An Open Letter to Ciara
When you blasted onto the scene with "Goodies" in 2004, you filled a void that had been left by the likes of Janet Jackson and our beloved Aaliyah. Combining understated vocals with dance moves that even the most flexible girl would envy, you Matrix’d your way inside of our hearts. With the videos and songs that followed, you brought sexy back to the regular chick, repping A-Town a la Usher, as you rocked fitted caps and booty-popped like nobody’s business. No wonder your debut album went triple plat--you were the hood’s girl next door as the Princess of Crunk&B.
Fast forward to a relationship with Bow Wow that we barely understood but still followed. Perhaps our eyebrows were raised because we couldn’t help but wonder how the premature pooch was keeping up with your “1,2 Step.” Yet, your separation from that courtship brought about a second album that was well-appreciated and garnered platinum success. When you resurfaced with the dark hair and slowed it down for the “Promise” single, we saw the Evolution you had alluded to, and you exuded levels of womanhood that we had not seen before. And then came that manly-man: 50 Cent (girl…). On top of that, you parted ways with Jazze Pha, a split that shook things up a bit.
After that came Fantasy Ride. Something was different, and we couldn’t quite figure it out. “Never Ever” was every lonely girl‘s anthem, and “Love, Sex, Magic” with Justin Timberlake was everything; but neither had given us the amount of life from your previous joints. You were still serving on the dance floor, but something was missing from your sound. With Basic Extinct, we had hoped for the resurgence of our Crunk&B girl-next-door, and “Ride” was the ultimate tease. You gave us a glimpse of that CiCi we missed: gyrating and rocking that fitted cap once again.
BET thought it was too much, we thought you were finally back.
We even thought you and Amar’e Stoudemire made a cute couple! Somehow amidst giving these projects a chance and rooting for your relationships, we have yet to see you back on top of your game. Maybe this new label move will bring you back to the top. We are patiently waiting for you to remind us of your “Goodies” days and we hope that whatever needs to be done, will.
To keep a long story short, Ciara, we miss you girl. We believe there is plenty of room for you amongst the Beyonce’s, Rihanna’s and Keri Hilson’s. In the meantime, we’ll keep thumping ourselves on floors trying to get that Matrix right. --Iyana Robertson