Here is the song I've been obsessed with this week. Sissy Nobby is a rapper from New Orleans (a leader of the "sissy bounce" scene down there, apparently) with a voice that sounds, as my colleague James Harris put it, "like a Cajun Harvey Fierstein." This a perfect description. And I thank James for turning me on to this song. Indeed, I had never heard of Sissy Nobby before.
Anyway, I have been playing it every morning lately. And it has been staying in my head throughout most of every day. It's a love song. In the vein of classic rap love songs like Method Man and Mary J. Blige's "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to get By." Nobby raps it to other "hoes" who have a thing for his boyfriend. It's not happening, he tells them, because the love he's got with his man is too strong. "I'm the first lady," he says. "I'm his one and only hoe/Who you is?/Nobody cares and noboby knows..."
"Consequences" is based around a sample of a song called "Who Am I to Say," by the Los Angeles-based neo-folkie Hope Shorter. But Nobby uses "Who Am I to say" the way Eminem used Dido's "Thank You" to make "Stan." Which is to say, taking a relatively anodyne song with a very pretty melody, and grittying it up with rap and harder beats into something far more emotionally resonanant.
And I can not stop listening to it. Over and over and over again. Man, right at the beginning, when Nobby comes in with the "at all..." part just before the sample gets to it? It's so goodâ€”it's so much how it is when you're vibing with a song you love. You know it in your head, you know it by heart, you've been listening to it every morning. You just can't wait til the vocal line comes at its time. You give yourself a taste, through your skull, before your ears get to hear it from the outside. Music for music lovers made by a music lover. No pretensions. Nobby is just like you. Just like me. It reminds me of Ol' Dirty singing along with Lil Mo on their version of "Good Morning Heartache." It's just perfect, beautiful expression of emotion. Unadorned and unselfconscious. Like someone who's singing in the shower, completely unaware that he's in a recording booth with a microphone in front of his face. Maybe that's why I like to listen to it in the morning. This is singing-in-the-shower music. The best I've heard in a long time.