tremble clef

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kelis featuring Cee-Lo, "Lil Star (Future Cut Remix)" (2007)

Look, musicians twiddle with their records all the time and then reissue them as "remixes." I don't see why I can't do the same in blogging: take one of my old posts, which was in fact about a couple of Kelis songs and didn't even include an mp3 of this one in particular, rearrange the word order and "extend" it a bit, and call it a remixed post? Uh? Why can't I? So here is the remix, mix-mix-mix-mix-mix!

On "Lil Star," Kelis sings: "There is nothing special about me, I am just a little star/I'm a-running and jumping but barely getting, getting over the bar." It's a shockingly humble thing to say, especially in hip-hop, which is, after all, all about the boasting. You're bossy! You brought all the boys to the yard! You hated us so much back then!

Of course, Kelis isn't completely self-effacing; the track subtly allows Cee-Lo to sing the chorus, which provides a rebuttal ("Cause in the dark of night, you're all I can see/And you sure look like a star to me"). (Of the batch of new remixes, Linus Loves', which practically dispenses with Kelis's vocal, thereby fails to maintain the balance, while Future Cut's, which beefs up the beat and adds an adorably tinkly keyboard that merrily plays along, is the most commercial.)

But quite aside from what the song ultimately says about Kelis's own level of stardom, it remains clear-eyed about the very nature of celebrity, sensibly pointing out that all stars are only stars because of what we project on them. "If it seems like I'm shining, it's probably a reflection off something you already are." The pun doesn't completely work, since stars (actual celestial bodies) do emit light -- Kelis is probably thinking about planets, which reflect light -- but the point stands as a pretty astute analysis of celebrity, the way our stars, in the end, are simply a kind of collective wish fulfillment.


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