Pitchfork Best New Track Ron Artest feat YG & RayJ Peanut Butta (1.8)

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The prevailing aesthetic from Ron Artest’s antipodal single seemed to hint our fabled Tru Warier mollified the hard at his core, propelling his music into a more fervid, phosphorescent realm. Turns out, “Champions” was a mere detour, rather than an outright recalibration, as demonstrated by the club-crunk 808′ness of his new “Peanut Butta”, a minimalist, unhurried, humdrum banger more in line with Artest’s penchant for street-sweeping thuggery.

Production lurks deep in the backdrop, all minor-key single-chord drum-n-synth, joyless and adventureless, necessitating for lyrical acrobatics (in more capable hands) to launch the boilerplate to stratospheric heights, yet zero of the three MC’s here possess the skills to circumvent the murk. YG sounds like a morphine-dripped member of Crank Booty Killaz with a delivery that could vanish into a Lonely Island record’s vacuous ether. RayJ drops a prominent “Sex Cologne” one-liner sure to please fans of the criminally deleterious, and Ron Artest’s verse clings to the walls of the track like an acne-tinged schoolboy left hanging at homecoming.

Hardly transcendent, mining well-worn sonicscapes Swizz Beatz exhausted a decade ago, Artest’s hookless romp conducts little current, in stark contrast to his high voltage persona.

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