches the moon.

When Kanye comes in, he destroys the-Dream’s sentimental reverie about out-of-this-world girls and begins another pouting session about fame. It is unclear whether he is mocking or worshipping the person he’s singing about, and furthermore, whether or not he is singing about a self-centered woman or himself. If it’s about him, we can read his rhyme as a sort of meta-analysis of himself, from the perspective of an out-of-body Kanye looking at himself walk by on the red carpet, hop into the ‘rari’ and roar away into starry-eyed oblivion.

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The Past and Future of JT & Clipse

all we're missing is some wall coverings
no, really, we're extremely comfortable with our new found wealth. all we need is some wall coverings.
even corn rows couldn't give me cred in 2002
even corn rows couldn't give me cred in 2002

JT!!!!!!!!!! I love Justin Timberlake. But where he at? When is he going to come out with the follow-up of FutureSexLoveSounds? As Jepp once remarked to me, JT is “the go-to bitch of hip hop,” that is, he lends his heavenly pipes to guest artist on a lot of hip hop tracks. But JT hasn’t been the main show since 2006!

In new news, he’s lately released a single with the thoroughly uninspiring Ciara, entitled “Love Sex Magic.” (Didn’t someone tell them that those words remind everyone of the cringe-inducing RHCP album title from the 90’s?) The song isn’t bad, but for how expensive it probably was to make, I’m sure I could pound something like it out on that Sony keyboard I had growing up. It’s got a mechanical wannabe-Stevie Wonder-funk edge to it–but unlike anything by Stevie, this funk lacks anything organic or sexy about it. Ciara can’t make me believe in love or sex or magic since her voice is so vocoder slick that it slides right by without being noticed.

Some of JT’s guest appearances have kept me amused since 2006, notably his extensive collaborations with stand-up guy T.I. and the extremely low-baller Duran Duran song “Night Runner,” (seriously, was this recorded in a shoe box?! I have scowered the internetz for a decent recording, and they all sound like this one!)

But mostly I just have to endlessly re-listen to his two flawless albums Justified and FutureSexLoveSounds.

Something I noticed upon a recent re-listen: the song “Like I Love You” features Pusha T and Malice from Clipse!!! What are the coke-dealing Virginia gangstas doing with JT on his first album, when he had absolutely no street cred? Answer: Pharell produces. The combination isn’t as baffling as I had originally imagined.

Back in 2002, when this song came out, Clipse had barely released Lord Willin‘. It seems Pharell was helping the Clipse boys fish the lucrative pop-crossover market. Sadly, it didn’t work, and Clipse still doesn’t have the fame they deserve. For Christ’s sake, Clipse’s forthcoming album is morbidly entitled Till the Casket Drops, as though they’re expecting the grim reaper to appear at any moment and take them away from rapping. If the album is anything as bitter as its accompanying mixtape, Road to Till the Casket Drops, then we can expect some more revelations on their Greek obsessions with fate and death.

Don’t let me down, Clipse and JT! Maybe you could collaborate in 2010?