12/06: Jamie Foxx – Blame It

I think the crazy thing about this song is that y’all forgot about it. Peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#1 on R&B/Hip-Hop), the third single from “Intuition” was everywhere by early 2009. Featuring T-Pain, he and Jamie combined to make one of the most party ready songs in recent memory.

Blaming one’s problems on the alcohol is a phrase that’s been around as long as I can remember but this is the first time I recall it being put into song form. And this joint still goes. Maybe the auto-tune makes people want to stay away a little now, but I think this is up there with the likes “This Is How We Do It” or Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid”. Yeah, I said it.

While Foxx is known for his acting and his comedy before his music, he doesn’t just show up to knock out vocals, make music videos, and do tours when he can fit it in. He’s involved in the creative process throughout, even though his later releases doesn’t reflect a ton of writing credits (his process is similar to how a book will come out from celebrity X with author X; the celeb comes with some ideas and the author makes coherent sense of it for the book. This is also known as the Diddy process when it came to production in the 1990s). His solo debut Peep This came out in 1994 and he wrote and produced almost the entire album. If he focused his energy entirely into music, I wouldn’t doubt he’d be one of the best R&B artists out today.

I like to call this era of music “peak auto-tune”. 808s & Heartbreak came out the year before and the aforementioned T-Pain had already proven that auto-tune could help an artist rather than it being a crutch. When Lil’ Wayne experimented with the effect, it gained more mainstream acceptance so the fact that Jamie and T-Pain flourished on this record at this time is no real surprise. In recent years with changing trends, auto-tune has become more commonplace as it dominates the rap and R&B soundscape today.

The fact that this song came out as the music industry was transitioning from physical sales to downloads and streams is a big reason y’all forgot about it. With so much new music coming out every single day via blogs and social media in the months following its peak, the shelf life of music was and is just different. Once the song faded from the radio airwaves, it also faded from everyone’s collective memory.

Go ahead, watch this video. Remember what you forgot. Try to tell me that all those Hollywood cameos aren’t impressive. Tell me you’re not all in by the time Jamie finishes the first verse and hook. Tell me that T-Pain didn’t murder Jamie on his own shit. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

“Just Got Paid”. “This Is How We Do It”. “Blame It”. Give it the respect it so rightfully deserves. Or at least have a drink before you do so. Because I forgot about this track too.

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