That’s right. You heard me: “Control Myself” was a goddamn jam. Are you familiar? Yes/no? Let’s discuss.
Let me take you back a little–four years ago, to be exact. The year was 2006. It was a fine year: The Timbaland takeover was just at its glorious peak with Nelly Furtado‘s Loose and Justin Timberlake‘s FutureSex/LoveSounds (prior to total market over-saturation), Suri Cruise survived a crash landing from space, and this little Muuser was preparing to graduate from high school and flee his hometown (where he ironically now finds himself once again upon graduating college in 2010). Fuck.
But before all that, another thing happened in 2006, and that was the February release of professional licker of lips LL Cool J‘s twelfth studio album, Todd Smith. From that album came a certain single: “Control Myself,” featuring Jennifer ‘Jello’ Lopez and Jermaine Dupri (not credited on actual song, therefore irrelevant).
While I’m always quick to call a song “underrated,” it turns out that “Control Myself” actually pulled some impressive chart numbers (and even broke a record!) upon its release–something I didn’t realize until a quick perusal through the track’s Wikipedia page. And so the Lord proclaimed:
It was released as the album’s lead single in February 2006 and remained on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks, peaking at number eighty-nine. After being released as a digital download in April 2006, the song debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart and made a strong Hot 100 re-entry at number four. This broke a record previously held by Jay-Z’s 1998 song “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”, which had re-entered the chart in March 1999 at number twenty.
But back to the song: It is very good. There are many reasons why it is so good, but perhaps one of the most important is that delicious beat.
…Not that it’s an original beat. Oh lord, no. It’s actually a sample of an incredible ‘before its time’ number, the 1983 Afrika Bambaataa song, “Looking For The Perfect Beat.”
There’s also the song lyrics, which are unstoppably fantastic. While Mr. Cool J’s lyrical lusciousness makes my panties moist throughout, my all-time favorite moment comes in right around the two minute mark: “She licked awf huh lip glaws / Huh hips tawsed, back and fawth.” (At least, that’s how it sounds to me.) MMPH.
Then there’s this genius moment as the song is coming to an end where it seems every songwriter involved with this song suddenly threw their hands in the air and proclaimed “Well, alright then! I’ve done all the rhyming I could possibly do! Let’s just–I don’t know–LET’S JUST SAY WHATEVER COMES TO MIND NEXT.”
And what sprung from that momentary lapse in creativity was the greatest string of non-English lyrics/syllables of all time: “Zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh, zuh.”
Inspiring and provocative.
And last, but certainly not least, there’s the song’s accompanying video, directed by Hype Williams.
It is also amazing, and no doubt a crucial piece of the overall amazing-ness of the song. While Mr. Ladies Love plays it Cool J rapping under a wide-brimmed baseball cap, J-Lo remains fresh to death posing in front of a mirror while donning those knee-high boots and whippin’ her hurr. The wide-screen ‘double video’ effect is both dizzying and cool.
As a member of what some media thinkers/shriveled prunes might dub as ~the instant gratification MTV generation~, I must say it’s quite nice to be bombarded with so many sexy things in my face at one time without being allowed even a second to process what the fuck is being presented in front of me.
All together, “Control Myself” is a spicy, saucy affair–one entirely worthy of both (a) pussy poppin’ and (b) booty shakin’.
And that is why “Control Myself” is an amazing song. I thank you for your time.