Artist

Trey Songz

To kids, he was Trey Songz. To his parents he was Tremaine Neverson. And to other parents, he was the kid who deserved a beating because he invented sex for their daughters.

Neverson's career began like most aspiring R&B stars. His 2005 debut, I Gotta Make It, was mostly produced by one person, Troy Taylor, and featured few major guest artists (Aretha Franklin made a brief "cameo" and Twista lent a verse to the lead single "Gotta Make It"). The album mimicked the contemporary blend of hip-pop and R&B du jour. Coupled with his prior mixtape promotion as the "Prince of Virginia," he was presented as the latest generational spawn of R&B man(-child)-meat. However, the singer demonstrated a slightly developed sense of meta narratives, particularly in his unofficially-released spoof of R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" called "Open The Closet."

His 2007 follow-up, Trey Day, continued the litany of R&B tropes: club-heavy production, rap features and cut anthems. The album performed slightly better than its predecessor, which was evidently enough reason to send Neverson further into the realm of panty droppas. The resulting 2009 album, Ready, featured a mix of sentimental pop ("I Need A Girl") and more bone jams ("I Invented Sex"). The formula worked and the album netted five top ten R&B singles. It also earned the distinction of being the other album that year to feature a photo of a shirtless, tatooed pop star (as opposed to a photo of a suited-up, tatooed pop star). ~Dan Nishimoto

 

 


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