Review: Nicole Wray – Lovechild

Review: Nicole Wray – Lovechild

The Lovechild album is one of Nicole Wray’s best works to date. You can tell she was very much hands-on with the songwriting. She showed off her mature side on this album with songs such as If I Was Your Girlfriend, So Sexy, Can’t Get Out the Game, Where I’m From, and Say My Name among other songs recorded. She showed off her mature side on this album unlike her debut album Make It Hot. There’s definitely a higher level of maturity in her music. Not to mention lyrics. This was because she was an adult who was old enough to talk about whatever she wanted to talk about as she was free and grown. Her album is all love. Love, relationships, trust, and all the things she has been through that have made her a stronger woman. Every moment of the struggle helped Nicole become a better person. She simply equates her strength and success to balance. The Lovechild album uses a mixture of contemporary pop, rock, jazz, R&B/soul, and hip hop/rap. She’s similar to Mary J Blige.

There were cover songs of classic soul ballads and sensational pop songs on the album such as Saturday Love, Destination, Regrets, I Wanna Be Your Lady, Ain’t Nobody, and Caught Up. Saturday Love, Destination, Regrets, and I Wanna Be Your Lady were the most memorable cover songs on the album.

Some may remember the buzz singles were If I Was Your Girlfriend, Regrets, Can’t Get Out the Game, and Destination. The album spawned multiple buzz singles. If I Was Your Girlfriend, Regrets, and Destination were the popular buzz singles for her. All four of those singles were the most known singles off the Lovechild album which her fans knew about.

7 Aurelius produced a bulk of the album since he was responsible for the bulk of the production. 7 Aurelius allowed Nicole Wray to be free and to work alongside him by producing and writing. Which can be attributed to why Dream Factory Sessions was considered outside of her natural raw singing talent. She was allowed to be creative. The Lovechild Sessions were the most amazingly creative time of her life. She recorded at least 70 songs for the Lovechild album. A majority of which remain unreleased. However some of her songs were used on other albums released by Roc-A-Fella Records and other labels.

However there were other producers on the album. This now famous Toby Gad had produced a significant portion of the album that included songs such as Where I’m From, Walk Right Up, You Ain’t Shit To Me, Child Of The King, and Bling Bling. Damon Dash, Peedi Crakk, Max B, and Boola produced a portion of the album.

Nicole Wray explained how she titled her third album Lovechild in an interview with Vibe Magazine back in 2005. Here is how reason why Nicole Wray titled her third album Lovechild came from her parents. When Nicole Wray was born the nurse said she could see love in her eyes and that Nicole would be a star one day. The nurse explained to her parents, “‘She’s a love child’.” She saw the love in her father and my mother’s eyes when they were together.

Nicole had been through a lot already as she had this career that was high and everyone knew who she was. She was often seen performing on TV. And one day her career was snatched right from under her. But after a while she came to the realization that everybody was still like in love with her being Nicole Wray. That’s when she started feeling good about her and started feeling good about her music. Her title was a gift from God.

“Originally it was ‘Fantasia Lovechild’ but we erased ‘Fantasia’ off it because of the girl on Pop Idol. The ‘lovechild’ I took from my mom and my dad. They’re not together anymore, but I used to always wonder, my mum grew up in the hood and my dad grew up in an upper class neighbourhood and I always wondered what did he see in her and when I asked him he said the beauty in your mom, she was real she was there for me and my brother and sister were born in Virginia but I was born in California and my mum said that when I was born the doctor said she could see love in my eyes and I was to be a star so I just took that LoveChild.”

The name of her 3rd album was originally titled “Fantasia Lovechild”. However because the girl on Pop Idol known as Fantasia was already using the name “Fantasia Lovechild”. So Nicole and her label changed the title to her 3rd album to “Lovechild”.

The Lovechild album was supposed to be the spectacular third album by Nicole Wray that was supposed be released on Roc-A-Fella Records in 2005. But sadly her Lovechild album would suffer an array of setbacks as time progressed as was the case with her predecessor album known as the Elektric Blue album. However the Lovechild album was never released due to industry politics, lack of proper promotion, and lack of charting singles. As you all know that didn’t happen due to the Jay-Z and Dame Dash feud.

The other reason why the Lovechild album was never released was due to leaks. Nearly half of the Lovechild album was leaked onto file sharing websites such as Limewire, RapidShare, Soulseek, MegaUpload, 4shared, and FilesTube during the mid-2000s which online piracy was still at an all time high across the world. This also lead her album to be shelved by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings.

As for Nicole releasing the Lovechild album herself, she is unable to release the Lovechild album herself because the rights to that album belong to Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. They would be the ones to release the album since both labels own all the rights to that album despite the fact that she wrote nearly all of the songs and the songwriting credits are in her name. Despite this, she used songs such as Back Up Against The Wall on her other albums.

Honestly her Lovechild album should have been released. Roc-A-Fella dropped the ball on their R&B/soul division. They really screwed things up with this album which is definitely a shame.

Nicole showed off her mature on the song, lead single, and buzz single If I Was Your Girlfriend. She let her colors show along with her maturity. This is one of those sexy and sassy songs with a huge edge of sexiness and sassiness where she undoubtedly shows her more provocative side and mature side. Nicole was more involved in her sexuality with her being a female, being grown, and free. The Ohio Plays sample gives the song an edge of rock.

Some of you out there may remember the lyrics to the hot freaky chorus which went.

[Chorus]
If I was your girlfriend (Girlfriend)
Imagine what you could see now (See now)
I wanna take my clothes off (Clothes off)
‘Cause you got my body hot and ready to freak out (Freak out)
If I was your girlfriend (Girlfriend)
Imagine what you could see now (See now)
I wanna take my clothes off (Clothes off)
‘Cause you got my body hot and ready to freak out (Freak out)

And also hazy loopy chorus that was slightly off key and off balance.

[Pre-Chorus]
Take me, baby, I’ll light your fire
I will be your only desire
Take me, baby, I’ll light your fire
I will be your number one supplier (Woo)

These lyrics showcased her maturity: “I wanna take my clothes off (Clothes off)/’Cause you got my body hot and ready to freak out (Freak out)”

If Nicole was your girlfriend, imagine what you could see now. Imagine what you could see if Nicole was your girlfriend. Nicole wants to take her clothes off because you got her body hot and ready to freak out.

Nicole doesn’t care what those other people say as it doesn’t even mean a thing. Nicole doesn’t care what those other people do as long as you know Nicole wants you. It’s so hard for her to stand back and let you get away. It’s so hard for her to stand back and let you get away. Now that you know how she feels for you, you can set her body free. Nicole Wray will be your only desire and number one love supplier.

Don’t get misunderstood and think she’s not ready for you as a girl like Nicole never throws her feelings on the table. Nicole will have you wishing she was your girlfriend. She’ll have you wishing she was more than a friend.

Nicole Wray was the Billie Holiday of the streets on and the Mary J Blige of the streets on the song Can’t Get Out the Game as she had a story to tell. The song was Nicole’s life at one point. Nicole was in a relationship with this man who was there for her when everything was failing for her in life by not going her way. So Nicole attached herself to him like nobody could tell her nothing wrong about him. She felt like this man was her only hope. Then she just started seeing negativity.

This is no surprise as Nicole has always been in relationships with men that were toxic such as gangstas, pimps, and drug dealers. She often used to find herself in dangerous predicaments. It got to the point where Nicole was uncertain if she was going to live or die in her situation with her then-boyfriend or whatever man she was dating at the time. She didn’t know what was going to happen. Somebody could kill him or try to rob her because of his lifestyle.

Can’t Get Out the Game is her favorite track on the album. She explained this information herself a webzine called urbanconnectionz back in 2005.

“‘Can’t Get Out of the Game.’ It’s my life. I’ve always been in relationships with gangstas and drug dealers. She often used to find herself in dangerous predicaments. In that gap I’d been waiting to come back out, I was just partying drinking, hanging out. It just got to the point where I didn’t know if I was going to live or die in my situation with my boyfriend. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Somebody could kill him, or try to rob me because of his lifestyle. So, I addressed the pain on the hook, ‘can’t get out of the game’. I’m tryin but it’s so hard and I wanna educate the youth, the girls. They see the guys in the club spending money, big ballin, shot callin’, but we can do the same thing as women if we get our head right and that’s what I address on the album: be independent because when that nigga gets locked up where you gonna be at now!!”

Here is what Nicole wanted with Can’t Get Out the Game, “I want young girls to don’t feel like because something bad happened you have to attach yourself or you think this is the only hope for you, because that’s what I felt.”

Talking of experience and feelings, Nicole has also learned the hard way about destructive relationships, “I was in a relationship and this guy was there for me when everything failed, so I attached myself to him like nobody could tell me nothing about this guy,” she says emphasizing her point by gripping her hand tight. “I started just seeing a lot of negative stuff and I speak about that in my music ’cause I want young girls to don’t feel like ’cause something bad happened you have to attach yourself or you think this is the only hope for you, cos that’s what I felt, like this is my only hope this guy. And I was hurting, and in the time of my hurt I was still writing and I just said fuck it man, I’m going to New York.”

Nicole new this girl coming up from her hood. She was young. She was ready and headed for trouble. This girl was 17 year old child who was running wild. She was in the mix to the fiends and the gangsters. Like a fool, she fell in love with a hustler.

Both of them played the game. It was sold and never told. So she played anyway that she could because all she knew was the struggle. There was no doubt she was too lost and turnt out. But she prayed away every night, wondering about where did the love go. She wonders where the love went and how things spiraled out of control. She can’t get out of the game. She’s crying all the time and she can’t stop. But she don’t know what else to do.

One night this girl took a ride with this person that she thought was her man but she didn’t understand that he didn’t love her. You could tell by the look in his eyes this man was colder than ice. They drove to the hood but never let her know what his true intentions were.

So they stopped at the stoplight. They were smoking and drinking. They didn’t notice the person in a car creeping up slow. The car was a blue El Dorado. Within a blink of an eye threw the passenger side of his ride, shots were fired and she cried. All you could see was the blood flowing. She’s in trouble.

This girl was caught up in the struggle and addicted to the hustle. It’s fair game in the city and in the hood. The thought of her strapping those things to her frame. She did it from the muscle. She was no different than all the Lauren’s and Tiffany Lane’s. Like a moth, she was drawn to the light. Leading her to the flame. After difficulty coming, you gotta feel the pain. She stood tall in the storm and late nights in the rain. Not knowing the flip side of the game. And once you’re addicted to the game, it’s hard to maintain.

Regrets was the jazzy street savvy soul ballad driven by elements of soul, jazz, hip hop, and rap. Regrets is about how we must learn to live with regrets in that may and will occur in our lifetime. Gotta learn to live with regrets. I know you feel the pain.

Nicole was like the Mary J Blige of the streets on this song. Regrets showcased Nicole’s maturity as she sung about how she learned to take a loss and move on with her life. She was talking about how she has learned to live with the regrets she has in her lifetime. These lyrics showed how Nicole learned to take a loss and move on with her life.

[Verse 1]
I don’t even know at all
Sometimes I want it all
Sometimes I go too hard
And suddenly I fall apart
Don’t even sleep at all
Wondering if it’s true or false

[B-Sect 2]
And no I don’t know it all
I’m moving way too fast
Catching up with the fire
Knowing this thang ain’t gonna last
But I tried it all
I just learn to take a loss
And move on
(Whoo, whoo, ooh, oh)

[Chorus]
This is rule number one
Where I’m from
Gotta learn to live with regrets
I know you feel the pain
(Gotta keep ya head)
Everyday
Gotta learn to live wit regrets

[Verse 2]
I don’t even know at all
But I know in life we must feel pain
Especially when the bills ain’t paid
It’s hard to keep smiling much these days
Now please take it all away
Cause I’m moving
Can’t be wasting time

Nicole don’t even know at all. Sometimes she wants it all. Sometimes Nicole goes too hard. And suddenly she falls apart. She don’t even sleep at all wondering if it’s true or false. Her head is spinning. She wishes she didn’t love him but she does. She is moving way too fast catching up with the fire knowing this thang ain’t gonna last. But she tried it all. Nicole just learned to take a loss and move on.

This is rule number one. Gotta learn to live with regrets. I know you feel the pain. Gotta keep ya head everyday. In life we must feel pain. Especially when the bills ain’t paid. It’s hard to keep smiling much these days. Can’t be wasting time.

Now there are several different versions of this song which were used on mixtapes over the years. There’s a version with Jay-Z rapping a different verse which was from his song Regrets on his 1996 album Reasonable Doubt. the original version of this song has Nicole singing the bridge with her vocals without Jay-Z.

Act A Fool is about Nicole and her lover (who is her man) constantly fuss and fight, but in the end they always make it through. It’s just a chance that she takes on loving her lover. Nicole wants to act a fool because she thinks she is losing it for her lover.

Sometimes Nicole thinks she is losing it for her lover. Why does she drink all the time? But where does she find the time? Where does she find the time to drink all the time? She often fusses and fights with her lover over the way she acts. They can’t seem to get it right. But in the end, they always make it through. Sometimes Nicole thinks she crazy for loving him. It’s just a chance that she takes on loving her lover.

Nicole acts like a fool while still trying to be a background singer in the music industry. Still Nicole Wray manages to make it through her days. Sometimes she just does want to act like a damn fool as the song portrays.

Her mother said she should find somebody new. He’s got Nicole changing her ways. She thinks she want to escape and be apart of sunny days. Her eyes are small gray. Nicole wants to bleach her hair. She wants to wanna paint her fingernails black. She wants to them baggy jeans that sag off her ass. Nicole wants to party all night long. He makes her mad and she won’t come home. Nicole doesn’t know what to do but act like a damn fool. She is so high on his love. She wants some sunny days.

Act A Fool is an upbeat soul song with a fast tempo making the pace very uptempo. The song is upbeat as a typical Nicole Wray song usually is. The song has both a Spanish flair and Latin music flair to it due to the rhythmic guitar used and Spanish flamenco beats. You will love the Spanish/Latin rhythmic guitar used on this song. Upbeat and uptempo are two words that can best describe this song.

Sound quality for the song Act A Fool is fairly low but good enough for you to enjoy at home or traveling on the road. Act A Fool has a low production sound and vibe to it. The beats compensate for the low quality audio.

The song uses some catchy memorable lyrics in the chorus which go as follows.:

[Chorus]
I wanna bleach my hair
I wanna paint my fingernails black
I wanna wear them baggy jeans that sag off my ass like
I wanna party all night long
You make me mad and I won’t come home
I don’t know what to do
But act like a damn fool

Destination was the upbeat Curtis Mayfield inspired soul song about how Nicole stays motivated and keeps on moving up in life. The song also motivates and inspires people to keep going forward in life. The song heavily relies on the sample of Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up. The beats are absolutely banging! Destination is one of her best songs on the album next to several other songs.

Oh, you know how hard Nicole cries. Every day she wears makeup. Oh, time seems so long. The dom isn’t hot when Nicole keeps to herself. There ain’t no stopping her because she’ll be grindin’ all night til’ the early light. Let me see ya, let me see ya just move on up toward your destination.

These were some of the best lyrics to the song.

[Pre-Chorus]
I’ll be grindin’ all night
Til’ the early light
Moving and floating
I’ll be grindin’ all night
Til’ the early light
And I’ll be floating

[Chorus: Curtis Mayfield & Nicole]
Let me see ya, let me see ya (Just move on up!)
Ooh, ooh (Toward your destination)
Let me see ya, let me see ya (Just move on up!)
Ooh, ooh (Toward your destination)
Let me see ya, let me see ya (Just move on up!)
Ooh, ooh (Toward your destination)
Let me see ya, let me see ya (Just move on up!)
Ooh, ooh (Toward your destination)
Let me see ya, let me see ya

Bling Bling is a fast paced pop-soul oriented song with hyphy beats that are off the hook. In fact, you can hear some heavy bass notes with that edge rock sound. Other than that, Bling Bling is a very pop oriented song which is a club song full of energy. Bling Bling was a song for the Lovechild album that was supposed to be released in 2005. This song was also a demo song for 3LW and The Cheetah Girls.

Some hardcore Nicole Wray fans claim and say that Bling Bling was a leftover song from the Elektric Blue album that dropped in 2001. However Bling Bling was a song for the Lovechild album that was supposed to be released in 2005. The song Bling Bling was also a demo song for 3LW and later on was used by The Cheetah Girls as well. So Bling Bling was NOT a track for Elektric Blue at all.

Bling Bling is one of those club songs to groove your body to. This song is for the ladies to get their girls to and get iced up! This is a song to move your body body and throw your hands up to! A song to party to all night long! So toast to the good life!

All the girls get iced up. Let’s bang the clubs. Because the night is young and Nicole wants shake her thang. Nicole’s got big wheels which is drop-top Bentley 23-inch rims. Let’s head to the bar. Toast to the good life. She can’t get enough as she feels as if you’re the one. She’s burning up inside. She feels the heat keep thuggin’ her. Tonight is right. Twist our bodies to ecstasy. Hot girl is what she be. Toast to the good life. Bling, bling all night.

Cuties push up in slow motion. She feels free. Nicole has got her eyes on the man wearing a fitted hat with the baggy jeans. It feels so good. DJ, just let the record play. Let’s dance the night away. The heat is burning up inside.

The bridge is super catchy and poppish. Read these lyrics.

[Bridge]
Move ya body, body, lift ya hands up
Roll ya waist now, touch the ground
Pump real fast, check my diddy bop
Do that diddy bop (Woo)
Move ya body, body, lift ya hands up
Roll ya waist now, touch the ground
Pump real fast, check my diddy bop
Do that diddy bop (One more time)
Move ya body, body, lift ya hands up
Roll ya waist now, touch the ground
Pump real fast, check my diddy bop
Do that diddy bop (Woo)

Lollipop aka Dream Factory is a song Nicole Wray recorded back in 2005 for her Lovechild album that was supposed to be released on Roc-A-Fella Records. Of course the famous producer 7 Aurelius produced Dream Factory for her. He was responsible for producing those hot beats you hear. Dream Factory is also the song that appeared in the State Property 2 soundtrack & film in 2005. Roc-A-Fella Films included Lollipop in the State Property 2 film.

Dream Factory had everyone going crazy in the dance clubs back in the mid 2000s. The beats were absolutely nuts. Nicole Wray had an underground buzz with this song despite it not being chosen as a buzz single. The New York City club scene is where Dream Factory first gained an underground. The song undoubtedly shows her more provocative side and mature side.

Almost Famous was produced by 7 Aurelius. Almost Famous is accompanied by a barrage of live instruments including a small violin ensemble the beginning. The beats are absolutely amazing! Live instrumentation is perfect for a song like this song.

Almost Famous is a throwback song down memory lane which is where Nicole Wray takes us on this song. Just today Nicole Wray saw her ex-boyfriend’s smile. She has not seen him in a while. He made her feel so good and all the other girls knew it. She wonders if his kisses are still the same. She wondered if they had another chance. Nicole would love to call him her man (my man). How he kissed the girls, broke their hearts, and gave them material things. She is loving him all over again.

She remembers when they used to go for rides. He would let the top down letting wind blow. Sippin’ on hennessey. They always looked good together. It’s not the same because Nicole is all caught up in the games her ex played.

Come Home is a song Boola produced for Nicole’s Lovechild album in 2004. One thing’s for sure is that Boola isn’t playing as those beats of his are straight fire. Boola is a good producer.

The song is filled with such heavy meaningful versatility about a lady waiting for her man to come home. There’s an answer every lady wants to hear when she calls home for her man. Nicole waits every night for her man to come home so she can be with him.

This Love is a lovely love song. This Love has a Middle East meets Hindi Indian music type of feeling due to the percussion, woodwinds, and drums used. The song uses Hindi Indian drums and woodwinds. However the sound quality is quite low but the drums and percussion make up for the low sound quality.

The song has uses memorable and catchy lyrics in the chorus which go, “This love is gonna make me go out and hurt somebody/This love is gonna have me behind bars/Feel what I’m feeling” and “This love is gonna make me go out and hurt somebody/This love”.

Where I’m From is a sad heartfelt song about where Nicole Wray is from. The song has a sad bluesy feeling overall. Nicole has a bluesy touch and feel in her vocals for this song. That is why Where I’m From will remind you of a sad Blues song.

Nicole Wray came from an area where crime and poverty was commonplace. Nicole didn’t exactly come from a middle class upbringing. She grew up in the projects. Nicole Wray is from the slums.

The area Nicole Wray is from is where people ain’t got no money and people look real funny. Dogs roam behind each other because they have no shelter or home. Young guys on the corner be pushin’ real hard from Monday to Sunday regardless of the legality of the product or not. Whether it’s legal or illegal. People ain’t got no money but they all have a lot of love to share and give with each other. Nicole came from the streets. She doesn’t come from a wealthy family.

The song Back Up Against The Wall was recorded in 2002. Back Up Against The Wall was a song that was supposed to be on the 2005 Lovechild album when Nicole Wray was signed to Rocafella Records and DDMG. As you all know that didn’t happen due to the Jay-Z and Dame Dash feud. Which sucked. (Who knows what Jay-Z and Dame Dash were thinking.) However this song would be used on the 2005 album SAS – Who Dares Wins and Nicole Wray – Boss Bitch.

Back Up Against The Wall features UK hip hop/rap group SAS. SAS was signed to Rocafella as well when Nicole Wray was there. SAS was also known as Eurogang. SAS was also signed to Cam’ron’s Diplomats Records in the mid-2000s.

The song Back Up Against The Wall had that futuristic poppy Roc-A-Fella sound to it with those infectious finger snaps, claps, booming’ boom bap beats, loud thunderous kick drums, and thick snares. Those infectious finger snaps, claps, booming’ boom bap beats, lo-fi horns, medium bass lines, loud thunderous kick drums, and thick snares are what help make the song stand out.

You Ain’t Shit to Me was the heavy break-up anthem that basically served as a “fuck you” to her ex-lover that tore her heart apart by hurting her emotionally. Nicole explained how she let man into her life and how she let a man into her heart only for him to tear it all apart. He hurt Nicole so deep inside. Every night she cried. So she decided to break up with him and tell him, “You ain’t shit to me.”

Toby Gad produced this banger for Nicole back in 2004. He was the producer responsible for those riveting basslines, shimmering textures, crunched snares, and claps. Toby Gad is known for producing such banging beats.

So Sexy undoubtedly shows her more provocative side and mature side. The song uses poppy beats over a poppy soundscape. The song is about the love a sexy man brings to Nicole.

They gone way too far to turn back now. That man is all she wants. Nicole whispers in his ear to show him affection. She wants to give him all her love. And whatever he wants.

It’s meant to be. Nicole ready to go all the way. He is so sexy. The fire and desire are taking her higher than before. It feels so go. That man is what Nicole needs to be in her life. He makes her say, “Put it on me.” She does indeed feel so crazy. The love they make is off the chain.

Nicole thinks about him when she is alone. It’s gotten to the point to where she cannot live without him. He keeps her in good peace. He tells her not to worry about anything. Nicole feels safe with him. The love they make is off the chain. It’s all about the joy he brings her.

Say My Name is a mature love song sung and performed by Nicole Wray over the smooth sample of Janet Jackson – Anytime Any Place. This is another unreleased song from Nicole Wray out of her catalogue and repertoire of music.

Thug Style with Peedi Crakk is the unexpectedly loud futuristic song of the album. You might remember this song was played during the Harlem Day Parade in 2004. Nicole Wray was on the Hot 97 float promoting her album with Rell, Allen Anthony, and the rest of the Roc.

Change of Heart was originally recorded in 1999 with songwriter Tamara Savage for Nicole’s sophomore album Elektric Blue. That is why you can hear the work Tamara Savage all over the song. Change of Heart was later used on the Lovechild album. Change of Heart was originally a love ballad was written by Tamara Savage. Think dial my heart for love.

Your Favorite, Your Friend was another song recorded with songwriter Tamara Savage for the Elektric Blue album and was later used on the Lovechild album.

Ain’t Nobody is a smooth and sexy R&B track about love feeling so good in a way Nicole has never felt before. Sadly this song went overlooked. Ain’t Nobody uses the same instrumentation as Minnie Ripperton – Can You Feel What I’m Saying. This song was recorded to her second album Elektric Blue that was released by Elektra Records in 2001.

Thug Style was everyone’s favorite unreleased Nicole Wray song which featured former Roc-a-Fella recording labelmate Peedi Crakk. Those futuristic ethereal synths and thick beats are what made the song stand out in particular. Nicole’s vocals on this song were spectacular.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

mixerrreviewsatxn

Writer, narrator, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

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