From The Vault: Nivea – ‘Don’t Mess With My Man’

Published: Sunday 12th Aug 2012 by David

The likes of TLC and Destiny’s Child ensured that the late 90’s/early noughties was the definitive era of “male-bashing”. Indeed, the chart-topping success of ‘No Scrubs’, ‘Bills Bills Bills’, and the like, made it abundantly clear who “ran” the music world at that time.

However, that same window saw R&B singer Nivea score a hit with revised twist on the “relationship” narrative. Flipping the script, she scored herself a winner with this week’s From The Vault pick – anti-homewrecker anthem ‘Don’t Mess With My Man’.

‘Don’t Mess’ saw the pint-sized powerhouse duet with the vocal dynamos of Jagged Edge; it was released in 2002 as the third single from the songbird’s self-titled debut. The track, which managed to hit the US Top 10 but was a minor hit in other territories, ironically remains the singer’s most well-known song on a global scale. Thanks, no doubt, to the 00’s boom of Web 2.0 (see: Youtube and the like).
The sizzling cut – which was helmed by the ever-present Bryan Michael Cox – was accompanied by a glossy video featuring the crew fooling around at a garage and dancing at a parking lot. Although a sassier (or out of the box) concept exploring the lyrics would have been edgier, the clip does a solid job presenting us an artist capable of hitting the notes and busting the all-importan moves.
In recent years, it seems people have been talking more about Ms. Hamilton’s personal life than her music. Unsurprising given her marriage, divorce and army of children with hitmaker The Dream, as well as her child with Lil’Wayne. A fact which is ever-unfortunate considering how solid cuts such as this and her sophomore set ‘Complicated’ were.  Consequently, the songstress ends up in the “underrated” league alongside the likes of Ameriie and Kelis.
Still we’d like to know:
Who do you think are the most underrated R&B artists?  

Your thoughts?

Posted under:

Comments 20

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. hood_star_06 August 12, 2012

    hell – theres alot starting with Ms kelly – mya – brandy – amerie the list goes on!

    • Öz Firdevs August 13, 2012

      I love Kelly, but she is not underrated. The problem is that KELLY doesnt stay constanly on one thing. She try to do many things at the same time, so she cant promote her music enough. Everybody love and support Kelly, but she is sometimes to slow in promoting her things. If she would promote her things better and faster, she would be bigger. But She is still relevant internationaly and Popular, but she could be more

  2. Reality101 August 12, 2012

    CIARA is criminally underated…so is Jhene Aiko, Brandy, Mateo

  3. LOURDES August 12, 2012

    I loved Nivea in middle school/early high school! “Complicated” is still one of my favorite songs.

  4. Nabob August 12, 2012

    Tamia brandy Deborah c**

  5. Stav August 12, 2012

    I always found that song annoying and I definitely wouldn’t call her underrated, since I don’t think she had the goods to be rated higher than she was.

    Nivea was just one of many ultimately forgettable female R&B singers from that period (Sunshine Anderson, Toya, Blu Cantrell, Olivia, Amerie, Tweet, Truth Hurts, etc., etc.) who scored one or two of-the-moment hits, thanks more in part to the songs themselves, but didn’t have any star potential to maintain a career past their one or two hits.

    • Dave August 12, 2012

      Some of those people you listed, it definitely had nothing do do with “star potential” (Ameriie for example), what you probably mean, wasn’t into molding themselves into what labels wanted them to be, & weren’t in what the label politics needed.

      • DA TRUTH TELLA B****** August 12, 2012

        Ameriiiiiiiiie has had MANY, MANY chances to redeem herself and has never been able to do anything other than try to be a BEYONCE clone with a 1B weave. Ameriie is the epitome of BORING

      • Credits August 12, 2012

        @ Da Truth tella

        I bet you if Beyonce heard Ameriie’s ‘in love and war’, she was pissed that she can’t make r&b with the live instrument sound the way ameriie does.

  6. Öz Firdevs August 12, 2012


  7. MISHKA August 12, 2012

    Nivea was never underrated. TGJ, don’t confuse “underrated” with “not good enough”.

    Brian Michael C** served her a monster hit and she made the best of it. But she didn’t stand the test of time, just like Sunshine Anderson, Blue Cantrell, Ameriie and countless others.

    If anything, Brian Michael C** IS the underrated one here. I mean the guy wrote this song, Mary J’s “Be Without You”, Usher’s “Burn”, Chris Brown’s “Say GoodBye” and so many more. He’s a genius.

  8. Jasmine August 12, 2012

    I think Nivea has herself to blame for a dead singing career. She went way to ghetto (just look at her numerous hood tats) and destroyed her label’s “cute girl who can sing” image. If she prefers to be a paid baby mama then Im happy for her. I just hope she off that ish and does have any more duis.

  9. Credits August 12, 2012

    ‘MOST UNDERRATED GOES TO MEGAN ROCHELL. her album “You, Me and the Radio” is the best unreleased r&b album of this decade. You know how they say, ‘the next, Mary or the next mariah or the next beyonce, etc…’ Megan was the next Brandy/Monica. Her music had that feel and it was so refreshing.

    Ameriie’s in love and war was definitely underrated.
    Shareefa was good.
    Teedra Moses
    Jazmine sullivan is underrated

  10. Öz Firdevs August 12, 2012

    At the moment i think that MONICA should be a international Superstar, she is very talendet. But on the other side she is way to real RnB and Soul for this generation 🙁

  11. Marcus August 13, 2012

    I like Nivea. Her last album complicated still gives me life. I love her voice.

  12. Haw August 13, 2012

    I might make a list. Too many great singer were underrated
    Like : Michelle Williams, Jamelia, Jeannie Ortega, Ciara, Amerie,
    Ashanti, Brandy, Monica, Brooke Valentine, Cherish, Christina Milian,
    Tamia, Fantasia Barrino, Heather Headley, LeToya,
    Mya, Shareefa, Teairra Mari, Tyra B, Keyshia Cole,
    Bayje, Cassie, Deborah C**, Shanice, Tiffany Evans, Jessi Malay,
    Keke Wyatt, Olivia, Paula DeAnda, Santalina, Toya, Tiffany Affair,
    and moreeee. I do really love ’em all.
    They are all great !!!

    • number1k9 August 13, 2012

      Damn you done listed every single solo female R&B or Pop/R&B artist to release music in the 2000s! ! !

      J/K I kid, I kid 🙂

  13. number1k9 August 13, 2012

    I agree with a few, not sure I would put Nivea into the underrated category. She didn’t seem like an artist who fought to have their music out. I mean, least not in the U.S.

    I really did like Shareefa’s Hip Hop Soul soudn she came with, with DTP, “Need A Boss,” and “Cry No More.” Such a shame she didn’t stay on with DTP, I liked those two songs.

    Same thing for Truth Hurts! I really loved “Addictive,” and “The Truth.” Two other great Hip Hop and R&B singles… Such a shame she left Dr. Dre’s Aftermath, after he called her the westcoast MJB, and went to Raphael Saddique’s label. I loved her West Coast MJB sound! ! !

    Not sure I’d call them underrated either tho, bc really they each had 1 album, Truth had two I guess, but still. IMO you gotta be pressing for your music to be in the underrated category.

    Ashanti is def one, because she is a great artist, puts in the work, and crafts her own music. Ppl still hate on her from things from her early career. Not to mention her vocals have gotten better over the years.

    I’d sorta say Xtina Milian, but it take her forever to release a new album. Like what happened to her album she should have had out two years ago…? ? Not to mention when she hit hot with “Dip It Low,” she should have rode that out. And also sucks she didn’t take “S.O.S. (Rescue Me)” because it was too Pop for her sound, Rih got that last laugh!

    Besides them its hard to pick thru the names ppl have listed and that come to mind.

    Kelly Rowland, ehhh I don’t find her music overly special. I did really love “Forever & A Day.” Really think she needs to give the entire Euro/Pop/Dance album a go, even in the U.S. who cares if they don’t buy it here, they don’t buy ur R&B albums either, so what do you have to lose. It fits her voice well, IMO.

  14. T. SCOTT August 13, 2012


    By far the most underrated – she has THE most beautiful voice, and she’s smokin’ hot.

Recommended Posts
.. **