Five Spot: Lil Jared Is Doper Than Most Kid Rappers
Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and list five reasons why it's either brilliant or dumb-assed. Send tips to email@example.com.
As set forth in the official "Give Any Song From the Offspring of a Local Icon at Least Three Weeks of Listening Before Rendering Judgment" Doctrine that we did not just make up, we've given "Ballin', Smashin'," the debut single from Trae's son Lil Jared, the prerequisite amount of listening time. We fully ingested the Lil' Troy-sampled chorus, the oddness of Trae calling Jared "mayne" and Jared referring to his father by his first name (surely this isn't a real-life practice... right?), and the realization that, despite having followed the arc of Trae's career for the last seven or so years, we'd never seen him smile before this video, and have arrived at our decision: Brilliant. As much as we're inclined to like most anything Trae is a part of, we genuinely enjoyed this. We thought Trae played it very smart by presenting Jared as a kid above all else - a cool-as-shit kid, but a kid nonetheless. The second verse is as good as anything 2005's Big Two have released in the last two years, and Trae's opening line ("I'm right behind you, homie") is just about as revealing as anything you'll likely ever hear from him. Kudos to the twosome. Sadly, most kid rappers do not come off near as genuine as young Jared. For example, do you remember:
This is just straight-up ridiculous. We mean, this song pretty much has everything you shouldn't do if you're making a video starring a little girl. There's:
1. A shirtless muscle man that appears to be at her beck and call. 2. Wizardry. 3. Poor understanding of human anatomy. (Contrary to popular belief, little girls are actually made up of near 250 bones and 11 body systems, not sugar.) 4. Borderline inappropriate dancing. 5. And her driving. She is wearing a seatbelt, though. We will give her that.
Bow Wow is easily the best overall rapper of all the kids on this list, but there's just something obtuse about him comparing himself to Biggie and Pac in his first single. And okay, Snoop is in this, but we're not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Actually, scratch that: "We do it to you doggystyle"? "Big bow wow in your mouth"? Yeah, we're certain it's a bad thing.
Man, why do kid rappers wear so many accessories? It should be mandatory for every rapper under age 16 to have someone around whose sole purpose is to tell them that it is not okay to wear wristbands on their forearms.
We're confident this is pretty much standard for a Flo Rida fan.
Okay, we'll admit it, about 45 seconds into this song we were really interested to see how it ended. But the general cuteness of this video is rendered completely trashy when viewed immediately after the godawful"I Am What I Am."