For those of you who are unaware of him, let me introduce you to Trey Songz. As evidenced by his name, he sings “songz,” the most successful of which was “Bottoms Up,” a catchy little bass-thumper featuring Nicki Minaj in her prime. It was OK, although it rolled the two most overused rap music topics into one: booze and hoes. Which, when read aloud, just sounds like two miscellaneous onomatopoeias, but are, in fact, overused hip hop topics. Trey was fine, but the song probably wouldn’t have been very good without Nicki’s input.
Anyway, Mr. Songz recently came back with a new single, entitled “Na Na.” And before we get to the song, I really have to talk about the video. It’s SO BORING. The brief speaking portions before and after the song are probably about a minute each, but they feel like an eternity because Trey and the girl in the video have no chemistry. At all. There was an SNL skit that was basically just Vanessa Bayer and Kyle Mooney having chemistry. And it was really good. You can’t have a romantic relationship between two characters if the actors don’t have chemistry. It’s just logic, guys. It’s as if they hired the first woman they found who was hot and muscular. That’s probably exactly what they did.
Anyway, the song. Same thing. The beat is boring, the lyrics are tedious, and it’s not even boring in the same sense most of last year’s hits were. Those were boring, but they had some amount of emotion in them. This song has absolutely nothing going for it. The beat is yet another lazy, tedious, monotone beat produced by DJ Mustard, who also produced the beat on “Rack City,” the exact same beat on “I’m Different,” and slightly different but equally boring beats on “Headband,” “Show Me,” and “Feelin’ Myself.” That’s right, will.i.am isn’t even producing his own songs anymore. Go listen to a song from the Black Eyed Peas’ pre-Fergie period and then, presumably, weep. Now that I’ve said literally everything there is to say about this song, let’s talk about the lyrics.
The song starts off with a brief intro. The first line is “Put your hands in the air.” Remember how last year, Lorde said she was over getting told to put her hands in the air? And even then, no one had said that in like, three years? Well, apparently, since Trey Songz hasn’t been around for three years, he hadn’t heard of the death of this former club rap catchphrase. The next line is simply “Trigga,” which is Trey’s nickname and which, in all fairness, is the best use of the “-igga” suffix I’ve ever seen.
The next line is “Mustard on the beat,” a reference to the song’s producer, DJ Mustard, although I like to think that someone spilled actual mustard all over the recording software, and Trey was about to chastise him, then realized he was still recording and spun it. Now seems like an appropriate time to talk about the sample. Now, Songz has been trying to establish some credibility as a singer and rapper since he was 16 (he’s 30 now), and he actually built a fair amount of it with “Bottoms Up.” So, naturally, he followed up his newfound street cred by sampling none other than Teena Marie.
Here’s the opening bridge:
“Oh na na, look what you done started
Oh na na, why you gotta act so naughty
Oh na na, I’m about to spend all this cash
Oh na na, if you keep shaking that ass”
A true poet. Note how he started each rhyme with the same nonsense phrase, even though it doesn’t alter the structure of the song at all and doesn’t need to be there for any reason whatsoever other than because Trey couldn’t think of a title. Also note how he uses perhaps the most overused not-even-close rhyme of all time: started/naughty. I can’t imagine what inclined Trey and Mustard (whose real name is Dijon McFarlane) to make this song. Was Trey inspired to make this song by some event in his life? Was he in desperate need of another song to fill album space? Even then, I still wouldn’t understand it, because this wound up being the album’s debut single, meaning someone must’ve been pretty proud of this song.
The chorus says “Put your hands in the air if you’re fucking tonight,” along with about three and a half lines of filler words like “oh” and “na” and “say it.” Once again, why does this song exist? What did Trey want people to get out of this song? Is it supposed to be sexy? Is it supposed to be a club banger? Is it supposed to be slow and somber? Is it supposed to be upbeat and bouncy? Is it supposed to be Chris Brown? Chances are, the last one is right.
In the verses, he’s talking to a girl, and he’s saying, “I’m going to treat you how you want to be treated. Now let’s fuck.” That’s it. That’s all he’s saying. There’s nothing else to these verses. I don’t feel like typing them all out in this article, because it would be tedious, since I just summarized them in two sentences. It’s weird how in the verses, he’s talking to a girl, but in the chorus, he appears to be talking to you, the listener. Is he telling the girl to put her hands in the air if she’s down to fuck? If so, wouldn’t it be, “Put your hands in the air if we’re fucking tonight?” Is he asking her if she’s fucking someone else? Why is he telling her to put her hands in the air and not just say yes or no. Is he talking to a girl or a fucking monkey? WHAT IS THIS SONG? Y U DO DIS?
And yet, despite being so perplexing, it’s still an intensely boring song. There’s nothing new in the lyrics, there’s nothing distinctive about Trey Songz or his voice, there’s no story being told, no characters being developed, the beat is barely even there, and it overall feels like this song has absolutely nothing to offer. Oh, and one more thing. Remember how I talked about how vapid the outro to “Team” was in my review of it? Well, have a gander at this.
“Hands in the air, na na na
Hands in the air, na na na”
Overall, I give it a D, because even though the song has no redeeming value, it’s still pretty harmless. Sort of like the Planes of pop music. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, reviews of Muppets Most Wanted, Transcendence, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 coming up, and as always…
Liek dis if u cry evrytim.