Single Review: Destiny’s Child, Lil’ Wayne, & T.I. “Soldier”

Soldier
Album: Destiny’s Fulfilled
Year: 2004

In “Soldier”, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child want bad boys to be their boyfriends. They are attracted to their cars and style. Personality isn’t a factor since they are status symbols.

T.I. opens the song, bragging about his Cadillac and himself. The car is his girl magnet and he’s proud of it. Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle are frankly, not cool enough to hang with them (“The way you got it, I’m the hottest around/They’ll know it when they see you rollin’ impala’s around…Wit the chrome wheels at the bottom, white leather inside/When them flames be spittin’ at you tell ’em don’t even try it/To shot it wit Chelle and kick it wit Kelly or holla at B/Ya, gotta be g’s you way outta your league/Please!”).

Kelly describes their perfect men in the first verse: fancy car with a pumping bass, gold teeth, knows how to pleasure them and speak the current hip hop talk. (“We like dem boys that be in them lac’s leanin/Open their mouth their grill gleamin’…They always be talkin that country slang, we like/They keep that beat that be in the back beatin’…I love how he keep my body screamin”). They sure like their boyfriends tacky and stereotypical. Another quality they require: treating them badly but yet treats them good at the same time. He also has to be an authentic ghetto bad boy. No suburban pretenders for them. (“A rude boy that’s good to me, wit street credibility”). Um, Destiny’s Child, they are not labeled bad boys for their unshaven, scruffy look and overall mysteriousness. Although, it may seem attractive on the outside, it’s really means they are inattentive, selfish, and emotionally distant.

Destiny’s Child blows off the clean-cut men in the chorus. (“If your status ain’t hood
I ain’t checkin’ for him/Betta be street if he lookin’ at me”). Bad boys, called soldiers, are glorified as well-endowed men who know how to get money and not let his girlfriend be treated disrespectfully (“I need a soldier/That ain’t scared to stand up for me/Known to carry big things/If you know what I mean…Gotta know to get dough/And he betta be street”).

Beyonce adds that the soldiers will share the money the earn on the street with them. In a vain moment, Beyonce uses herself as a standard of beauty by saying they will pick up girls as beautiful as her. (“So quick to snatch up your Beyonce”).

After a mindless call and response bridge (“I know some soldiers in here/Where they at, where they at”), T.I. raps about how much money he carries around with him and why it makes him feel superior. However, he has changed his tune since meeting Destiny’s Child. Destiny’s Child are cool enough to invite into his clique. (“Still a soldier do to war if you running your trap/About my girls ain’t no thing to put you under the map/Walk the streets five deep with nothing less than a stack/And 80 carats on my chest provides a special attraction/50 G’s in my jeans plus the dough from the waller/It’s the reason I’m the king girl, I know what you like”).

Michelle, meanwhile, is checking out which boy she may like to take home and spend the night with. (“I like dem boys over there they lookin’ strong tonight/Just might give one the phone tonight…He don’t know it might be on tonight/Ooh he lookin’ good and he talkin’ right/He the type that might change my life/Every time he look at me my girls be like/That one may be the one tonight”).

Then there’s a third rap by Lil’ Wayne. He talks about his experiences living in the ghetto. He’s been shot and lets Destiny’s Child if they don’t see him, he’s hiding out. (“I’m walkin’ wit purple hearts on me/You talkin’ to the sargeant/Body marked up like the subway in Harlem…If you don’t see me on the block I ain’t tryna hide/I blend in wit the hood, I’m camouflage”).

The song could’ve benefitted from getting rid of a couple things: one of T.I. raps and the echoing of every last two words in the verse. T.I. repeats himself in the second rap and doesn’t say anything new. The echoing, however, is really annoying and a sign of overproduction.

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