Flo Rida feat. T-Pain — “Low”

Released: 9.16.07

Peak: # 1

Pretend all that you want that Autotune-bashing hasn’t become more irritating than Autotune itself could ever be, but T-Pain has been a force for good in contemporary R&B. And among his better deeds was the rehabilitation of this modestly talented member of DJ Khaled’s circle. “Low” is, at the very least, several notches more humane than “Bitch I’m from Dade County,” and its beats come courtesy of Montay Humphrey, the man behind the inexhaustible “Walk It Out,” If this be crunk-lite, who needs the calories?

But maybe I’m just a sucker for a guy who spends more time noticing what the women he desires wear than he does ordering them to strip it off, or than he does celebrating his own wardrobe. Beginning with his moniker, Flo Rida (how did no one claim that nom de rap before this?) brings the obvious lols, from the candid “I love women exposed” to that whassat? metaphor “like a pornography poster” (we used to call them centerfolds, I think).  Shorty gets low without any spastic dork shouting instructions at her, and if she makes bank off Flo for a one-night floor show of ass gymnastics, he’s not complaining or calling her a ho, ’cause he knows she ain’t. By today’s standards that makes him a motherfuckin’ gentleman, if not an incurable romantic.

If you want to claim that Flo has long since outlived his utility, I’m not fool enough to argue otherwise. On “Elevator” he and Timbaland hoped you weren’t yet tired of those magic final syllables from “Umbrella,” and while I’m partial to “In the Ayer,” I suffer will.i.am more gladly than most. Subsequent hits maintained a chart foothold by pillaging freely from Eiffel 65 (“Sugar”) and Dead or Alive (“Right Round”), with both songs more memorable for the gal-sung hooks than any flo he rides. And though in theory an “I Gotta Feeling” rip is just this dude’s speed, “Club Can’t Handle This” proves David Guetta to be truly the last refuge of a scoundrel.

[PS: Not sure why/how I posted Miley out of order. Oops.]

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