Cruise (Remix)

Cruise by krin.jpg

Date Aired
June 7, 2013
Running Time
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Todd plays "Cruise" on the piano

A pop song review

Todd: Let's talk about country music.

Clip of Dierks Bentley - "Tip It On Back"
Dierks: Tip it on back, make it feel good
Sip a little more than you know you should

Todd: And let's talk about hip-hop.

Clip of Ace Hood ft. Future and Rick Ross - "Bugatti"
Ace Hood: Oh there he go in that foreign again
Killing the scene, bring the coroner in
Murder she wrote, swallow or choke

Todd: And let's talk about the two genres combined.

That clip of "Accidental Racist"
Brad: I'm proud of where I'm from
LL Cool J: If you don't judge my gold chains...

Todd (VO): No!

Clip from Hannah Montana: The Movie
Hannah: Pop it, lock it, polka dot it
Countrify then...

Todd (VO): No! No, no, no, damn it!

Todd: Okay, despite some...notable evidence to the contrary, country and hip-hop can work together. In fact, they've been moving in that direction for a long time.

Video for Blake Shelton ft. Pistol Annies and friends - "Boys 'Round Here"
Blake: All the boys round here
Drinkin' that ice cold beer

Todd (VO): See, country music is, in a lot of ways, a conservative genre, so naturally it's resistant to more threatening genres like the hippety-hop.

Todd: But on the other hand, let's face it. Hip-hop hasn't been threatening in many years. Who the hell only listens to one kind of music anymore? Nobody. We live in the MP3 generation, everyone listens to everything.

Clip of Tim McGraw - "Truck Yeah"
Tim: Got Lil Wayne pumpin on my iPod

Todd (VO): So despite years of vehement opposition, country music is being forced to make peace with rap music, just like it had to do with those long-haired hippie freaks and their rock 'n roll. There was a time when people considered Johnny Cash too rock 'n roll for country music, believe it or not.

Todd: And really...

Brief clip of Snoop Dogg ft. Willie Nelson - "My Medicine"

Todd (VO): ...shouldn't these two styles of music be able to find common ground? After all, 1., [side-by-side pics of old men, one white and one black] both genres speak to the experiences of the poor and disenfranchised, and 2., [side-by-side pics of Taboo and on one side, and Rascal Flatts on right] both genres don't actually do that because they sold out a long time ago.

Clip of Trace Adkins - "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk"
Trace: At that honky tonk badonkadonk

Todd (VO): Now there are a lot of trends that have been bringing the two together over time, but one of the bigger events in that movement was back in 2004, when [Clip of "Over and Over" by...] Nelly, one of the then-biggest names of hip-hop, recruited Tim McGraw, one of the still-biggest names of country music, for a duet.

Tim: 'Cause it's all in my head.
Nelly: I think about it.
Tim: Over and over again.

Todd (VO): And now, [Clip of "Cruise (Remix)"] ten years later, Nelly brings rap to Nashville again, but...

Todd: It's a much different country music world nowadays.

Florida Georgia Line: I got my windows down...

Todd (VO): When Nelly and Tim McGraw teamed up, what middle ground was there when country and hip-hop worked?

Back to "Over and Over"
Nelly: I don't know what else to do.
Tim: Can't go all night lovin' you.
'Cause it's all in my head.

Todd (VO): Apparently, only with lousy, middle-of-the-road, easy-listening garbage, which is why "Over and Over" is such a boring slog of a song.

Todd: But since Nelly stepped on the scene...

Todd (VO): ...hip-hop has only gotten twangier and further from New York and LA, and country music has only gotten rowdier and younger and more meatheaded. I can't be the only person to notice that country music videos these days are just rap videos with white girls.

Todd: Which brings us to these guys.

Video for "Get Your Shine On"
Florida Georgia Line: You know I love it when you get your shine on

Todd (VO): One's from around Daytona, the other's from near Atlanta, so they named themselves Florida Georgia Line, even though I'm pretty sure the actual [map of...] Florida-Georgia line's a barren wasteland of [picture of swamp] gators and swamp algae.

Todd: It was last year when Florida Georgia Line released their first single, "Cruise".

Video for "Cruise"
Florida Georgia Line: Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise

Todd (VO): "Cruise" immediately launched them into the big time, becoming a #1 hit on the country charts and was also a finalist for my Worst of 2012 list because it's yet another smug, dopey, mainstream country song complete with the requisite...

Todd: ...four chords of pop. [Single bar of Nick Long's "Four Chord Song" over opening of Journey - "Don't Stop Believing"] Pop song chords—oh God, make it stop!

"Cruise" did exceedingly well for a country song, but...

Video for "Cruise (remix)"

Todd (VO): they have their first mainstream hit with this rap remix version with Nelly.

Tyler Hubbard: What up, Nelly?

Todd (VO): "I need a hit really badly. How are you?"

Todd: Now, Nelly has always proudly represented for the Midwest, which makes him a better fit for a country song then, say... [picture with Brad Paisley] LL Cool J. But honestly, I think it would've fit even better if they'd gotten a rapper from Florida or Georgia, like, you know, [pictures of...] T.I. or Ludacris or...ooh, ooh, think of it. [Album cover of Mail on Sunday by...] Flo Rida Georgia Line? It would've been perfect! It would've been terrible.

Todd (VO): But probably not any more or less terrible than the actual song, which is now a Top 5 hit in the country because the charts still haven't figured out what the hell they're doing.

Todd: And what do I think about it? Ugh, I hate it.

Todd (VO): I...really hate it, I can barely listen to it at all. Just the opening notes fill me with dread. But let me be clear. This country/hip-hop mash-up is terrifying not because it's a terrible idea and it sucks.

Todd: No, no, no. It's terrifying because it does work...and it sucks.

Todd (VO); A lot, in fact. It sucks a whole, whole lot, but I can't say that it's really all that strange or bizarre or baffling or out of place. It all fits together distressingly well. It's a mash-up in the same way as [picture of...] a KFC Famous Bowl—disparate parts mixed together into a homogenous, gross, but familiar glop.

Todd: So why does this make sense in its own horrible, horrible way? Well, let's take the original "Cruise"—what's it about?

Florida Georgia Line: You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise
Down a back road blowin’ stop signs...
...In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit

Todd (VO): Okay, it's about cars.

Todd: Do rappers like cars?

Clip of Lloyd Banks Ft. Juelz Santana - "Beamer, Benz or Bentley"
Lloyd: Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley
Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley
Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley

Todd: Yeah, rappers like cars. What else is it about?

Tyler: Yeah, when I first saw that bikini top on her
Thought, "Oh, good lord, she had them long tanned legs"

Todd: It's about hos. Okay, fine, it's about country gir...who am I kidding? It's about hos. Do rappers like hos?

Clip of Lil Wayne Ft. Drake and Future - "Bitches Love Me "
Lil Wayne: With no makeup she a ten
And she the best with that head
Even better than Karrine

Todd: Yeah, rappers like hos. and hos. Why did it take these two genres so long to get together?

Todd (VO): Now, being of the newer, American-Eagle-wearing breed of country singers, Florida Georgia Line are openly fans of hip-hop. They even had one of their songs spell [single cover of "It'z Just What We Do"] "it'z" with a Z. That's...that's still cool, right? Was it ever?

Todd: But anyway, the remix was...

Todd (VO): ...actually Nelly's idea.

Nelly: Yo, I was checkin' out the "Cruise" video, man. Ain't that thing the deal, bra. I think we need to turn it up, though. What ya think?

Todd (VO): Both Florida and Georgia there say they were super-psyched about it because they've been listening to Nelly since they were kids because... [clip of "Country Grammar"] Holy crap, "Country Grammar" came out 13 years ago and they would've been in middle school and Nelly is almost 40...

Todd: ...and I found a gray hair in the mirror the other day and... [composes himself] Anyway, why did Nelly pick this song to guest on?

Todd (VO): Well, like I said, the subject matter fits. But also, have you ever listened to Nelly's flow? That...that sing-songy thing he does?

Clip of "Ride Wit Me" ft. City Spud
Nelly: ...towards me up the dance floor
Sexy and real slow (hey)
Sayin she was peepin and I dig the last video

Todd (VO): Yeah, if you listen, it's just two notes.

Todd: Two notes, a fourth apart, like this. [Demonstrating with D and A notes] Da da-da da da da da-da da da.

Clip of "Dilemma" ft. Kelly Rowland
Nelly: I met this chick and she just moved right up the block from me
And uhh, she got the hots for me the finest thing my hood did see

Todd: And "Cruise"?

Tyler: Yea when I first saw that bikini top on her
She's poppin' right out of the South Georgia water

Todd (VO): [humming along]

Todd: Two notes, perfect for Nelly.

Clip of "Hot in Herre"

Todd (VO): And my knowledge of Nelly's a little rusty because he's only had one hit in the last eight years. But during his peak, I remember him being a spastic, horny jackass, which makes him a good fit for the obnoxious, horny frat boys of Florida Georgia Line.

Todd: That's why I hated the original. It's just so bro-douchey and dumb.

Clip of original
Tyler: Yea when I first saw that bikini top on her
She's poppin' right out of the South Georgia water
Thought ol' good Lord, she had them long tanned legs

Todd (VO): And she had a great personality too, right?

Todd: [thumbs up] Heh? Yeah, I'm sure they'll get to that in the second verse. Ugh, I feel like this song comes coated with drool on it.

Tyler: Thought ol' good Lord, she had them long tanned legs
Couldn't help myself so I walked up and said
Florida Georgia Line: Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise

Todd: Okay, you walk up to her and you say...

Florida Georgia Line: Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise

Todd (VO): I've covered worse pickup lines, but this still isn't great.

Todd: Baby, you a song. By that, I mean you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise. So I guess I'll do that. Bye [Gets up and leaves, sound of car driving away.]

Todd (VO): If I were cruising down the back roads though, I have to say I wouldn't be listening to this because, and this is the truly sad thing about it...

Todd:'s not even a very good driving song.

Clip of Rodney Atkins - "Take a Back Road"

Todd (VO): In fact, I can think of a few country songs from the past year that were about driving, and none of them are good driving songs. They're...

Todd: ...just a little too slow. I mean, [snaps fingers] come on. Where's the tempo? You know, like this.

Clip of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "Running Down a Dream"
Tom Petty: Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me

Todd: Yeah, come to think of it, Nelly's already done a better driving song than this.

Clip of "Ride Wit Me"
Nelly: If you wanna go and take a ride wit me
We three-wheelin in the fo' with the gold D's
Oh why do I live this way?

Todd: See? How hard is that? Have you...have you ever driven a car at all? And also, as far as driving goes.

Florida Georgia Line: Down a back road blowin’ stop signs through the middle
Every little farm town with you

Todd (VO): Okay, driving a little too fast, playing your music a little too loud, I'm okay with that, but...

Florida Georgia Line: Down a back road blowin’ stop signs

Todd (VO): Stop signs are not one of those things...

Todd: ...I'm willing to bend on. I'm...I'm not even sure how to argue this point. If there's a stop sign, you should stop.

Video of car blowing through stop sign, getting hit by one car and smashing into a parked van

Todd (VO): This has been a message from the Wisconsin Traffic Safety Council. Stop at stop signs, dumbass!

Todd: Yeah, so that was the original. Let's get Nelly on here. What changes?

Florida Georgia Line: Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise

Todd (VO): Well, we've flattened out the country instruments, which were barely there to begin with. And we've added Auto-Tune. Well, more obvious Auto-Tune, I guess I should say. And there's a thump-thump beat added, and it kinda works.

Tyler: She's poppin' right out of the South Georgia water
Line and Nelly:Thought ol' good Lord, she had them long tanned legs

Todd (VO): Also, Nelly shouts "Oh!" a lot.

Florida Georgia Line: And this brand new Chevy with a lift kit
Nelly: Hey!
Florida Georgia Line: Would look a hell a lot better with you up in it
Nelly: Oh!

Todd (VO): So what else would you recruit a token black guy to do?

Todd: Basically, Nelly's part is pretty limited. He sings a little bit of the chorus and has a guest verse.

Nelly: My windows down, my seats back
My music up and we ride
Her legs up on my dashboard
And it's just the way I like
Hey country girl, this country boy

Todd: "Country boy"? Okay, Nelly's from...

Clip of "Batter Up"

Todd (VO): ...Missouri, he's always made a big deal out of his Midwestern drawl because when he started, a rapper not representing either coast was still a novelty. But Greater St. Louis isn't some podunk, nowhere town. For Christ's sake, if your hometown has several pro sports teams, you might not be a redneck.

Todd: I...I don't think you can really call yourself a country boy.

Todd (VO): And now that I think about it, I know I was just talking about how more country fans are listening to more hip-hop, picking up more cultural cues from hip-hop, but...I'm not sure that's true in reverse.

Florida Georgia Line: She was sippin' on Southern and singin' Marshall Tucker

Todd (VO): I get the feeling Nelly doesn't listen to a lot of Marshall Tucker or drink much Southern Comfort.

Todd: And I get the feeling he really doesn't do this.

Florida Georgia Line: She hopped right up into the cab of my truck
And said, "Fire it up! Let's go get this thing stuck!"

Todd (VO): "Get it stuck" means...

Todd: ...I'm really sad I know this. When he says, "let's get this thing stuck,"...

Todd (VO): might think he's conveniently having his truck run out of gas on Lovers Lane for a make-out session.

Todd: No, no, he's talking about muddin'. That's where [clip showing...] you take your truck off-road in a swamp and spray mud everywhere. It is the most hick thing you could possibly do, short of cow-tipping in bib overalls while listening to Larry the Cable Guy. I get the feeling Nelly didn't get attracted to this song because he shares Florida Georgia Line's deep love of off-roading.

Very brief clip of "Grillz"

Todd (VO): But they probably don't share Nelly's love of grills either, it doesn't really matter. The specifics might be different—one drives a convertible, the other drives a truck; one drinks Patrón, the other drinks whiskey; one carries a shotgun, the other gets arrested for having guns—but on the basic level, it's all pretty much the same.

Todd: See, Florida and Georgia have even mastered the old hip-hop trick of bragging about your car in unrelated love songs.

Florida Georgia Line: In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit

Todd: This is a love song to the truck, more than anything. And the description of the girls is pretty much on the same level. I'm not sure they know the difference between them.

Todd (VO): [singing] She had long tan legs with the big mud tires
And a big ol heavy engine and tits

Todd: See, this is some real racial harmony.

Todd (VO): Really profoundly stupid racial harmony. When two different groups find common ground, it's usually the lowest common denominator, that's the lesson here.

Todd: Baby you a song. A really stupid, obnoxious song by a bunch of lunkheaded numbnutses. And you made me wanna roll my windows down to let out the stink of this gross, sweaty excuse for country music. And also, if you're making a song about driving, put some accelerator in it, for Christ's sakes. [Gets up and leaves] You guys'd probably get it stuck in mud too.

Florida Georgia Line: I got my windows down, and the radio up
Brian Kelley: Get your radio up

Closing Tag Song: Adam Sandler - "Ode to My Car"

"Cruise (Remix)" is owned by Republic Nashville
This video is owned by me

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