“With this album, there’s gonna be a lot of No. 1s, so that’s why I came up with the title ‘Wild Ones,'” Flo Rida told Billboard.com in May. Although none of the tracks from the Miami-based rapper’s fourth studio album have topped Billboard’s charts just yet, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic. The Florida native has already enjoyed a pair of hits atop the Hot 100 (2008’s T-Pain team-up “Low” and 2009’s smash hit “Right Round”), and several of the tracks off “Wild Ones” are already receiving heavy airplay.
Originally planned as a sequel to 2010’s “Only One Flo, Part 1,” “Wild Ones” eventually became a stand-alone album, perhaps due to the immense early success of singles like “Good Feeling” and its title track, which have peaked at number 3 and 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. A new single, “Whistle” (which opens the new disc), already sounds like it could be one of the rapper’s biggest successes to date. The rapper has lofty chart goals for sure, but given the accessibility of these songs, it’s not as wild a claim as it might seem.
Flo Rida will likely never be an “album artist.” But in this age of ringtones and digital singles, there’s still plenty for Flo Rida to conquer. “I’m just taking things to new heights, and we’re here for the marathon,” he said to Billboard, adding, “Maybe the next album will be called ‘Marathon.'”
Which tracks on “Wild Ones” match Flo Rida’s biggest, best singles? Join us as we take a track-by-track look at the rapper’s latest hit parade.
01. Whistle – Instead of opening with a thumping beat, “Whistle” begins with acoustic guitar and, as the title suggests, some simple whistlin’. Could it be that Flo Rida is taking cues from Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” or Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s “Moves Like Jagger”?
02. Wild Ones feat. Sia – Although the album is new on store shelves, most pop fans are already well acquainted with its title track. The single features a strong guest performance from pop vocalist Sia, and could reboot her career much like “Right Round” introduced a then-unknown Ke$ha to a much wider audience.
03. Let It Roll – What’s that? Another Flo Rida hit single? Although “Let It Roll” hasn’t charted yet, it sounds like it could certainly enjoy the success of its forerunners. This time around, producers Axwell and soFLY & Nius reached back into rock and roll history for a well-placed sample of blues guitarist Freddie King’s “Let the Good Times Roll” in the song’s chorus.
04. Good Feeling – Released nearly a year ago, “Good Feeling” is another track that most Flo Rida fans are already quite familiar with. Avicii’s “Levels,” which relies on the classic Etta James song “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” is spruced up with some rapid-fire rapping.
05. In My Mind, Part 2 feat. Georgi Kay – “In My Mind,” a banger from producers Axwell, Ivan Gough, and Feenixpawl, flashes one of the album’s strongest beats, and contrasts Flo Rida’s fast-paced verses with an elegant vocal hook from Australian indie pop singer Georgi Kay.
06. Sweet Spot feat. Jennifer Lopez – Here, Flo Rida teams with a pop vocalist we’re guessing you’ve already heard of. After channeling a bit of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” (“You can be the candy girl in my shop/we both know what we crave and whatnot”), Rida jumps into a steamy duet with J. Lo.
07. Thinking Of You – The club-ready tempo of “Wild Ones” finally subsides on “Thinking of You,” a bittersweet lament for a relationship that wasn’t meant to last. Flo Rida flashes some of his more creative rhymes (“I’ll take the bird in the hand if it’s toucan/because two can’t play the star; get a new band”) alongside silky R&B crooning from singer/producer Rico Love.
08. I Cry – After repeat listens “I Cry” might sound a good deal like the rest of “Wild Ones,” but played in a club at the right time, it’s got enough building beats and poppy climaxes to deliver.
09. Run feat. RedFoo – After eight club-ready tracks, do you still have enough energy to get your party rock on? The upbeat closer (which was co-written by T-Pain) features a fist-pumping chorus with LMFAO’s RedFoo handling the hook. Flo Rida also continues his knack for transforming 80s hits into hip-hop bangers; this time, it’s Bryan Adams’ rock hit “Run To You” getting a transformation.