Here’s the good-looking cliffhanger of a new video Erykah Badu made with Rick Ross, who everyone for some reason loves right now. I don’t much. “BMF” is great. Really great. But like Ross’s first big hit, “Hustlin’” from 2005, it’s mostly the beat. Made by rising Virginian producer Lex Lugar, it’s big and open in a way that suits the heavyset rapper’s blustery style. But most everything else I’ve heard leaves me pretty cold.
While people, some of whose opinions I very much respect, gush over the “lush,” “magisterial” soundscapes of the “Maybach Music” “series, those backdrops never sound right for his raps. Badu sounds okay on that stuff, Barry White would sound better. Ross sounds just sounds off-pace and swallowed up to me, and-I really don’t know what it is that people are hearing-his lyrics are really never anything to write home about. He often doesn’t rhyme and he usually gives the impression that he thinks what he’s saying is extremely momentous-and it’s not. When he calls himself “Biggie Smalls in the flesh” on the oddly interesting, but still mostly clumsy “Tears of Joy,” you wish Lloyd Bentsen was standing at a podium next to him.