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Why’s It Forgotten?: “Low” (Flo Rida)

JefftheWildman gets low with Flo Rida.

“Next thing you know/Shawty got low low low low low low”

Yeah you couldn’t go anywhere for a while without hearing that. Today, references to “apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur” are pretty infrequent.  It might pop up every once in a while. But it’s followed in the footsteps of stuff like Crank That.

Why is this so? Flo Rida did have more than one hit. But as his big hit fell out of relevance so did he.

Flo Rida  was part of a trend called Ringtone Rap. It reached its peak in the 2004-09 period. Many of these rappers were one hit wonders. The “Ringtone” part refers to the fact that most of the songs were generally designed to sound cool as ringtones and who cares if they could be listened to as a whole. But once that hit had faded, so much for the rappers career. There are numerous examples of ringtone rap. The aforementioned Soulja Boy counts as does D4L, who had a smash with “Laffy Taffy”

Yeah, Flo Rida was part of that wave. But once it ended, most of the artists in it were relegated to the scrap heap. For some, it wasn’t surprising. But for others it might seem strange.

Considering the ubiquity of “Low” (it was in commercials, movies (Tropic Thunder most notably), TV shows and a staple at any place where there will be dancing,) it’s easy to forget that there were other hits for Flo Rida.

In some ways, Flo Rida fell victim to the same thing that happened to Kris Kross and Hammer. Both of those artists had several hits. But there was one particular song for each that has stuck around, while all the other hits came and went. That was true here as well.

However, both Kris Kross and Hammer’s one big hit still pops up once in a while, mainly on account of nostalgia. While I still hear “U Can’t Touch This” even today, Low seems to have disappeared.

The reason for this is pretty obvious. Like most ringtone numbers, it was not designed to have lasting appeal. It managed to catch on for a few weeks, a few weeks that ended up extending themselves to about 4 years. But it was never going to have the lasting appeal of Jay Z’s “99 Problems” or Outkast’s “B.O.B”.

That’s why once “Low” got low it wasn’t going to reach its previous heights again. Of course, it might experience a resurgence in popularity once 2000s nostalgia starts kicking in.

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Posted on December 6, 2017, in Music, Why'd it bomb? and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I don’t know if I’ll completely agree with this article. While “Low” might be pretty forgotten, I don’t know that Flo-Rida himself is. In fact, while none of his following singles might have had the same 10-week run at #1 (he got two more US #1’s, by the way; “Right Round” spent six weeks at the top and “Whistle” had a non-consecutive two-week run) and had (but not by much) lower certifications than “Low”, his 2011/12 period was actually the one where he had his greatest sequence of hits (four consecutive Top 10’s, three of them Top 5) AND actually felt more ubiquitous than ever. “Good Feeling” and “Whistle” in particular, felt almost omnipresent.

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