A bourgie around-the-way girl intellectual friend who retains a taste for the ‘hood and overthinks music as much as I do passed on an essay deconstructing the popularity of Rick Ross’ “B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast)” among those who should know better. “But it’s just good, ignorant Negroidian fun,” my friend countered. I can relate, as I’m prone to enjoy a brilliant robbery anthem from time to time, even though I’m no fan of actual robberies. Then I came across an amusing B.M.F. YouTube spoof.
The only thing the original and the parody have in common is they underscored how puzzled I am about the song’s huge appeal.
Yes, I know that you know that I’m no Rozay fan. But in order to slow my descent into fogey-dom, I did give Teflon Don a thorough listen after patently ignoring Rawse’s entire ascent to the top of the rap game. And you know what? There are actually some certified joints. B.M.F. just isn’t one of them.
“Super High” is textbook drop-top music that sounds like DJ Quik at the top of his powers with Dr. Dre‘s Chronic era session personnel. “No. 1” is what club bangers used to be before the term was rendered toothless by snap music’s anemic spawn. “Maybach Music 3” is sweepingly cinematic and “Free Mason” displays some conceptual flair. There is occasional decent rapping to be found in all of these songs.
But B.M.F? A tedious dirge at best. The cheesy orchestral synth patch and 808 combo is little more than a tortured droning, but the trend shows no sign of stopping. The verses bore after one rotation. And frankly, after 20 years of rappers adopting the names of every gangster and despot from Pablo Escobar to The Taliban and even Al Qaeda, I think the super criminal nickname swag can be laid to rest.
And the tempo? Can hip-hop get any slower in the 21st century? We’ll have to start measuring it not in BPM’s (beats per minute) but in SPB’s (syllables per bar). I think B.M.F. may average a good 12 SPB at most. Bamma might as well just be doing spoken word. More importantly, how the fuck do you dance to this shit? Would dougie-ing be appropriate?
Maybe I’m just old and don’t understand modern conspicuous consumption, fantasy rap. The simplest explanation is usually the most likely, even though I still love me some conspicuous consumption, fantasy rap.