A Lil Wayne verse is like a timely accessory: like drop earrings, or canvas belts, or leopard-print jeggings, it gets added to any artist to drag them into whatever style is now. Today’s artist is Robin Thicke, profferer of blue-eyed slow jams, and today’s verse is about as sedate as “Motivation,” Wayne’s last really big hit off one of those. Or maybe that’s assuming too much time spent during Lil Wayne’s recording presence. Listen here.
Wayne’s verse comes first; it’s the sort of verse backed by tender piano and containing lines like “Love is in the air, I pray to God I do not suffer” and an autotuned “pretty little heart.” It also contains a Rocky Balboa hashtag/innuendo, because it’s Lil Wayne, and he probably did the thing in 20 minutes. Nevertheless, we couldn’t ding anyone points for it.
We also can’t fault the track. It’s retro, but it manages not to be self-consciously retro! as too many are. The brass samples are soft and not everpresent, and the piano-and-posh track even recedes for a few of Robin’s a cappella lines before the chorus. His whisper-singing works as well as it’s meant to, as does his grittier singing toward the finish and right where, taking this song in its probable context, it’d naturally come. We’re more likely to turn elsewhere for our motivation, but if throwbacks work for Robin, can’t fault that.