Welcome back to another Hot Rap Songs Review. Let’s get started.
Lovers And Friends-Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft Usher & Ludacris: Lil Jon, Usher, & Ludacris are the trio behind Yeah, which is not only the number one song of 2004, but it’s also a decade-defining classic. It’s not the only time they’ve collaborated. They also did a love song, aptly called Lovers And Friends. The smooth R&B piano combined with the heavy crunk beat actually really works to make a good slow jam. Usher is pretty much the star of the show as he serenades a potential lover. Ludacris gives a really good verse, but we didn’t need Lil Jon to give one. It wasn’t good. Plus, there are some lines throughout the song that don’t really work. But overall, Lovers And Friends is no Yeah, but it’s still a good song. I give it a B.
Candy Shop-50 Cent ft Olivia: I actually used to like Candy Shop when I was younger. But over time, it just soured over me (no pun intended). The production from Scott Storch is really dull, attempting to sound epic, but it doesn’t go all the way. 50 Cent said that he tried to be as sexual as possible without being too explicit, which is admirable, but it ultimately undercuts the whole song and we get a sex song with no meat to it. This is one piece of candy you can throw away. I give it a D.
Hate It Or Love It-The Game ft 50 Cent: The Game and 50 Cent on Hate It Or Love It tell their own rags-to-riches story over some amazing soulful production from Cool & Dre (with help from Dr. Dre), a memorable chorus, and 50 Cent at his most focused. I have nothing else to say about this song, it’s a classic and I highly doubt Game will ever top it. I give it an A.
Just A Lil Bit-50 Cent: And we’re not done with 50 Cent yet. This is Just A Lil Bit, a better song than Candy Shop, but it’s still average. It’s a club song focused on women in a sexual way and it’s exactly what you’d expect. It has one of Scott Storch’s better beats (especially with that sitar) even if it is formulaic. Overall, the song is alright, but not one of my favorites. I give it a C.
Let Me Hold You-Bow Wow ft Omarion: By this point, Bow Wow has grown up and he’s dropped the Lil from his name. So he recruited Omarion for Let Me Hold You. Back when I was in middle school, a lot of girls loved this song. As for me? It was alright. It’s an inoffensive love song. The beat is nice, courtesy of both Jermaine Dupri and No ID. Both Bow Wow and Omarion were also just okay. There’s nothing bad in the song, but there isn’t anything great about it. I give it a C.
Like You-Bow Wow ft Ciara: And here’s Bow Wow’s highest charting single, Like You with Ciara. I remember hearing this song a lot when I was younger and just like Let Me Hold You, it’s just okay. Decent production, okay rapping, Ciara was cool, and the content is, like the previous song, a love song. I don’t got much to say about it. I give it a C.
Gold Digger-Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx: With production that samples Ray Charles, Jamie Foxx doing his best impersonation of the late singer, and Kanye telling the tales of guys being taken advantage of by women who pursue them for monetary gains, Gold Digger is a goofy, bouncy jam that made it clear that Kanye is here to stay, for better or worse. I spoke about this song back in my Best Songs of the 2000s list and I have nothing else to say. I give it an A.
Soul Survivor-Young Jeezy ft Akon: Soul Survivor, the song that put Young Jeezy on the map. This is a gangsta rap song produced by and featuring Akon and it bumps in the whip. Jeezy’s rougher voice along with the production brings a sense of menace to the song. Overall, I think this song is solid. I give it a B.
I Think They Like Me-Dem Franchise Boyz ft Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, & Bow Wow: Oh, boy. Ringtone rap has reared its ugly head. You’ve probably read my long rant on this particular style of music on my Worst of 2007 list. I won’t rehash any of it and I’ll just talk about I Think They Like Me from Dem Franchise Boyz. It’s wack. The production is cheap, the verses aren’t that good, and the chorus is annoyingly repetitive, repeating the phrase “boy, I think they like me” over and over. The song has a remix featuring Jermaine Dupri, Bow Wow, and Da Brat and even they can’t save this song. It’s getting an F from me.
Grillz-Nelly ft Paul Wall, Ali, & Gip: And we end on Nelly and Grillz. Man, I wanted to like this song, but it just falls short. The production is the best part of the song, going for that Houston sound. But the lyrics are all about grills. Seriously. Just grills. I didn’t care about any of the verses. Nelly is capable of doing better than this. Not bad, but it ain’t good, either. It’s a D for me.
Hate It Or Love It
I Think They Like Me
And those were the number one songs on the Hot Rap Songs chart of 2005. Next time, we look at the number one songs on the Hot Rap Songs chart of 2006.