Christina Milian — “Dip It Low”

Released: 3.13.04

Peak: #5

Pop oligarchy is a drag. When only a few artists and producers get a shot at the top, we all suffer, because great singles emerge from unexpected, if not outright inauspicious sources. Take “Dip It Low,” a beguiling geisha-pop trifle whose dangling trinkets and winding oriental silks are the work of Poli Paul. Right–me either. (“Dip It Low” may have actually come from an even less suspected source: a 1983 track called “La Sirena,” the creators of which claim that Paul sampled it without authorization.)

Then there’s the track’s writer, Teedra Moses, who always seemed capable of something more than Mary J and Macy album cuts–yes, even something more than her overrated underrated cult debut Complex Simplicity. (Incidentally, almost all that disc’s tracks are Poli’s work, his only other major-ish credit.) And if “Dip It Low” isn’t that “something more,” its lyrics at least hint at a female sensibility behind the pussy-popping. If “Why not make him wait for you?” is a sexy tease, insisting that he be “a really really good boy” before you put out verges on Lysistrata territory. I’m just glad the lyrics don’t reference rolling around in ink, which seems like the sort of icky fetish profiled on HBO’s Real Sex.

Then there’s the artist herself. Milian was a hot little thing even as a teen actress, and she made a name for herself as a decent R&B partner pledging down-low freakiness to Ja Rule on “Between Me and You.” But her first minor hit, “AM to PM,” was something Christina A. would bury around track 9 or so, and to date, and she’s released just six singles total. The last, “Us Against the World,” totally stiffed. Still, she’s married to The-Dream, one of the oligarchs. Maybe he can figure out what to do with her.

Oh, and, as always, the song is easily improved by subtracting the Fabolous guest verse.

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