Oh Tumblr, you are a great time-waster, but also one of the main means I use to keep up with U.S. pop culture. I was scrolling through my dashboard and was met with this gif set. There was a young woman grooving along and singing to what I would soon find out was the bridge. A look at the tags revealed that her name was Leah LaBelle, the song she was singing was “Sexify”, and either the Neptunes or Pharell had a hand in producing the song. Of course, my curiosity was piqued and it lead to a quick visit to our favorite video sharing site to learn more about Miss LaBelle and her debut single “Sexify”, let's listen....
The instrumental is comforting in a way. It is looks to the recognizable beats of nineties’ R&B with the catchy melodies that characterize both Jermaine Dupri and Pharell Williams produced tracks. Leah’s slightly raspy voice fits perfectly with the instrumental and pours like honey over the track to keep it grooving and smooth.
|"As a tip, I'll let you produce for me."|
The biggest down fall of this song lies in the lyrics. It is clear that Pharell Williams wrote this song. There is not a consistent point of view throughout the song as it switches between Leah giving advice to one of her girlfriends (It’s all in your tone girl) to first person (I’ll sexify you). For the entire song, it continues this perplexing flip-flop and leaves the listener wondering who is doing the seduction. On top of this, the song is chock full of nonsensical lyrics that will have you wondering “What is this? I don’t even…”
The bridge of “Sexify” is the most obvious offender of this with lines like “I just want some hanky-panky/Sexy vs. skanky”. After a bit searching, it was revealed that the song was used as a marketing tool for Cosmopolitan magazine which has a ridiculous “Sexy vs. Skanky” behavior section. It would have been a more effective ploy if the phrase had made sense in the context of the song and not sloppily done. Another puzzling line is “Instincts to master/Thank me, thank me”. The closest idea of what “instincts to master” would even mean, was a seemingly obscure psychoanalytical theory involving the ego. Considering the rest of the song’s subject matter, I have a feeling that the lyrics may not be alluding to that.
|Bad. Ass. Multi. Tasker.|
|Look'a all'a my shoes, BITCH!|
|"Mushroom Tea... Sounds exotic. What's in it?"|
|"Too many hot friends voids the lease! I'll have to take one."|
“Sexify” frustrates me on a few levels. It is clear that Leah LaBelle has talent and connected with gifted producers. However, poor lyric writing and a mismatched video limits what she could do as an artist. “Sexify” is a good song to dance along to as long as you do not pay close attention to the lyrics.