+1. 2 Chainz feat. Pharrell – “Feds Watching” (2013)
The feel-good party vibe created with synthesizers on records by Prince, Slave, and Rick James in the ’80s inspired the Neptunes to use similar percussion instruments during their reign over radio playlists. The Neptunes have also channeled the dark side of the ’80s, via the drug dealer fantasy made popular in Scarface. Pharrell’s reggae-influenced beat for “Feds Watching,” 2 Chainz’s latest single, is cinematic, full of outlaw grandeur. Its cruising tempo seems meant to evoke a speedboat in Miami about to make a drop, and musically the song makes a successful drop of its own, with snare drums matching 2 Chainz’s reference to his dreadlocks. Even the video reminds us of another covert killer, Ms. Chiquita from Belly, as she ominously slithers through scenes. By the end of “Feds Watching,” a voice appears speaking in patois. Could it be 2 Chainz, or someone trying to do their best impression of Louie Rankin (as “Lennox”) in Belly?