There is an art form to the big club headbanger. You need a big rhythmic pulse, of course. Something that keeps the girls moving and the guys watching. If it goes away, it can only be for a minute and it needs to come back within one minute or else the momentum is lost. If it is not a rap song, you at least need a rap guest verse. This isn’t a Shpongle show here, people want to soak in the lyrics and not JUST move. Speaking of the lyrics, they need to have the proper balance of misogyny- culturally acceptable disrespect. So there is definitely no obvious Ray Rice fiancé smack down references, but you certainly can’t say ‘you have a nice smile and a cute personality. I want to open the door for you and dine this evening.’
Alright, so Frank Peters, macho bravado MC and likable pseudo-rich entertainer, is hitting all the tropes of headbanging club trap to a tee. There is nothing really wrong with that, especially since he manages to do it so well. It is really the talent behind his rapping that gives him that one-up. He isn’t any Rick Ross or Jay-Z, but he most definitely isn’t T-Pain or that one guy that helped Macklemore make a whole hell of a lot of money for an hour or two there. He is sort of like the upper echelon of club headbangers. You know he can do a whole lot better, but you can also see the merit of sticking to the formula. Party Nonstop essentially sums up everything I am saying here without me needing to elaborate. It gets the job done, but when your job is passing out PBR’s for $5 a pop, it is all pretty straightforward.
Frank Peters raps over a guitar line and rock sample in Getting It In. This song about, unsurprisingly, sex, is tonally ridiculous with the beat thrown over it. Most rappers discuss sex with a lot more blatant sexuality, as if the fans wouldn’t get it otherwise. When TI raps about sex, it is either in the form of ‘wrench over the head’ headbanging good fucking, or ‘hammer over the head’ soft ‘I’ll own you in bed’ R&B style. There is no sense of subtly, and this is by no means a TI exclusive- it is all sexual bravado and phallic references this way of a 2 Chainz single. And even though Frank Peters is all about the girls at the club, he has enough skill and enough unique rhyming to substantiate it all. Lollipop became Lil Wayne’s breakthrough because it wasn’t totally dumb and soulless. It had some wit and cleverness, not to mention the talent of a respected MC. This isn’t quality gold, but it is some sort of gold.
So when Frank Peters goes sexual in Gamecock’n or Call Me, he actually steps outside that little frame of mind- a little. Though he drops pit-bull-like aggression in bed, college girl provocation and references to titties with the subtlety of Mount Rushmore, so it is a tough call. It would be fun to see Frank Peters skills take on material with a bit more heftiness. For now, we reached that near-perfect handbanger balance mastered by about 150 artists out there all in the same wide open field.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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