I usually try to stay away from being overly negative, which the internet likes to calling “hating.” To a degree, it’s pointless. Opinions are like assholes, they full of shit © Blu. But, given this forum and the chance to speak, I have to say that…remember when I mentioned that older artists in Hip-Hop shouldn’t be afraid to lead the way and experiment with change in order for the art to grow? Jay’s done that time and time again, critics and fans’ opinions be damned.
But this telethon song with Bono and Rihanna is buns.
Yeah, I know. Haiti needs the dough and attention. I’m for that. I’m for all of these pop culture behemoths coming together to create what they believe to be (and perhaps should have been) a monster of a track. But it sounds every bit disheveled as anything the South has done to set Hip-Hop back by a few years. BlackBook’s Joe Coscarelli writes the following critique of the song.
“Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” begins with a somber Hov hook over sad, tinkering keys, with the lyrics a clear rush job: “The sky falls/ And the earth quakes/ We’re gonna put this back together/ We won’t break.” The verses are similarly sad and vague, dropping empty pleas for solidarity in a grave tone, but amounting to little substance. Rihanna and Bono sound like struggling lounge singers, or performers at a county fair, and the necessarily morose subject matter sounds sappy instead of moving. Tepid jabs at government response fall flatter than the vocal notes in the bridge, with the whole thing begging the question: Why? [BlackBook]
“We Are The World” this isn’t. I assume their intentions were sincere but the trio’s lyrics lack any spirit and end up going errant like an incomplete pass. The chemistry was obviously lacking, even been Jay and
Shy Ronnie Rihanna. While we’re on Rihanna, let the record show that perhaps I’m still side-eyeing her for butchering Bob’s “Redemption Song” previous to this latest gaffe. (Aside: If you’re interested, Melanie Fiona’s version is slightly better than Rihanna’s. Maybe, as a music community, we should agree to leave Tuff Gong’s music out this or least set up an approval process.)
This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t donate (you can pay 99 cents, get the track and donate all in one swoop by clicking here). And kudos to all of the A-listers who did take the time to make appearances and encouraged donations to the tune of $57 million in 24 hours. So for all that went wrong with this song, at least some right things happened by the end of the night.