Review: Omarion’s ‘Bumpin’ & Grindin’’ Plays Like Parody R&B

Music

By: / July 2, 2013

Maybach O’s latest is bad meaning bad not bad meaning good

A year ago, at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards, we watched rubbery R&B performer Omarion busting out some ridiculously over-the-top dance moves while backing up label boss Rick Ross. And while that showing garnered some much-deserved chuckles from the blogging peanut gallery, the future for the former B2K boy band refugee—who today reps the mighty Maybach Music Group family—was at least intriguing. Beyond the jokes, Omarion was essentially Chris Brown before Rihanna’s ex mate turned into a tabloid pariah. He even managed to release some noteworthy solo material (the Neptunes- and Timberland-produced singles “Touch” and “Ice Box” respectively stand out) and his appearances on the 2012 MMG compilation project Self Made, Vol. 2 (see: “M.I.A.”) drew some positive nods. Yet his latest offering, “Bumpin’ & Grindin’,” makes you hope that he’s got a different artistic outlet in his future (maybe finger painting?).

Remember those classic musical spoofs that made Chappelle’s Show the funniest television diversion of its era? From it’s brazenly cliché song title to its epically awful lyrics, “Bumpin’ & Grindin’” could have easily been a follow-up to the delirious and brilliant R. Kelly parody “Piss On You.” You can try, but it’s damn-near impossible to come up with more inane, vapid content than, “Don’t be trying to talk that love shit…because I could give a fuck about it…You wanted a real nigga so you fucked with me…” Okay, in all fairness to Omarion, this is what passes for rhythm and blues these days as our best and brightest are too busy competing with One Direction (Usher, when you’re done with your Euro-pop excursions, come back to the other side, dog).

This is the era of the squeaky, weak-voiced man-child and the strip club inspired diva-in-training all trying to keep up with the virtually loveless, thugged-out, street rap crowd. Forget the vocal brilliance of soul legend Charlie Wilson or the songwriting bravery of Frank Ocean. The likes of Omarion fail to measure up to their white counterparts like Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. Which reminds me: Where is my George Michael tape? —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)