Donnie B. Gotdabeats is a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer. He has toured with The Game and Snoop Dogg and has been a mainstay at various music festivals. He has recently dropped a new track called “Fine by Me.” Though this track is more R&B than it is hip hop, I thought it was more than worthy of a review. “Fine by Me” sounds like a song you could have been listening to on the radio for months now. It has that instant soothing familiarity about it that all radio-ready singles have. Donnie B. sounds like if Usher rapped like Rich Homie Quan.
He incorporated syncopated vocal doublets giving it a more rap-like quality, but still, a low-key rap verse would really elevate a song like this one. The vocals have a rich, lovely quality, enhanced by a reasonable usage of auto-tune. There’s only one part where the auto-tune works against him, and unfortunately, it occurs in the repeating hook, on the line that says, “That’s what she wants.” But, that part withstanding, the auto-tune and vocal production are well done for this bedroom jam.
The production on this song was well done. The beat is lofi, and very R&B influenced. Synth strings sit comfortably in the mix, giving it that heady bedroom vibe. The track is sexy and smooth, with just the right amount of rhythmic instruction. Hollow plucks give it modern flair, and the drums have been muted to a pleasing effect. Compressed kicks and high hats keep the movement building, without overpowering the mix.
The lyrics in this song attempt to check all the boxes for an R&B joint, but they may be too generalized to really hit home. With no specific details or story unfolding here, the lyrics are pretty standard and boarder on unexciting. However, after a few listens, I noticed some idiosyncracies about the lyrical theme. The lyrics talk about hooking up with a girl, and taking her home back to the crib, with this weirdly noncommital air to the whole thing. Donnie B. says, “She gonna let me hit the crib, and that’s fine by me, she gonna let me take a dip, and that’s fine by me,” as if to say “she’s going to let me go home with her, and that’s fine by me, then she’s gonna let me hook up with her, and that’s fine by me.” It’s sort of a weird vibe, like, hey, try not to get too excited. I understand that he’s trying to be chill, but being chill about hooking up with a girl will only impress your guy friends, it won’t impress a girl, and unless you’re making a sexy R&B song to hang out with your guy friends to, it’s kind of a weird route to take. I don’t think the lyrics would be seducing any ladies. Then it gets even odder in the part where Donnie B. says, “she says she don’t do nothing like this, I say, baby you don’t gotta lie to kick it,” which roughly translates to, “she says, I’m not usually this slutty, and I say, baby, you don’t gotta lie and say you’re not a slut just so we can hook up.” Look, if a girl was really saying this, she’s obviously insecure about how forward she feels like she’s being, and calling her out on her lie would not win you any points. Maybe just let the girl lie!
…this is a solid R&B track. It’s well-produced, and it sounds like it could be on the radio right now.
We have to listen to men constantly flexing about stuff that isn’t even remotely true, and we don’t call them out on it every five seconds. So, while at first listen this seems like just the kind of song you’d want to get down with your girl to, you have got to just hope she doesn’t listen to the lyrics too carefully. There’s chill, and then there’s just noncommittal. Donnie B. May have passed the point of seeming chill and verged on the point of seeming uninterested. Like, I could hook up or not, I am “take it or leave it” at this point. Girls want to be wanted, so while this may score you some points with other dudes, just remember who you’re supposed to be making bedroom jams for.
Other than the lyrical issues, this is a solid R&B track. It’s well-produced, and it sounds like it could be on the radio right now. Adding a short rap verse would probably help its success in that sphere, as would smoothing out some of the auto-tune. Donnie B. Gotdabeats is clearly a multi-talented individual. He definitely has what he needs to find success in this industry. For him, it will probably just be a matter of making enough tracks until one of them pops. He’s got the formula down though, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the future.