Three years ago, when
"I sent disclaimers out [to producers]," he smiled. "I said, 'I want something that sounds like big, black James Bond.' "
Of course, James Bond would probably never cut a record like "F--- You," but the message was clear: Cee Lo was looking for something classy and brassy and even a little bit flashy. For proof, check out "Bright Lights, Bigger City," the second single from Lady Killer, because it is very much all those things ... and then some.
Then again, according to Cee himself, there's nothing particularly classy, brassy or flashy about the song — or the rather amazing video — at all. To him, it's less of a tuxedo tune and more of a blue-collar anthem, telling the kind of story that's been told by everyone from Johnny Paycheck to, uh, Johnny Kemp.
"This song, I think, just has a broader appeal, because it's just not talking about me, it's talking about us," he told MTV News. "It's a song about the nightlife and just kinda being out and living for the weekend.
"[And] it's kinda got that 'working-class hero' quality too; I reference, you know, songs like Johnny Kemp's 'Just Got Paid,' " he continued. "So it's a story that's been told before, and it's so true to life. ... We all work pretty hard throughout the week, and Friday and Saturday, you know, will always be special, so this is just a song to commemorate that."
Though "Bright Lights" is the new single, it seems that the rest of the world still isn't quite done with "F--- You." William Shatner just performed a version of the song on "Lopez Tonight," and on Tuesday night, Gwenyth Paltrow will tackle the radio-friendly "Forget You" on "Glee." Then again, for a dude who knows a thing or two about blue-collar struggle, those are what's known as "good problems."
"I really am just flattered," Cee Lo told MTV News. "I'm like, 'That's just, that's too awesome.' "
What do you think of "Bright Lights, Bigger City"? Let us know in the comments!