Who Wore It Better? is a new feature where we look at two rap songs that use the same sample and decide which artist fits more snug into the backing track. “Burn Rubber” is one of Too $hort’s best songs of the past 15 years. The beat is a minimal, ringing trunk rattler made by Lil Jon at the beginning of his creative peak, when he pretty much ran radio in the mid-’00s. The song came out in 2003, one year after both Lil Jon’s Kings of Crunk album (the one with “Get Low” on it) and Mac Dre’s Thizzelle Washington album (the one with “Thizzle Dance” on it), and both the crunk and hyphy are on display. Seeing as how DJ Mustard has pretty much made a career out of slapping the basic elements of crunk and hyphy, it would be a pretty obvious choice to use “Burn Rubber” as a reference point for a song. Luckily for this column, he did it twice.
TeeFLii – “This D” “This D” is L.A. rapper/singer TeeFLii’s first single, which got a video treatment this year, but is actually from his debut mixtape in 2012 called AnNieRuO’TAY 1. Here Mustard uses the “Burn Rubber” beat abundantly, just playing an unaltered loop of the Lil Jon beat during the chorus on top of the muted, rolling bassline and handclaps that appear throughout the song. TeeFLii is completely captivated with giving some unknown girl his dick, whom we’re assured she wants. Though the way his voice cracks when he says “this dick” like either a prepubescent or someone sounding overly sarcastic in order to later claim they were joking when mocked, I’m not so sure.
Joe Moses feat. YG – “Burn Rubber” Joe Moses and YG’s collaboration was one of the highlights of DJ Mustard’s Ketchup mixtape from last May. The song uses the same name as the Too $hort song, but the beat is less a sample and more an homage. Rather than using Lil Jon’s bells, Mustard uses a lingering organ synth to replace the same BOOM-ding–ding-ding-BOOM formula. Joe tells girls to burn rubber on their man, rather than $hort Dog threatening to burn rubber on just about anybody, which makes this much more romantic than the original. Upcoming Compton rapper YG gets free wings from a busty waitress at Hooters. Winner: Joe Moses JM and YG win since they got the more creative, interesting beat from DJ Mustard. Most of the time I’ll pick rapping over singing anyway. And not for naught, the Joe Moses song stays true to Uncle $hort’s original song concept about getting the fuck away from someone. Bonus points for continuing the tradition of burning rubber like The Gap Band.