Top 40 single reviews

All I Have
Album: This Is Me...Then
Year: 2002

Jennifer Lopez is through being humilated by commitment-phobic boyfriend in the ear-splitting "All I Have."

A sample of the 1981 song "Very Special" by Debra Laws opens the single. Laws sings a part of the chorus. It's sped up, which makes her sound like a little squeaky girl. She says that love is a wonderful thing. To have it with life is an extraordinary thing.

"Love is life/And life is living/It's very special."



Lopez and LL Cool J then trade lyrics back and forth. LL Cool J pleads with her to not to leave him as she "oohs" and "yeah's."

"Oh/Baby don't go, baby don't go/Yeah/Baby don't go, baby don't go/Yeah/Baby don't go, baby don't go/Yeah, yeah."



In the first verse, she says she's had enough of his cheating. She's ambivalent about the breakup. He pushed her to the point where she didn't care anymore. The only person the breakup reflects poorly on is him. LL Cool J is stunned. He thinks they'll meet a couple years from now and talk about the memories they had. He says it's a mistake. He urges her to stay and work their problems out.

"It's such a shame but I'm leaving/Can't take the way your mistreating me/And it's crazy but oh baby/It doesn't matter whatever don't phase me/I don't believe you wanna leave like this/I don't believe I just had my last real kiss/I do believe we'll laugh and reminiscience/Wait a minute don't bounce baby/Let's talk about this."



In the pre-chorus, she says that she's going, regardless of how much he tries to convince her. She adds that she will hang out with her friends and travel. She's looking forward to being single again. However, she wonders if he will survive without her.

"Well I'm bouncing and I'm out son/I gotta leave you alone/'Cause I'm good/Holding down my spot/And I'm good/Reppin' the girls on the block/And I'm good/I got this thing on line/So without me youll be fine, right?"



In the chorus, Lopez says she has her self-respect. He'll be missing her, however, she won't be feeling sorry for him. She says he was the one who cheated on her. With her, he had stability. LL Cool J responds that she doesn't have any self-respect anymore. She has him. He adds that she's making a hasty decision. He agrees that she's a self-sufficient person. However, he says that she does need to have a boyfriend.

"All my pride is all I have/Pride is what you had, baby girl I'm what you have/You'll be needing me but too bad/Be easy, don't make decisions when your mad/The path you chose to run alone/ I know you're independent you can make it on your own/Here with me you have a home/Time is of the essence, why spend it alone?"



In the second verse, she says that he broke dates with her. He didn't even call to let her know that he was going out with his friends instead. He promised to be there time and time again. But he never was. She says he had many chances to change his behavior. She lost patience and decided to move on. LL Cool J says that he's not ready to be in a monogamous relationship. The pressure got to him and he began seeing other women. He thought giving her great sex would be enough for her to stay. He believed she was reliable and would put up with anything. Then, he says they should have make up sex.

"The nights I've waited up for you, promises you made about/Coming through, so much time you wasted, that's why I had to replace you/It makes a cat nervous the thought of settling down/Especially with me I was creeping all over town. I thought my tender/Touch could lock ya down, I knew I had you as cocky as that sounds/The way you used to giggle right before I put it down, it's better when you're/Angry come here I'll prove it now (come here)."



In the pre-chorus, she tells him the sweet talk and manipulations aren't going to work anymore.

"Stop playing, you gaming, I got to leave you alone/'Cause I'm good...so without me you'll be fine, right?"



The chorus is sung again.

In the bridge, LL Cool J says he should be forgiven. He's learned not to cheat on her anymore. He says that she knows him well, is one of her best friends and loves him. He says that they should stop fighting. She needs to relax. He apologizes and says he's telling the truth. He's hurt and asks her to comfort him. She says that she can't trust him. Even if they were to get back together, she would always be wondering when the shoe would drop. She tells him it's best that he's single.

"People make mistakes, to make up, to break up, to wake up/Cold and lonely, and chill baby you know me, you love me, I'm like your homie/Instead beefing come hold me, I promise I'm not a phony, don't bounce/Baby, console me, come here/Nothin' you can say to me that can change my mind, I gotta let you goNow, nothin' will ever be the same, so just go on your way, go ahead and do/Your thing now, and there's no more to explain to me ya know, I know ya game/I'm not feelin' what you do(and I'm good) so I'm bouncing and/I'm annoucing (I'm good) I gotta leave you alone yeah, yeah."



The chorus is sung twice.

To end the single, LL Cool J whispers that he's heartbroken.

"I promise you, I'm sad."



In the single, Lopez and LL Cool J both believe they are superior to the other. Lopez is smug and dismissive in her delivery. Her reasons for dumping are valid. However, her ego is massive. It's as though she knows she's a catch and too good for him.

LL Cool J is a jerk. The only reason he's upset about the breakup is because he's lost his backup girlfriend (Lopez.) He views her as a girl who would never leave him, no matter what he did. He also uses her for sex. Every time something happens between them, it can be solved with sex. He's all talk. No wonder she wants nothing to do with him.

They both used each other. For Lopez, it was someone who told her she was pretty and for LL Cool J, she was a constant. They each have ugly, cold personalities. They also have zero chemistry together. They sound more like acquaintances than squabbling lovers.

"All I Have" also rips off Debra Laws' 1981 R&B hit "Very Special." They both share the same melody. Also, Lopez tries to imitate Laws' vocals. Another male vocal is included nearly after verse. The only difference is "All I Have" has a faster tempo and a some strings. Otherwise, it's essentially the same song but without words.

"All I Have" is horrible and lazy.

 

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