Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants. Who are we looking at today?
Yeah, this one caught my eye only because the collaboration went so high on the WTF Meter. I could see Wiz Khalifa and T-Pain on a song because neither of them is an artist I trust to carry a song alone, but Lily Allen’s inclusion was baffling, especially considering that she’s on a musical hiatus. The other two don’t exactly scream star power either; anytime I see T-Pain’s name on a track, I know it’ll a tolerable club jam, and Khalifa’s been surviving on random hip-hop R&B appearances since “Black and Yellow” left the charts. That doesn’t explain Lily Allen, though.
It turns out that she’s here because “5 O’Clock” owes its entire existence to a sample of “Who’d Have Known”. To be fair to T-Pain, this was actually a pretty smart sample. It’s catchy, pretty much unheard of, and instead of just letting it sit there, T-Pain takes it somewhere else and even turns it into a duet. The chorus is probably best the first time when it opens the song with a sedated piano part and Allen’s sweet, untouched vocal. But, then the slowdown/fade out technique (that’s becoming overplayed) kicks in, and I remember that I’m listening to T-Pain featuring Lily Allen, and not just Lily Allen.
Like I mentioned before, T-Pain works better on support staff than he does front and center. There’s two reasons for that. His Auto-Tune usually isn’t that bad, but it goes from tolerable to “Why is that chipmunk trying to shatter glass?” annoying when he goes for a high note (see: the second verse). Secondly, he’s fairly uneven as a songwriter (ok, ok, besides “Believe me when I say I fucked a mermaid”) . He can do the club/cruising for chicks style song, but when it comes to being sensitive, he just can’t quite…well, you’ll see.
“It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, and I want ya” Shit, dude. The only thing I’ve ever wanted at 5 A.M. is a bed, no matter what I’ve been doing beforehand. Lily’s chorus even implies that 5 in the goddamn morning means bedtime, and not in the sexy way. Heck, he’d probably fall asleep on top of her by this point. GAH, like I even wanted that image!
“Cause you’ve been waiting on me since/I said I was hitting the club” Wait a minute, you already have a woman at home waiting for you, yet you’re still going to the club? Why? I’ve never been to a club myself, but according to Enrique Iglesias, it’s basically a place to go stare/hook up with women, which is useless because someone’s already waiting for you at your house.
“Something coming up on me/And I know you be getting so horny” This is what I meant when I called T-Pain an uneven songwriter. “5 O’Clock” is, for the most part, a sweet sounding crush song, then we have lines like this and “And she’ll be waiting on me naked/With one of my chains on” that run adversely to the rest of the song. Again, T-Pain: She’s waiting for you. In your bedroom. Naked. Why is the club even an option?
Let’s recap T-Pain’s verses: He’s out at the club while the woman he has at home is calling/texting/waiting for him to get back so they can have sexytime. That means that at some point, they had to have this conversation.
“Woman: So, I was thinking…perhaps we should stay in tonight, just you and me, and not leave the bedroom until tomorrow morning.
T-Pain: Oh, I thought about spending time with you, but I want to go to the club first.
Woman: The club? Sure, go ahead. I’ll stay here and meet you later!
T-Pain: Cool, peace!”
I found the above conversation next to a chapter called “How Nickelback Became the Best Band of the Decade” in the Big Book of Shit That Will Never Happen. If I ever told my girlfriend, “Yeah, we could spend time together, but I’m going clubbing instead”, I’d be going to the club that night and every night from then on single.
Oh, right, Wiz Khaleafa is on this song. What’s he got to add?
“You ain’t got nothing on
But the t-shirt that I left over your house
The last time I came and put it on ya”
Wiz, you broke your own meter THREE lines into your verse.
“And you yawning, but I’ve been drinking all night and I feel like performing” Oh Wiz, that’s just not…nice. Also, there are some unfortunate implications in that line.
“The sun ain’t the only thing that’s coming up” And he closes his verse with a dick joke, truly a cavalier!
This song doesn’t really do it for me. Lily Allen’s chorus is pretty good, and there’s a charm to how T-Pain duets with it, as well as the production in general. Even Wiz doesn’t do too terrible outside the lines I mentioned. But none of the elements really come together, and bum lines take down what could have been a workable song. Ah well.