50 Cent ft. Trey Songz • “Smoke” • G-Unit • US Release Date: April 1, 2014
50 Cent’s best days as a relevant MC seem far behind him, at least judging by his blasé, uninspired comeback single, “Smoke”. Assisted by an equally lackadaisical Trey Songz, “Smoke” manages to compare sex and smoking – preferably blunts judging by the hook. While the notion may seem like it has potential to be interesting if far-fetched (two examples of pleasure), the ultimate results are nothing short of EPIC FAIL. This single truly reveals just how far 50 Cent’s game has fallen, particularly since his last truly monumental album The Massacre, from 2005. Sure, 50 had Curtis in 2007, but until “Ayo Technology” came along, the album struggled to find a hit single. And as for 2009 effort Before I Self Destruct, well, the numbers weren’t there in the least. Since those efforts, 50 has tried to reinvigorate what was once an unstoppable career, but he’s shot nothing but blanks. “Smoke” is yet another.
Besides questionable performances from 50 and Trey Songz, even Dr. Dre’s production seems like a leftover, and mind you some leftovers shouldn’t be served ever again! “Smoke” is clunky, lacking the usual magnificence and hit-quality that has come to be associated with Dr. Dre. From the start, the production just doesn’t seem as fully invested, which is a bad signal for the lyrical content. I mean when is the Doc not on?
Now onto 50 Cent’s compelling – cough – horrid performance. 50 Cent stumbles through two verses, with the second coming off incredibly clumsy with lyrics such as “Shawty hot, she full blow, she hot now / 100 degrees, that’s with or without the top down / but when she get to working her hips you know the temperature rise…” I suppose he has a slight moment on the first verse when he spits “I don’t want forever, I just wanna taste her love sample…she’s a narcotic, that bomb sh*t burning, we smoking…” but nothing else quite matches that lyricism, if that’s what you’d deem it to be that is, LOL. Still, all of 50’s rhymes considered, the swag isn’t upon us, the listeners. We are the victims!
As for Trey Songz, well the “they say all I talk about is sex” singer can’t even save the track. The hook doesn’t even latch: “… Girl what the f*ck you done to me / you got me feeling like you just rolled up for me…” Please! Trey sucks any legitimate emotion (aka a committed relationship with all facets working soundly) out of lovemaking, instead supplanting it with ultimately meaninglessly material things like blunts. Reefer, really Trey – she’s like Mary Jane? Ole boy even gets his own verse/bridge, but it just further prolongs the mediocrity that is “Smoke”: “Everybody showing the love when she at the door / turn this b*tch down, that’s fire in the hole / I’m trying to get it and hit it, I don’t wanna pass that…” There goes those empty, material references to a blunt again – Ayi yi! Even worse, Trey is more concerned about ‘getting it in’ then establishing a legit connection. SMH!
If “Smoke” is the fruits of 50 Cent’s labors, WELL then he needs to hang up them MC shoes for good. Honestly, for those who enjoy good lovemaking or a nice smoke (who am I to judge), it’s an insult! It is what it is – and that’s pretty B-A-D. “Smoke” only receives curses from me – no blessings to be had here.