It makes sense that this record was supposed to drop in 2007. Back then, French electro was every blog’s favorite fix; Ed Banger was the coolest label in the world; and Uffie found herself in just the right place at just the right time. The Floridian expat had moved to Paris when she was a teen, fell in with the local DJ crowd during a sketchy romance with the producer Feadz (if dude was old enough to be scratching records in the early 90s, he was probably too old to be dating a 16-year-old in 2005), and soon had a couple Hypem hits to her name after rapping over their beats. Ed Banger’s flagship act Justice had just spilled into the mainstream with †, and they’d taken a bit of Uff with ’em by spotlighting her on their single “Tthhee Ppaarrttyy.” To top it all off, the girl had only recently become street legal and was still being bandied about by the Humbert Humberts of the music press as a Lolita temptress too hot (and young) to touch. A debut record sometime within the year would’ve been an easy sell.
But it’s 2010, and Uffie’s just now getting around to Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. This makes a lot less sense, not only from a commercial standpoint (some say the wait left Ke$ha time to snag Uffie’s sound/image, not to mention place on the pop charts), but also from a qualitative one: despite the holdup, Sex Dreams sounds every bit the rush job a 2007 Uffie debut would have likely been. Her rhymes are undercooked and served with all the panache of a scratch take; the record’s five producers turn in a surprisingly bland batch of beats (though I wouldn’t mind instrumentals of Mr. Oizo’s “Art of Uff” and SebastiAn’s “Difficult”); and too much of the thing is recycled from Uffie’s paltry discography. Let’s be real: does anyone need a fourth (fucking FOURTH) official, physical release of “Pop the Glock” at this point? Shit was an MP3 blog hit nearly half a decade ago, and even then it was interesting mostly because of the potential it suggested for such a bratty young’un. In hindsight, it’s little more than a structureless mess floated by Feadz’ vocoded snap-hop production — and sadly still the most listenable thing to be salvaged from either of their careers.
But there’s one thing I do admire about this shit-miserable record, and that’s its honesty: Uffie sucks at just about everything, and she’ll be the first to tell you as much. In fact, Sex Dreams never lets you hear the end of it. Over the course of the record’s torturously generous 48 minutes, Uffie admits she’s got a shit voice, shit lyrics, and shit flow (considering she has nothing to do with the backing tracks, that’s about all she does), details how her career amounts to little more than a scam, and generally describes herself as a lazy hack. There’s not a trace of irony or sarcasm to be found, and while Uffie might simply be trying to beat her critics to the punch, there’s an unmistakable sincerity present in even her most damning self-portraits. Lord knows the music itself does fuck-all to invite disagreement.
I want to say “you’ve gotta hear it to believe it,” but there’s too much good music out there to waste your time on the bad — let alone the bad that knows it’s bad. So in recognition of Uffie’s sole achievement (and in the interest of assigning this record some kind of purpose), I’m going to let her lyric sheet do the talking from here. Think of the following as an open letter from the desk of Uff: I’ve made some small ordering edits and [bracketed] additions for clarity/grammar, but otherwise these words are entirely her own.
It’s about time for me to clarify a few things. I never claimed to be an artist…I’m an entertainer, not a lyricist. I can’t even sing, you know. (for dramatic effect, sings heavily autotuned while remaining well out of key) I even tried out to play saxophone [before dropping out of school], and you’ll be the first one to hear how it sound[ed]. (long and terrible synth-sax solo ensues, albeit likely not played by Uffie)
[You see,] there’s two kinds of MCs out there: there’s the ones who rap, and the ones who don’t care. And frankly, I don’t give a fuck. I’m [just] taking advantage of this industry, [while miraculously remaining] the least working girl in show business. I don’t have any job to attend in the morning…[but] when the freaks come out at night, [when] they dancing hot and they getting high, guess who’s [allegedly] making big bucks on it? [Me. Despite my shows generally looking a lot like this.] Who says Uffie’s a dumb bitch?
So don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks…[though] I only make three tracks a year, [so I probably don’t write my own checks, either.] I got friends in all parts of the world….[but] when all my friends are gone [especially the producers, label, and other benefactors,] I [will] cry cry cry until the day I die. [To pass the time, if nothing else.]
If I get popular, I know that ain’t fair, [but please do support me and buy this album.] Your ears might hurt a bit, [but] frankly I don’t give a fuck. You can kiss my ass. [I wish I could say] “I’m gifted, ain’t gotta sell sex”…but sometimes I feel like I’m for sale. You gotta work hard — no room to cheat — [but] I waste a shitload of time. I’m fucking lazy…But I look good, you want me — so buy my CD and Google me. [Please?]
Fuck it, you don’t give a fuck. Fuck what you bitches say, I got coke in my brain. We’re gonna need to train monkeys…can we train ’em to mix? Maybe we can get the audience to finish this track…Who I gotta fuck to get some cranberries?