From The Vault journeys back to 2001, a year in which newcomer Blu Cantrell was released her debut single ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops).’ The tune is today’s pick.
Produced and penned by Dallas Austin, ‘Style’ took the then-trend of male bashing anthems to a whole other level.
An instructional manual of sorts, it unpacked a narrative about how ladies should take revenge on cheating baes by making them pay for the damage they’ve done – via the selling of their possessions and emptying their bank accounts.
It was Blu’s biggest hit in the US, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Worldwide, it reached the 12th position in the UK, got to #7 in Canada and #3 in Australia. Additionally, ‘Style’ was nominated for the GRAMMY for Best R&B song in 2002. Not too bad for a debut single.
In the track’s accompanying video, Cantrell’s motive seems to be “shop ‘til you drop.” Indeed, she hits the shopping mall and organizes a yard sale in a bid to squander her trifling boyfriend’s fortune after he did her wrong. When a woman’s fed up, ay.
Almost two decades later, this song is still a genre favorite and rightfully so. With its timeless production and engaging storytelling, it’s an R&B gem that could be released today and still enjoy a successful moment.
Except for monumental worldwide hit ‘Breathe’ two years later, Blu was never really able to return to that level of success and recognition, at least not on home-soil. Anyhow, she delivered a classic for the ages that will surely continue to stand the test of time.