The-Dream is no one-trick pony. During his 12-year career, the singer/songwriter/producer has crafted crossover hits for music’s biggest artists, including Rihanna and Beyoncé. But due to his songwriting and production schedule, The-Dream has had to place his fifth studio album, “IV Play,” second. The set will finally be released May 28 on Island Def Jam.
“It’s getting harder by the day,” The-Dream, born Terius Nash, says of the creative process. “I adopted the theory to take up a lot of real estate on [someone else's] album. I’d rather have four to six records on an album, instead of that one. I did around seven records on Beyoncé’s “4″ and five on Rihanna’s last ["Unapologetic"]. When you’re in that process, if there are five [songs] on the album, that probably means you did more than that. It slows it down because I don’t get time for myself.”
“IV Play” is laced with eclectic strings, big harmonies and droning synths reminiscent of ’90s R&B and late-’80s/early-’90s rap, which the-Dream is “appreciating right now.”
“It’s as if he could have come from that era,” says Jaha Johnson, The-Dream’s co-manager. “His R&B roots don’t start with the ’90s. They run deep, even back to what inspired those ’90s R&B artists, like Sam Cooke.”
A Dream album wouldn’t be a Dream album if it didn’t ooze with Auto-Tuned, braggadocio sex cuts and odes to love’s hopefuls, in which he triumphantly swoons and seduces simultaneously, as he does on the title track.
“Rhythm and blues is about what life is, it’s about being able to talk heartbreak and understanding that people go through it, not about this fantasy in how much you’re spending,” the-Dream says. “For some, words got complacent, and R&B began to compete with rap.”
“IV Play’s” lead single, “Slow It Down,” debuted and peaked at No. 24 on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart, No. 41 on R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs and No. 12 on R&B Digital Songs.
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“IV Play” available everywhere May 28th!