Single Review: Nicole, Mocha, & Missy Elliott “Make It Hot”

Make It Hot
Album: Make It Hot
Year: 1998

Nicole is all set for success. She has the Missy Elliott beats behind her. She has Missy Elliott and Timbaland writing songs for her. She also has some rap on her single to make it a little bit more hip-hop. However, it doesn’t work.

The beats are operatic and percussion heavy. Rapper Mocha opens the song, with Timbaland beat-boxing in the background and some dramatic ‘aahhs.’ From there, the beat moves toward a darker, tropical sound. The rest nosedives from there. Nicole’s vocals are dry and indifferent. She is supposed to be upset that her boyfriend doesn’t care. However, she is mostly singing the lyrics as the producers told her to. Mocha’s rap in the beginning is unnecessary and a reason for Missy Elliott to jump-start another talent on her label. Missy Elliott’s rap is an obvious attempt at getting record sales and pull buyers in.

The lyrics are pathetic and humiliating. “What must I do/To keep him lovin’ me/All this love I give/It ain’t cool.” Then she proceeds to sing in the chorus, “Give me another shot/This time I’ll make it hot.” In other words, she should sleep with him because that will make him want her back? It’s a screwed up song. One of the telling lyrics are in Missy Elliott’s rap is when she lists everyone on the label. It’s a reminder that Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, and Timbaland are the stars of the label and Nicole is rank and file, depending on others to get record play.


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