Two years after releasing their full-length debut Incredibad, The Lonely Island are returning with their sophomore effort Turtleneck & Chain, featuring such SNL digital shorts as the Akon-featuring "I Just Had Sex" and the Nicki Minaj-assisted "The Creep." Latest in their line of star-studded collaborations is Turtleneck's recently leaked title track, with Snoop Dogg contributing a guest verse. The song is yet another chapter in Lonely Island's decades-long exploration of the awkward middle ground between hip-hop and preppy, and while it has its moments, it's starting to feel a little bit like enough already.
The song, unsurprisingly, is about the titular garment/jewelry combo, with just about every line in the song being some bragging description thereof, with a number of light beer references mixed in. (Main hook: "Turtleneck and chain / Turtle neck and chain / Turtleneck and chain / Sippin' on a light beer.") It's no doubt aimed to be satirical of one-track hip-hop accoutrement anthems, a subject ripe enough for parody, but the Lonely Island's take quickly becomes just as monotonous. Some couplets are smile-worthy ("Got more chain than the snow patrol / Every one razor thin like an insect's stripper pole") but you can only go back to the "We're middle-upper class white guys imitating hip-hop culture with our famous hip-hop friends" so many times before you at least have to come up with a new approach. And whereas classics like "I'm On a Boat" and "Dick in a Box" were gleeful and clever enough in their send-ups to not feel patronizing, on "Turtleneck and Chain," even Lonely Island sound like they're getting bored with their shtick.
As for Snoop, he doesn't seem to get the point much either, and his guest verse comes off as confused as to whether he should be trying to make fun of himself or rapping as straight-faced as possible. "Get my two step on with my turtle neck on / Thin ass chain light beer in my glass / Smacking that bitches, the ones with the ass." You know, guys, you might not always have Snoop guest cameos at your disposal, you might want to try a little harder to take advantage of the opportunity whilst you do.