You know, normally, when an artist is proud of themselves and the product they work hard to release, I don’t fault them for their confidence. But, there are instances when you have to take a step back and ask, “What is this fool smoking?” Today’s fool is none other than Amerie.
When Amerie first made her way onto the scene in spring 2002 with the single, “Why Don’t We Fall In Love,” critics panned Amerie as another pretty face with a thin voice that benefited greatly from slick production. I, however, found her to be refreshing. Her debut album, All I Have, offered a bevy of mid-tempo grooves at time when most of her counterparts were singing on over-sampled hip hop beats. Not a one rapper appeared on the album – a rarity in mainstream R&B. Thanks to producer Rich Harrison, Amerie was provided carefully crafted vocal arrangements well suited for her [limited] vocal abilities.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say she could sing. I’m just saying Rich made sure her voice was tolerable on the tracks.
Amerie makes her views about her voice and sound clear.
I’m saying who told yall,
Amerie would be back on the block.
It’s been a minute,
But I see the fake has gotta stop.
Six months, and yall done checked my style
Thinkin I was M.I.A., that’s wishful thinking child.
It’s obvious to see,
Chickens try to bite it,
But they can’t cop my delivery.
My style, my aggression on the track,
When yall chicks know yall wasn’t singing like that, Yeah!
So let me break it down for ya,
To the ground for ya,
Go and chase that track.
Pay a hundred stack,
But you can’t buy my sound,
Can’t take my flow,
Can’t bag my swag,
Those are strong words from someone yet to produce a hit album. These are lyrics taken from the intro to Because I Love It Vol. 1, the first of two mixtapes Amerie plans to release in an effort to build anticipation for her album of the same name due early next year.
With all due respect to Amerie, I don’t think there’s many singers out there would want to sound like her. Also, that style Amerie speaks on seemingly belongs to Rich Harrison.
Speaking of her mixtape, it’s terrible. If you’re ever feeling down about yourself, turn on Because I Love It Vol. 1. You’ll instantly feel better as it won’t take you long to conclude that some people have it far worse off than you do.
On certain tracks, particularly those were Amerie sings over Lil Scrappy’s “Money In The Bank” and Ludacris’ “Money Maker,” respectively, Amerie tries to come across as some hood chick. I find that hilarious given that everyone can see through her friendly ass. I wouldn’t be shocked if the one time she did found herself on the block it was selling Girl Scout Cookies.
You must hear it. You can’t do shit but laugh at her. As much as she talks about being half Asian (she mentions it again for the 300th time on the mixtape), you’d think she’d make sure she’d at least be one of the Asians like Jin or the chick that used to dance on Soul Train where it’s at least half believable. She’s not even on the level of the dudes that sang, “sookie hookie hot sockie sue, you sock it to me” from the Last Dragon.
The worst of it all is that for someone who talks about people jacking her style, nothing on this mixtape sounds like her previous material.
On her sophomore album, Touch, Amerie only worked with Rich Harrison on a select number of tracks, opting instead to pursue other hitmakers like Lil Jon, Bryce Wilson, and production duo Dre & Vidal. No one touched her album.
If she’s hoping that the third time’s a charm, she should take another listen to this mixtape.