Max Bell is doing Jamaican dances.
Sequels rarely live up to the original. For every Blues Brothers there’s a Blues Brothers 2000. You hope for the best yet end up disappointed, admiring the intent more than the product itself. Really, it’s a matter of capturing the spur of the moment, recording the perfect combination of Girl Scout Cookies, Santa Monica weather, lush yacht rock boom-bap, and the meeting of two kindred spirits the first time around. For Riff Raff and Bronsolino, “Bird on a Wire” was the original. “Long Pinky” is the lesser sequel: good but not as good.
The last of the 2013 Adult Swim Singles Series, “Long Pinky” was made with noble intentions. Producer Beautiful Lou (Lil B, A$AP Rocky, Shady Blaze) definitely listened to Harry Fraud’s production on “Bird on a Wire” before composing the beat. And he does an admirable job of making Fraud’s template his own.
Sonically , “Long Pinky” is much more somber than the original. Fraud’s backdrop conveyed a sense of a tropical, wax-induced euphoria. Lou paints dark clouds that suggest a drought of the finest medical. If Fraud’s beat is the action packed opening credit sequence, Lou’s is the dénouement, the shot of scorched and fallen palm trees fading to black.
Though the lyrics on “Bird on a Wire” weren’t entirely candy coated, there’s a marked shift here. “Bird on a Wire” found Raff on the rise (“hoping days get better”), and on “Long Pinky” it feels as though he’s become jaded by Internet stardom in just a year. Every new purchase is passé, no longer a cause for celebration, just another day and another Vine (“Pain is temporary / I done bought the mall way back in February”). In other words, it’s a sad state of affairs when a man must disguise his voice whilst ordering chimichangas from Julio’s taco truck.
Bronson is in full Saab Stories mode. The backflips, splits, and new rides are omnipresent, but his vulnerability shows through the brick red beard and clouds of smoke. Activities like buying new rings and “jackets out the petting zoo” are side by side with Maury-esque drama with a woman who could’ve been his next baby mama. One gets the feeling Bronson isn’t telling all. Thus, the end of his verse is fitting: “Look at my mind you’ll see some shit that’s not suggested.”
All in all, I’m probably, definitely, making “Long Pinky” out to be more serious than needed. And maybe my feelings about “Bird on a Wire” stem from the fact that the video was shot in my neighborhood and I frequent the video store with the neon lights. In any case, the drug jar is far from empty. “Long Pinky” is worth the free download,
Some of Riff Raff’s latest solo efforts are below the jump. Footage of sir Highroller eating fried okra with Oprah should surface soon.