Doe anyone miss the shiny suit era?
Yeah, me neither.. Yet here I am, revisiting another prominent song from said period. Today we have Pastor Mason Betha’s “Lookin’ At Me:” helping Bad Boy prosper in their awkward, post-Biggie phase.
The factor compelling me to this song had little to do with Mase. See, I’ve liked “weird” beats since I was a little rap dweeb. Timbaland’s production already had my ears at almost every single so it’s no surprise “Lookin’ At Me’s” beat, produced by the Neptunes, caught my attention. It’s funny realizing how a Neptunes beat at the time could’ve been “weird” but that’s a topic for a rainy day.
Hearing Chad and Pharrell’s work here compared to the rest of their catalog is kind of rough. However the Neptunes’ early, iconic sound on “Lookin’ At Me” is educational for any fan or casual listener. Additionally, much like last iteration’s go round, it brings back good times in the ’90s: namely “borrowing” Harlem World from my sister. Don’t worry; I gave it back.
This is one of those cases where important records for producers’ careers aren’t necessarily their best. You can’t fault the Neptunes for trying, though. The group eventually developed their sound to impact mainstream, urban music in a major way in the aughts. Their “Rome” just needed time to build. Then again I’ll always be partial to “The Funeral” when it comes to their early stuff.
Also, for those still wondering if M-A-Dollar Sign-E fell off or found God, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.