Single Review: Kelis “Trick Me”

Trick Me
Album: Tasty
Year: 2004

On “Trick Me,” Kelis won’t get fooled again. The single, while still showcasing Kelis’ trademark brassiness, is not like the hook friendly “Milkshake.” Instead, it’s a bit experimental by fusing two genres which normally do not mix: rock and hip hop.

She proclaims “this is it,” which is said against an electric guitar. Then, the bass starts pumping with the guitar’s riff repeated in the background. Kelis is direct, but calm as she sings, “Said I’ve paid my dues for all that I’ve done/And I showed you that I loved you more than once”) Fed up with her boyfriend’s manipulation and cheating, she calls him on his actions: “freedom to us has always been a trick/freedom to you has always been who ever landed on your dick.” In the second verse, she opts to the cliched route and sings “though I may love you/It hurts me deep inside/Oh, now you no longer have to hide.”) She has conflicting emotions about breaking up with him, which is good. Many singers opt for the only expressing heartbreak in a song. However, it undermines the vivacity in the first verse.

Her rap in the middle describes her tense, rocky relationship with him better. (“I used to be down with the late night hit/started gettin’ heavy when I really wasn’t ready/used my class/to get in my mind”) Although it seems to be written in shorthand and heavily edited to fit for the 30 seconds allotted for it. She then repeats the first verse again and the chorus until the end.

Kelis’ does not stretch her featherweight voice at all. She talk-sings throughout. In the rap, though, she speaks a bit lower. But that is the only change. Kelis is capable of conveying emotion, however. She maintains a nervy yet gentle tone from beginning until the end.

“Trick Me” is not for the fans of “Milkshake.” It seems to be aiming for the sophiscated R&B listeners, tired of the angry, melodramatic break up songs in the genre. It succeeds, but it’s not single material. The haunting, techno influenced “Stick Up” would’ve been a better choice.


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