- What About Us?
Name = What About Us?
Artist = Brandy
from Album = Full Moon
CD single, 12" single
January 8, 2002(internet) February 5, 2002
New Jersey; 2001
Genre = R&B
Length = 4:10 (album version)
3:57 (radio mix)
Label = Atlantic
LaShawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Brandy Norwood, Nora Payne, Kenisha Pratt
Producer = Rodney Jerkins
Last single = "Another Day in Paradise"
This single = "What Abous Us?"
Next single = "Full Moon"
"What About Us?" is an R&B song written by American singer-songwriter Brandy,
LaShawn Daniels, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Kenisha Pratt, and Nora Payne for Brandy's third studio album, "Full Moon" (2002). It was produced by Jerkins, and was released as the album's lead single during the first quarter of 2002 (see 2002 in music). While "What About Us?" managed to enter the top twenty on the majority of the charts it appeared on, it reached the top ten in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, the UK, and the United States. Steve "Silk" Hurley's remix version was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Awardfor "Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical".
Writing and recording
"What About Us?" was one of a couple of new tracks Jerkins worked on while he was putting the finishing touches on Brandy's "Full Moon" album in
Los Angeles, California.cite web|title="Brandy Comes Full Circle On "Full Moon"|work=MTV News|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1451839/20020117/brandy.jhtml|accessdate=2007-07-17] After playing it to her, enthusiastic Brandy asked Jerkins to save the "offbeat, aggressive high-tech track" for the album: "I was like 'Oh my God, Rodney, this is it", she said in an interview with " MTV News" the following year. "This is exactly what the industry needs. We can maybe change the game with this.' He said, 'Yeah, this is what I'm going for'."cite web|title="Brandy Comes Full Circle On "Full Moon"|work=MTV News|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1451839/20020117/brandy.jhtml|accessdate=2007-07-17] The singer eventually consulted longtime collaborators LaShawn Daniels, Nora Payne and Kenisha Pratt to re-write several lyrics in the song. "I told them what I wanted to talk about. 'This is an aggressive record — it's edgy, it's sexy. I wanna sing about something that's sexy and edgy.' I revisited my past in my mind and kind of told them what I wanna talk about."cite web|title="Brandy Comes Full Circle On "Full Moon"|work=MTV News|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1451839/20020117/brandy.jhtml|accessdate=2007-07-17]
Brandy has noted that it took the team a while to get it because she didn't want "that sound that’s already saturated the industry. It’s important to me to be a trendsetter and change the game. It was a great feeling to see Rodney soar like that."cite web|title="Brandy Released Her New Single "What About Us?"|work=e-Jams|url=http://www.ejams.com/brandy.htm|accessdate=2007-07-17] The song's protagonist describes the aftermaths of an untrue love, facing would-be Mr. Right with the current point of the one-sided attachment. "It was about being in a relationship that's not working anymore," Brandy said in a
2005interview, adding: "'What About Us' was a little more aggressive and different for me. I'd say it was a little bit ahead of its time..."cite web|title="The Best of Brandy"|work=Soultracks|url=http://www.soultracks.com/brandy.htm|accessdate=2007-07-17] Media sources compared it to the Janet Jacksonsingle "Control," released in 1986 (see 1986 in music), which the singer has cited as an influence on the song.cite web|title="Brandy Expecting A 'Full Moon' On March 5"|work=XS-4-All|url=http://www.xs4all.nl/~mroyen/News/2002/news_january_13_2002.htm|accessdate=2007-07-17]
January 8, 2002the full song was available streamed on-demandin its entirety with a special recorded introduction from Brandy,cite web|title="AOL Music Hosts Record Breaking Global 'First Listen' of Brandy's Latest Single"|work=Business Wire|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2002_Jan_9/ai_81516415|accessdate=2007-07-17] on the AOLservice at AOL Music: "First Listen", across AOL's Web Properties including Netscape, AIM, ICQand CompuServe, as well as on its international services in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico/ Argentina, and the UK.cite web|title="AOL Music Hosts Record Breaking Global 'First Listen' of Brandy's Latest Single"|work=Business Wire|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2002_Jan_9/ai_81516415|accessdate=2007-07-17] "What About Us?" was remixed by several producers and DJs, among spawning versions with rappers Nas and Joe Buddeneach. Although it "didn't pop," Darkchildsignee Fats was supposed to appear on the album version of the song. Steve "Silk" Hurley's remix version was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Awardfor "Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical".
.cite web|title=Brandy - "What About Us?"|work=MVD Base|url=http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=4361 |accessdate=2007-02-05]
The video does not have a substantial plot and, per Brandy's request, focuses on capturing her "moments as a performer," dealing with "different set-ups" and "beauty, fashion, edginess, hip." [ [http://vidsearch.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=956453805 "What About Us?" on "Making the Video"] . "Myspace". Retrieved
2007-02-05.] It opens with a digitized long shot of the singer standing atop a pyramid of kneeling, taut men, all holding up Brandy on her pedestal. The scene switches into a "futuristic wind tunnel", where she wields a bat against cell phones, two-way pagers, and a flying man, whose sunglasses she grabs off. While the video among intercuts scenes of Brandy performing on a platform with two black-painted men in collars and leashes, it ends with her sitting in the passenger's seat in a lowrider, amid a sea of lowriders. The final scenes feature cameo appearances by Rodney Jerkinsand Brandy's younger brother Ray J.
The final edit of "What About Us?" worldpremiered at the end of its "
Making the Video" episode on MTVon January 10, 2002.cite web|title="Brandy Stands On Hill Of Men, Rocks Low Rider In New Video"|work=Vh1 News|url=http://www.vh1.com/artists/news/1451741/20020110/brandy.jhtml |accessdate=2007-02-05] It debuted on the network's " Total Request Live" top ten video countdown on January 25and peaked at number one, remaining on the countdown for 25 unconsecutive days.cite web|title=Archive|work=TRL Archive|url=http://www.atrl.net/trlarchive/?s=recap&y=2002&m=04|accessdate=2007-07-19] The video entered the MuchMusic"Countdown" in Canada in the week ending February 8, and it peaked at number seven in the week ending February 22.cite web|title=Countdown|work=Much Music|url=http://www.muchmusic.com/countdown/index.aspx?CountdownDate=12/8/2006|accessdate=2007-07-19]
The video was nominated for Viewers' Choice Video in the
2002 MTV Video Music Awards.
Formats and tracklistings
These are the formats and track listings of major single-releases of "What About Us?".
# "What About Us?" (Radio Version)
# "What About Us?" (Boogiesoul Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Simon Vegas Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Album Instrumental)
# "What About Us?" (Boogiesoul Remix Instrumental)
# "What About Us?" (Simon Vegas Remix Instrumental)
12" vinyl single
# "What About Us?" (Album Version)
# "What About Us?" (Instrumental)
# "What About Us?" (Radio Edit)
# "What About Us?" (Acappella)
# "What About Us?" (Boogiesoul Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Simon Vegas Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Massive Funky House Mix)
# "What About Us?" (Speed Garage Mix)
# "What About Us?" (Qualifide Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Jay Hannan Vocal/Dub Remix)
# "What About Us?" (Drum & Bass Mix)
# "What About Us?" (
# "What About Us?" (Lenny B Club Mix)
* [http://music.yahoo.com/ar-286452---Brandy Brandy music videos] — watch "What About Us?" at LAUNCHcast
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