Single Review: Toni Braxton & Loon “Hit The Freeway”

Hit The Freeway
Album: More Than A Woman
Year: 2003

The only single from her 2003 album, “Hit the Freeway” finds Toni Braxton attempting to modernize her music. However, the single was overshadowed by her argument with Jay-Z over the sampling of Tupac’s “Me and My Girlfriend” on another song. According to MTV.com she claimed Jay-Z heard it through a friend of hers and recorded the chorus as his own. Jay-Z claimed he didn’t even know Toni Braxton was sampling it.

Produced by the Neptunes, “Hit The Freeway” has Braxton delving into hip hop territory. Like most R&B songs, it’s about a relationship gone wrong. She’s received a phone call from an ex-boyfriend, who she is not interested in hearing from anymore.

Loon’s appearance is insignificant and poor. He raps before the first verse and only lists all the things he bought her: “shoes from Milan, Louis Vuitton, animal arm bag and jewels on your arm.” Later he pipes in during the verses to respond to her point of view. He’s there to give Toni Braxton street cred and nothing more.

The Neptunes overpower the music with their beats, leaving her buried underneath. During the verses, she seems to be scrambling to catch up to the beats. Her usual vocal style is to linger on the notes, not to move quickly from them. She makes up for these flaws with her throaty and husky voice, however.

“Hit the Freeway” is a great, but flawed single. It could’ve been better if it wasn’t so focused on the Neptunes-based production. Giving Toni Braxton some breathing room and slowing the tempo some would’ve made a difference.

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