For our last From The Vault of 2012, we salute an artist that has been a highlight of our year and one we anticipate will continue to be as we cruise into 2013, She’s a favourite among our readers and is often referred to as the Vocal Bible. Of course, our penultimate pick is Brandy and her infectious hit ‘What About Us?’
Unveiled exactly 11 years ago, ‘Us’ was chosen as the launching single from Brandy’s third album, ‘Full Moon’, which proved an excellent choice since it was a worldwide smash and is among the star’s most recognizable songs.
Concocted by the omnipresent Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins alongside Lashawn Daniels, and Bran herself, the cut climbed its way to the 7th position of the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 3 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart; it reached #4 on the UK, #6 in Australia as well as #16 in Canada.
Sonically similar to Jerkins’ work on Michael Jackson’s final album ‘Invincible’ (which was released only a few months prior), the track was -at the time- considered cutting-edge R&B, and in many ways still is. Indeed, the numerous hiccups, blipping and other high-tech sounds garnished the song (and housing album) with a distinctive futuristic coating. A coating that would go on to encourage others to try their hand at fusing R&B with alternate sounds. Influential has many definitions – and ‘Us’ is one of them.
To bring the record to life, B-Rocka turned to the great Dave Meyers who created a surrealistic world where the R&B singer reigned supreme over docile men. Complimenting the song to a tee, the VMA nominated clip would usher in a slew of look-a-likes (see: 3LW’s ‘I Do’, Britney’s ‘Boys’ and Celine Dion’s ‘I’m Alive’).
The music industry may toss, turn, sway, and shake; yet Brandy has and continues to deliver. Opportunities aplenty have presented themselves for her to hop aboard bandwagons, yet – regardless of commercial performance – she has proven with impressive consistency that she is a pioneer and an undeniable vocal muse for singers of the R&B persuasion and beyond.
If ‘Two Eleven’ is anything to go by, the soon-to-be Mrs Press still has a lot to offer, both sonically and visually.
Keep it up, B-Rocka!