Flo Rida first arrived on the scene last summer on the DJ Khaled track "Bitch I'm From Dade County." To be honest about it I ignored his vocal performance entirely. When you're sharing a Diaz Brothers with the likes of Rick Ross, Trick Daddy and Trina it's not like you're getting the top spot on the cut. Then again Brisco was on this track too and has blown up since then with "In the Hood" so perhaps it's worthwhile to give Flo Rida another chance. After all he's already dropped two hot singles off "Mail On Sunday" before the album even hit stores - the first of which is "Low" featuring T-Pain.
"I ain't never seen nothin that'll make me go
this crazy all night spendin my dough
Had a million dollar vibe and a bottle to go
Them birthday cakes, they stole the show
So sexual, she was flex-able
Pro-fessional, drinkin X and oh
Hoooold up, wait a minute, do I see
what I think I - WHOA
Did I thank I see shawty get LOW
Ain't the same when it's up that CLOSE
Make it rain, I'm makin it snow
Work the pole, I got the bank ROLL
I'ma say that I prefer them no clothes
I'm into that, I love women exposed
She threw it back at me, I gave her mo'
Cash ain't no problem, I know where it goes"
DJ Montay did a decent job with the track, and usually these days when you put T-Pain on the hook you get a top ten single - "Low" was no exception. For my money though "Elevator" is the hotter single. Timbaland is one of the few producers who should talk on a track, let alone sing, and on Flo Rida's cut he takes the time to do both. "Got you stuck, on my elevator, get it up!" Hell yeah. Some hardcore heads may object to how radio friendly this song is, but in doing so they're missing out on how expertly Timbaland weaves together multiple layers of horns, electronic noises, drums, melody and bass. While this song did not convince me Flo Rida is worth being dubbed the next big thing as a lyricist, the speedy & musically half-monotone flow he displays on this song matches perfectly with Timbaland's beat.
"My first flo' stuck on a golddiggin woman
Money cash flow all big face honies
Huntin on the pole got them D-boys runnin
Shorty got both broke, can't see what's comin
Wear them apple bottoms, wear them apple bottoms honey
Dolce and Gabbana and she get up on my money
Louis bag kit, Gucci, Fendi and Armani
See the karats on her wrist, now she pimp Bugs Bunny
Used to date Kanye, now she want me
And while I got the juice, wanna take my OJ"
Any album you can get at least two worthwhile singles from has something going for it, and "Mail On Sunday" has a few future potential bangers as well. The Jonathan 'J.R.' Rotem produced "Ms. Hangover" is tailor-made for pop appeal, complete with Flo Rida offering a sing-song delivery. "In the Ayer" has a will.i.am beat and Fergie cameo to make you shake and break on the dancefloor, even though the catchphrase on the hook is a little bit absurd. Flo Rida carefully tries to balance all the elements on this album and offer something to everyone - he's got Zapp vocoder style quiet storm on "Me & U" and thugged out Floridian hip-hop tag teaming with Yung Joc on the Drumma Boy produced "Don't Know How to Act."
It's a little strange to complain about a well produced album that's not unpleasant to listen to, but it's the very fact that Flo Rida is trying so hard to please so many audiences that hurts this CD. Flo Rida is so new on the hip-hop scene that he would be well served to develop an identity, yet he seems as malleable as a ball of wet clay throughout "Mail On Sunday." I suspect Flo Rida could probably do an underground backpacker rap if you paired him with Alchemist, then turn around and give you a crunk ass track working with DJ Paul and Juicy J. When you try to come up with positive comparisons to other artists, you realize just how derivative Flo Rida is. He's a little bit Twista, a little bit Trick Daddy, and a whole lot Nelly. None of those things are negative, but the fact he can't distinguish himself from any of them isn't a positive. I'd like to see Flo Rida convince me why he's special with his next album - until then he's just another MC with a well produced album who came out of a cookie cutter hitmaking mold.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: March 18, 2008