Flo Rida: Sugar
Let’s just lay the ground rules first: when discussing this song, avoid any analogies relating to sweetness, tastiness, confectionery, cakes or dental hygiene. Every reviewer or subeditor alive will use one or more of these devices, and in a world like this there must be balance.
Right then ... Flo Rida would be a good rapper to marry – when he’s onto a good thing, he sticks to it. Following the success of ‘Right Round’, the man from the land of Jeb Bush has reused the formula for his next single: take a pop hit of yesteryear and give it a facelift with female vocals and a hotted-up beat. Use this as the foundation for a few raps, and send to radio stations worldwide. Easy.
Where ‘Right Round’ used Dead or Alive to good effect, ‘Sugar’ uses Eiffel 65’s Eurotrash hit of the late ‘90s, ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’. You know, the one where the band sings not much besides “I’m blue” while being attacked by strange little blue men. It’s like spending four minutes inside Keith Richards’s head.
Eiffel 65 is a contentious choice – where Dead or Alive are widely loved, the Italian trio had at least as many detractors as admirers. ‘Blue’ is quite possibly the cheesiest electronic track of all time, fighting for that honour with notables like ‘The Hamsterdance Song’, ‘The Ketchup Song’, and anything by Scooter. But Flo (as his friends call him) seems determined to use this cheesiness, making ‘Sugar’ much more a dance track than a rap song. Running long at 4:20, there are long patches of beats and R&B vocals, with just a couple of token rap verses early in the piece. As ever, Flo’s flow is amazingly tight, but with the dubious backing music and choruses, ‘Sugar’ comes a distant second to ‘Right Round’.