Every month I offer up opinions on the latest tunes the world wide web has to offer in a feature we’re calling New/Now/Next. This week we take a look at the nowhere near new phenomenon of the "guest rapper'. From the Legend that is Mr Robert Sylvester Kelly to the pop darling Cher Lloyd you can't go wrong (especially with US radio) with the addition of a hip hop heavyweight. Oh, and theres some other woman who wears wigs and sea shells, Lady Gaga… New
Maybe it's the 90s in me but I cannot help but love me some R Kelly. Whether he's delivering 60's crooner like on 2010's "Love Letter" album or being a straight up strip club serenader as found on new viral single "My Story" featuring 2 Chains (Truuuuuu!). This man doesn't ever run out of a memorable hook- all the while managing to shoehorn these moments of genius in to whatever style is hot at the moment. This ladies and gentlemen is what you call true talent. 2Chains delivers his usual brand of laid back ratchet rap- not that i'm 100% sure what he's saying has any correlation to the track. But his addition doesn't feel like an older artist using the hot youngster to attract some heat (Madonna I'm talking to you), they blend nicely, mainly due to Kelz's timeless/ageless approach. Thats's my story- and I'm sticking to it!NowSpeaking of rap features- obviously the Queen of excess couldn't have just one rapper on her track. I mean she's responsible for meat dresses and egg transportation! GaGa debuted the trap sounding fan favourite "Jewels and Drugs" at London's I-Tunes Festival not so long ago. Taken from the highly anticipated "ARTPOP", Gaga's third studio album, we see a more Urban side to the performer than ever before. From the trap beat to the THREE (yes three) features-TI, Twista and Too Short, she's clearly sending a message that she will not be thrown into anyones pop box. I was wiling this to work, but there's something about Gaga's almost theatrical pop voice that just doesn't sit well when the melodic verses kick in. But in the songs defence, her little rap/sung chorus does have me reaching for a bottle of Hennessy and a blunt- Turnup!
NextWho remembers the scraggily looking thing that hopped on stage at the X Factor in 2010 singing the Soulja Boy/Keri Hilson mash up and had Cheryl Cole snapping her fingers and yelling "You smashed it pet!"? Well she's gone! And in her place is a bonified pop princess, all polished and tanned ready for the Billboard hot 100. And ready she is. After a string of hits and a top 10 album Miss Lloyd is back with the first single off her second album- "I Wish". The TI featuring summer tune seems to take the lead where Arianna Grande's "The Way" left off, all 2002 Mariah sounding with a little throwback flavour. It's nice enough- but I can't help but think Cher is deserving of a better lead single. I'm sure radio will eat it up but it seems a little- premature. TI sounds a little pervy on his verse- which actually has no place on the record. Perhaps they should have went all the way Grande and got Mac Miller for a 16- probably would have been cheaper too!