If you have interesting friends there’s a fair chance they’ll introduce you to things which, with any luck, make you more interesting. Sadly, the reverse is true with Flo Rida. High-profile names sing his hooks or remix his beats: J. Lo and Redfoo on this album; T-Pain, David Guetta and Timbaland on earlier outings. But anything that anyone else is doing on Wild Ones leaves you less interested in what Flo Rida is rapping in the mix. Even the parody video “Mild Ones” has more inventive lines than the UNLV alum.
- Flo Rida
- Wild Ones
When I was a college DJ we worried that we’d get fined by the FCC for spinning NWA, Ice-T and (Rida’s mentors) 2 Live Crew. This is the current iteration of those threads of rap and hip-hop? Bundling Coldplay, Etta James and Brenda Russell into a thumpy leviathan of fist pumpers? Thankfully, two enigmatic Aussies insinuate themselves through the sludge: Sia and Georgi Kay, veteran and teen upstart, respectively. Sia has long been the “it girl,” adding downtempo cred to TV shows and movies, and she gets the big, earwormy hook on the title track. These vocalists are the sole reason to give thought to any Flo Rida effort since 2009’s “Right Round” featuring Ke$ha.
The pairing of Flo Rida and Cee Lo—which hits Mandalay Bay on July 7—leaves you wondering if you’d go with the Flo without his wingmen. Cee Lo, dubbed one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, gets more interesting the more you pay attention (next up: Loberace at Planet Hollywood!). Flo Rida won’t make Cee Lo crazy jealous anytime soon, but maybe that’s the point; the less talent Flo shows off, the less his more-interesting friends will worry they might get outclassed.