Girl you better recognize the game!
As a staunch certified member of the Fanatic/Lunatic Association of sultry seductress and divine diva supreme Mizz Toni Braxton, I’ve often over-played every album by the irresponsibly gifted songstress as a soundtrack to many an incident in my reductive-yet-better-than-yours life.
Fact : Toni Braxton’s sneeze alone slays entire discographies of most of your faves, especially when there’s a surplus of crap-pop arriving at an alarming rate lately. With over 60 million albums sold worldwide, 6 Grammy’s and 7 American Music Awards to her credit, 6 Billboard top 10 albums and a career spanning over 20 years – could your faves ever?
With 2000’s ‘The Heat‘, the maestra’s 3rd studio effort arriving after a break of 4 years post the release of her 8-times Platinum global smash ‘Secrets‘, Mizz Braxton let go of her signature ballads and arrived as a stunningly sensual and stylish urban contemporary soul vixen.
Phoenixni Risington y’all.
Of course there were a few of those dramatic lovelorn ballads around (the gorgeously lush Diane Warren penned ‘Spanish Guitar‘ – remember the video?)
The first single off ‘The Heat‘ was the Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins penned ‘He Wasn’t Man Enough‘ – an instantly addictive mid-tempo urban jam that found Toni subtly, yet ferociously handling the case of an ex with his present wife – who suspects that Toni might still have the hots for the ex.
With her substantially legendary contralto, Toni Braxton unleashes some seriously elegant sass as she asks her ex’s new wife –
What are you thinking?
Do you know about us back then?
Do you know I dumped your husband, girlfriend?
Shade could quite literally never sound so sexy, luxurious and smooth, and Mizz Braxton’s smoldering, full, rich and assured vocals took the otherwise generic and formulaic song to a whole new level. Iconic, to be precise.
Accompanying the song was the equally free of flaw music video directed by Billie Woodruff, and featured Toni’s ex-husband Keri Lewis. The animated Toni unzipping herself, to Keri Lewis getting caught on cam unzipping himself in front of Toni with the entire club watching, the video was approximately perfect.
‘He Wasn’t Man Enough‘ peaked at # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at # 1 on the Hot R’n’B/Hip Hop Singles Chart for 4 weeks, eventually becoming the 10th biggest hit of the year 2000. Additionally the song became a massive international hit, peaking within the top 5 in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. – winning the Grammy for the coveted Best Female R’n’B Vocal Performance in 2001.
It takes just one song, a song like ‘He Wasn’t Man Enough‘, to confirm Toni Braxton’s status as one of the finest vocalists of all time. Take a bow people!