With 5.0 dropping on Tuesday, it’s about time we got another taste of what Nelly’s offering on his fifth studio album. In keeping with the style of his (overly?) sentimental smash “Just A Dream”, the St. Louis rapper has recorded a bonus track, the heavy “Go”, featuring Kanye West’s “Chain Heavy” collaborator Talib Kweli and Nelly’s fellow St. Lunatic Ali. Does “Go” get a green light, or should Nelly just… stop? Go ahead, take a listen.
Nelly and his guests get off to a decent start, evoking imagery of battle zones both foreign and domestic. Initially mournful, the track soon picks up to become an uplifting but ultimately cloying tune that lacks the edge we used to associate with the man who taught us proper “Country Grammar”. “It’s not how you hit the ground, it’s how fast you get back up and go,” the St. Louis body mover croons in this bonus cut, which falls right in line with the softer, smoother direction Kelly Rowland’s collaborative boo has been heading on his last few albums.
The verses and appearances by Talib Kweli and Ali here are promising, packing a little street cred, but then things take a turn for the cheesy with fortune-cookie lyrics (“Happiness is worth the wait!”) and an overall sentiment that wouldn’t be out of a place in a Disney cartoon. That’s a little awkward in the same song in which Nelly sings about fathers raising sons: “We can show them how to fire, but they gotta teach theyself how to reload.” Now that’s a scene you won’t find in Mulan.
Overall “Go” feels like it’s trying too hard to be a motivational “support our troops” anthem, or possibly deliver a timely anti-suicide message, but it doesn’t quite work when the chorus and bridge feel like they should be accompanied by the image of Free Willy leaping over rocks in slow motion while a down-on-his-luck orphan pumps his fist in the air. Coming from the man who once convinced us it was much hotter in herre than it actually was just to get us naked, for a song with such an active title, “Go” feels more like a yellow light.
[Via Rap Radar]