Remember that “aha” moment when R. Kelly – known for such wonderfully literal, irony-deficient hits as “Trapped in the Closet” and “Feelin’ on Your Booty” – finally discovered figurative language? “Stick my key in your ignition” may strike the unappreciative reader as a fairly self-explanatory metaphor. But it actually marked a major turning point in the singer’s career. And now folks, it happened to Eve.
Exhibit A? The lyrics of her new single, “Tambourine”: My tambourine/ Won’t you come and play/ My tambourine/ Cradle it in your palm/ My tambourine/ Now get down on your knees and play/ my tambourine. Basically set up as one long hook, it’s a club banger that emphasizes style over substantive content, the substantive content being, well, fairly self-evident. Eve has a tambourine. She wants you to play it. And like, you know, get down on your knees.
But let’s face it: Tthe beat on this track is bananas. Eve had the presence of mind to enlist the talents of veteran producer Timbaland, who deploys some of the same jungle elements – bongos, looped snare rolls, infectious whoops, and raga-style chanting – that worked so well in Ludacris ‘ “The Potion.” What’s more, the video for “Tambourine” delivers all the lurid pleasures you’d expect to find in pop-oriented hip-hop: chunky cutaways, girly bling accessories, and of course, leggy dancers. In fact, next to her new Alicia Keys-inspired fashion sense and the tiger skulking across her floor, the best thing about rapper Eve is her backup. After all, no female rapper is complete without her very own Ho Frat Hooooo! Check out this recent YouTube post of the Elastimen practicing their “Tambourine” dance routine in an unknown parking structure. That one on the right is hella fine.