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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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When Booty Albums Go Bad
Friday, October 24, 2008

Everyone has at least one or two, or if you’re a real ladies man, ten, R&B albums that can be easily defined as booty albums. These are your go-to joints for when you’re having a lady friend over that you’d like to spend some time naked with. Sadly, there has been an epidemic that has afflicted many potentially great booty albums, relegating them to the ranks of simply being “R&B joints.” The epidemic is that of the misplaced song. We’ve all heard it and we’ve all wept when such a song has come on, interrupting what had been up until then a beautiful bra removing, panty dropping moment. Today I’m breaking down the kind of songs that make a booty album go bad.

Songs About Infidelity

Dru Hill is (or should that technically be was) one of my favorite R&B groups of all time, but they committed an almost unforgivable sin by throwing a song about infidelity, “In My Bed,” right at the climax of their eponymous debut album. Lyrics like the following aren’t exactly mood enhancers:

Now don't try to tell me things are still the same
'Cuz when we made love I heard you call out his name, call out his name

Apparently someone thought that while you’re gettin to gettin with your girl there’s nothing like pondering whether or not she’s also been getting under someone else. Admittedly the song was a huge hit, but when it comes to Dru Hill’s status as a booty album, it kills it.

A dishonorable mention also goes out to Joe for throwing “Stutter” at the start of the otherwise booty-tastic My Name Is Joe. The good news is you can just start at track four when you put that CD on.

The Club Track

Yeah, we get it, you don’t want to just sing love songs, but guess what, that’s what we want to hear from you because that’s what you’re really good at. There is little worse than listening to a talented balladeer attempt to create a club/dance song. The horribleness is painful, and oftentimes involves an equally out of place guest rapper, but every R&B artist seems to want to give it a shot. These songs are at their most offensive when they’re placed right when an album seems to be headed to a nice slowed down, smoothed out, pace. You’re connecting with your lady and all of a sudden the kick of an 808 jars both of you from your respective trains of thought and alters the mood considerably. There are far too many offenders of this to start naming names. Thankfully many of them place their club track either right at the start of their album, or at the very end. Either way it becomes an easily taken care of problem.

Mom Songs

We all love our moms, but she’s the last person we want to be thinking about when we’re hooking up. What possesses R&B singers to want to pen a song about their mothers is obvious, they love them. What possesses them to want to share that song with the rest of the world by throwing it smack dab in the middle of an otherwise booty-worthy album is beyond any level of comprehension. Boyz II Men threw “A Song For Mama” right in the middle of Evolution, and while it’s great they love their moms, hearing the following during a moment of passion is enough to keep therapists employed for a very long time:

Mama, mama you know I love you
Oh you know I love you
Mama, mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like
Tears from the stars
Mama, I just want you to know
Lovin you is like food to my soul

Oh and Musiq, I’m not too happy about “motherfather” either, off of your otherwise spectacular 2002 effort juslisen. juslisen is still one of my favorite R&B albums of all-time, but it can’t be considered a booty album when you spend four minutes thanking your parents for the way they raised you. Yes, they did a fantastic job. Write the song, sing at an anniversary party. The good news is the song is past the 50 minute mark on the juslisen, so there’s still plenty of time to have some fun before it comes on.

There you have it, three of the most heinous offenses R&B artists are guilty of that ruin otherwise perfectly good booty albums. If you have a gripe of your own, or a story to tell regarding one of these offenses, please share it by leaving a comment!
posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:38 AM  
  • At 8:30 AM, Blogger james said…

    you forgot the r&b collabos with rappers on them. Very jarring to be in the middle of some romance and then have Beanie Sigel come on trying NOT to sound like a tough guy. mood killer right there

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    I tried to group those affronts to the eardrums in with "The Club Track," but you're right, they probably deserve their own special place in the hall of shame.

  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger Red said…

    Let's think outside the box and consider the ladies-man rapper. Take LL Cool J, a prime example of the gimmick (sorry, LL fans ^^') whose classic love banger "Doin' It" and theme-of-yearnin' "I Need Love" paved the way for women to experience hot flashes via urban poetry. Does this type of songs help or hurt the rapper in any way, in relation to your journal?

  • At 7:38 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    I think rap is such a different animal from R&B that we have to consider it in a totally different way.

    Wit rap music, as long as the song is honest I'm cool with it. The booty rap songs that are just there to fill space, just like any songs done simply to fit a cliche, I take umbrage with.

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger LAB said…

    Yeah and it's annoying to me that people group R&B and HipHop in the same category, even subconsciously. R&B was it's own category once upon a time, why not now? And some (not most) collabs are worthy of bootiness.

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