09 October 2002

i don't think i've said anything about erick sermon's "react." hip-hop's recent fling with the east began with timbaland's asian dalliances and were brought further into focus by dj quik's production on "addictive" by truth hurts. that track was structured so that it seemed like the bollywood soundtrack was coming from a passing car of from the upstairs neighbor's apartment. truth hurts peformed her half of the song as if she were coolly unaware of her hindi counterpart. this is where "react" differs from what came before it: the chorus of the song is a reaction to the vocal sample. "whatever she said, then i'm that," sermon responds. this self-consciousness would seem self-congratulatory in other hands; sermon is such a laid-back, mirthful guy, though, that i'll give him a break (a luxury i wouldn't afford to, say, jermaine dupri). besides, it's satisfying to hear him finally formulate a cogent post-epmd, post-zapp sound, like an artless timbaland with dr. dre’s polish (providing he did produce the track, which has always been his raison d'etre.)

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