Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rhyming and Stealing

If you thought Diplo was taking the piss ripping off Baile Funk records like a Jive Bunny for the international club set, check out the latest from Robbie Williams. Built around a direct lift of the Sly & Robbie electro hit, "Boops (Here To Go)", he insists on revisiting the ill-fated rap territory last flirted with to tongue-chewingly shocking effect on "Rock DJ".

I've never really got him to be honest, but this baffles me more than most of his supposedly ironic, charming pop output. It's neither funny nor sufficiently knowing to pass as the tongue-in-cheek career left turn that its supposed to be. In fact, it looks and sounds like an episode of I Love 1989 fronted by a chubby Northern compere in a shiny tracksuit. A bad look for a corporate megastar with a shelf price of £80 million you'd think. To boot, it plunders a music culture without anything other than sense of mild condescension for what it represents. Is this the stuff on which the RW brand is built?

Was the plan to present Robbie as a kind of 'TK Max'-referencing Lilly Allen for 30 something check out assistants? Does Robbie think that he's democratising urban culture by selling it back to his demographic through a bad Miners's Welfare comedy filter? Or is this really a loving homage to the Now Music school of black culture?

Whatever, if the song doesn't sink him, that shiny Adidas tracksuit surely will.


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