Amerie: "Take Control"


By Mark Abraham | 2 December 2006

[Overheard at the first annual meeting of the Hall & Oates Rehabilitation Society]

Method Man’s Representative: Let’s get this over with. I need to get to L.A. tonight to deal with other matters…

Kanye West’s Representative: What? The Ticallion Stallion doing Soul Plane 2?

Method Man’s Representative: Dude -- low blow.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Dude -- pony up!

Method Man’s Representative: No. Because your boss is the delinquent one here. I didn’t hear any “Kiss Is On My List” in “Don’t Cha,” as promised. And there was certainly no “She’s Gone” in “Li’l Star.” Cee-Lo should have been capitalizing on that American Idol cache. My boss is pissed.

Kanye West’s Representative: Yeah -- Cee-Lo ain’t being trill, here. Couldn’t he at least have thrown some “Oh yeah” in from “Adult Education”? I don’t wanna get another lecture from the ‘Ye because Cee-Lo can’t advance the cause.

De La Soul’s Representative: Let’s not fight, people. We all love Hall & Oates. We’re all representatives of HORS here.

Kanye West’s Representative: [In a high-pitched voice.] Let’s not fight, people.”

De La Soul’s Representative: Hey! Don’t fuck with me! My bosses were sampling Hall & Oates when your boss was still actually carrying things around in his backpack.

Kanye West’s Representative: Whatever. Eddie Van Halen did it first.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Nina Simone did it first.

Method Man’s Representative: Who cares who did it first? We need to talk about who’s doing it now!

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Well, as you all know from the memo, Cee-Lo feels that “You Make My Dreams” has been criminally ignored by beat-makers. But he also thinks that, since this is a lead single -- he has to be discrete, right? Plus, he’s got all this indie cred from the Gnarls project. He can’t just blow it out the window.

Kanye West’s Representative: The ‘Ye wouldn’t worry about subtlety!

De La Soul’s Representative: We know.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Boo-yah!

Method Man’s Representative: Please. Let’s focus. What’s the plan?

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: He’s using a guitar riff from a Tom Zé song with the sample from “You Make My Dreams.” He hopes the cred will offset the --

Kanye West’s Representative: Who the fuck is Tom Zé?

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: He had a critically well-received album earlier this year. Apparently he’s hot shit.

Kanye West’s Representative: I’ve never heard of him.

Method Man’s Representative: Yeah, me neither.

Kanye West’s Representative: What is this? A fucking joke?

De La Soul’s Representative: We’re talking about the future of Hall & Oates’s legacy here.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Look. I dunno, guys. He’s this Brazilian composer who --

Kanye West’s Representative: Wait? He’s Latin?

Wyclef Jean’s Representative: Now we’re talking!

Method Man’s Representative: Yeah -- “Latin” is just another word for sales potential! Has he ever worked with Ricky? Christina?

Kanye West’s Representative: I’m gonna have to load that shit onto the ‘Ye’s iPod! He’ll flip.

De La Soul’s Representative: He’ll flip the pitch-bend to “high.”

Kanye West’s Representative: Hey!

Method Man’s Representative: Enough. So, let’s hear it then!

[Cee-Lo Green’s Representative pushes “Play” on the stereo.]

Method Man’s Representative: Nice. Okay -- keep talking. Set the scene for me.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Well, you know -- Amerie’s got this whole I’m-young-and-naïve residual thing from “1 Thing” going on, so Cee-Lo thought he should just…raise the stakes, you know? Instead of dancing around the subject, Cee-Lo thinks it’s better if the message of the song is simply “come fuck me.” He thinks the sex quotient will really help bring Hall & Oates to new audiences. You know -- just like “Private Eyes.”

Kanye West’s Representative: Alright! That’s what I’m talking about!

Method Man’s Representative: Our market research does show that the only way to improve upon a mystique-ridden hit club jam is to remove the mystique!

De La Soul’s Representative: Weren’t those studies done at the same time Method Man was polling a bunch of stoned dudes about his film career? And they got to listen to the song like once? Our market research shows the mystique gave the song more staying power.

Method Man’s Representative: Come on. What kind of market research are you doing? Guys are the ones who drink, and they drink at the promise of sex, so they put more money into a club where there is the promise of sex, which makes clubs play songs that encourage them to drink, which means we make more money, and…like, what guy cares about staying power!

Kanye West’s Representative: Boo-yah!

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Yeah! Like, who cares if it’s good. We’re selling Hall & Oates through Amerie, not through music! So, anyway, it’s called “Take Control,” and the chorus -- right there! The lyrics are “Take control of me,” and Cee-Lo is singing under the hook, and this shit is going to be hot, and totally further the goals of HORS.

Kanye West’s Representative: Take control…of me. That’s genius! It’s like one step beyond “come fuck me.” Dudes everywhere are going to flip for how absolutely sexy that is.

De La Soul’s Representative: See -- I dunno. This doesn’t sound as good as “1 Thing,” and the whole control thing is kind of creepy.

Method Man’s Representative: I don’t give a fuck, as long as we make some cash and people are on the dancefloor all “this shit is gold, and -- what’s that? Hall and motherfucking Oates!? Whoo!”? That sparkling, glistening hook will be a shot heard ‘round the world!

Kanye West’s Representative: Yeah…except, I don’t actually hear that hook. And that guitar doesn’t sound Latin at all!

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: You can sort of hear it.

Method Man’s Representative: Sort of?

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: I dunno -- Cee-Lo played around with it a lot.

De La Soul’s Representative: Dude -- this is just all blending together. Hall & Oates would never have lost the hook like this.

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: I think if we just tell everybody it’s Hall & Oates, people will be excited.

Method Man’s Representative: …Tell people? Dude.

De La Soul’s Representative: Dude.

Kanye West’s Representative: Dude. Your boss is such a whore!

Cee-Lo Green’s Representative: Dudes! Thanks! Does that mean we’re cool?