Breaking up only to break down and make up is a lasting motif in music. Philly soul staples The Stylistics, rapper/actor Method Man, and Chicago crooner Jeremih have all explored hot and cold (and possibly toxic) relationships through the years, and now NW D.C.’s own Kingpen Slim is lending his insight to the subject with “L.A.N. (Love a Ni**a).”
Relying heavily on a sample of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Sky’s the Limit” (which was built on a Bobby Caldwell sample, for those who care), producer J. Buttah creates a mellow atmosphere for Slim and singer John Blu to glide over. “It ain’t always your fault, we both share the blame/ Know we got that passion baby, we both care the same/ Always bringing up my exes I don’t care to name/ Every time you’re yelling at me, I can hear the pain,” Slim rhymes. This depiction of fire and desire will hit close to home for anyone who’s been in a slightly dysfunctional relationship.
Meanwhile, John Blu’s cashmere-tipped chorus (“We break up, then we makeup, then we get drunk and fuck”) serves as the constant—kind of like the inevitable argument, depraved makeup sex, and repetition of this vicious cycle. On an unrelated note, Slim deserves credit for wedging a second Bad Boy Records reference into this song. “If I die down, my love will still haunt you” is a nod to Ma$e, who’d be proud to know a random line from a 19-year-old remix has a mini-legacy.
Loving anyone is complicated, but is it worth the trouble? In this case, Kingpen Slim would say so.