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A.Dot: Music video reviews

A$AP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky – ‘Shabba Ranks’

This has all the ingredients of one of those trap songs that are just… they are just no-brainers. You don’t have to think. Like Trinidad James. It has all the ingredients of being like an ‘All Gold Everything’ type track. A$AP Ferg, for me, is like rap for beginners. It’s very ‘1,2,3…1,2,3’, but I think that works for this song. I don’t know how much I could listen to over and over again. I think where A$AP Rocky is on it, pulls it right back. I love A$AP Rocky. I think A$AP Rocky has got the right balance. He can be very simplistic, but technically quite advanced at the same time. Whereas with A$AP Ferg, there isn’t that much technicality there. He’s kind of playing the game and doing what is working at the moment. That type of sound is working wonders at the moment. This song kind of follows a formula that has been around for about a year now… but its working.

PN: Do you think this is a formula people will get tired of soon, or do you think it may spin off into its own type of genre/scene?
A: I think it’s a trend. I don’t know how long term this music is. I don’t know if in three years this will still be working, but I think it’s a sound that is definitely going to define this time. When you look back at hip hop in the 2012’s and 13’s, I think it will be this. It will be trap music that defines this era.

PN: Some people argue that there is no thought or substance behind this type of sound. However, do you not think there is a place for it?
A: The Shabba Ranks bit is what will carry it and have people repeating it and liking it, but I can’t remember any of the verses… but in the club I would lose my mind to this, probably.

PN: Were you excited when you saw Shabba Ranks pop up in the video, be honest?
A: Yes, very. It’s got the girl from the Wire in it as well! I forget her name…


Tinie Tempah ft. 2 Chainz – ‘Trampoline’ (Lyric Video)

A: This is not what I expected Tinie to come with at all. Tinie has always gone left. Whatever is on trend, he has always gone left and done Tinie. I think this is the first time that he has actually gone and done something which is already on trend, as opposed to creating his own lane, but I genuinely think this style works for him. Like I said, for me, it was unexpected. I think Tinie has earned the right to have an ‘ego song’ as well. This song is very much about where he’s at now, ‘kid saving up for his Nikes, no need to split the bill, his mansion is tidy etc…’ I think he’s earned the right to have a song like this. More power to Tinie.

I think if he was to put out an album where everything was just ticking boxes people would be disappointed. One of the reasons behind Tinie’s success is that he hasn’t conformed. Everything from ‘Pass Out’ onwards, was Tinie. It didn’t sound like anything else. Whereas this, you could probably compare it to another ten songs. I still think he makes it his own.

PN: It was very quickly labelled the [Big Sean] ‘A$$ Remix’, what do you make of that comparison?
A: Wiley was having a bit of a go at him on Twitter. I thought that was a bit harsh… A lot of these songs, if you play them back-to-back they all sound like one long song.   The beat pattern, the sounds that are used, the way the lyrics are set up on the verses/the way people flow… I feel like a lot of them do sound similar and I think ‘Trampoline’ slots into that quite easily, but that maybe what he intended.

PN: As an artist, do you think this was a label decision, or do you think this was Tinie’s choice?
A: I definitely think this was Tinie. I don’t imagine Tinie Tempah is someone you can tell what to do. I think his album was almost two and a half years ago now? Maybe three years ago? It has been a long, long, long time since he put out fresh material. I imagine he’s just doing him. I don’t think anybody can say to him, ‘this is the sound you should go for’ and he sounds comfortable on the track, so I definitely think it was his decision.


DJ Chose – ‘Is That Pussy Mine?’

A: This is one of those songs where… if your iPod is on shuffle and your mum is in the room, you panic. I’ve got ‘Fucking Problems’ [A$AP Rocky] on my iPod, I had it playing and my mum was at my house and I’ve never panicked so much, this is that to the extreme.

This style of music is killing America and I think the UK are adopting it [in terms of the clubs]. This one is on more on a local level. I’m not sure if this works, but I can see where he’s going.


Jessie J ft. Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal – ‘Wild’

A: I am a fan of this song. I do like ‘Wild’. I like the beat more than anything… this is one of my favourite Jessie J beats. What I particularly like on the song is Dizzee Rascal. It has been a while since Dizzee has just gone back to being Dizzee, He delivered a proper Dizzee Rascal verse. I’m feeling the song. It was unexpected for me… Big Sean, Dizzee Rascal, Jessie J…? On paper, before I heard it, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I think even if you don’t get it the first time, it’s definitely a grower.

PN: Are you and Jessie J friends now, I remember there was an article in The Sun some time ago?
A: [Short pause] Me and Jessie are cool. I spoke to her at the Brit Awards… we’re cool, man.

- Trina John-Charles

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