1. Being cocky and hypersexual has become Trey Songz’s trademark. That old trick persists on his sixth album, Trigga, which indulges in uncouth moments. It’s a culmination of all the egotastic drunk-texting anthems that have made Trey a radio staple.
2. “Disrespectful,” a Mila J duet about mutual cheaters, may be the most unapologetic one on here. Trey starts off weighing the risks of each other’s infidelity: “If my girl found out you was wearing her robe, I’d probably go missing/If ya man found out I was wearing his slippers…” But then he catches himself, before sounding too considerate: “Wait… I don’t care about none of these niggas!”
3. The crassness continues till the final track (on the deluxe version), which marks the return of “Mr. Steal Yo Girl” (the alter ego whose superpower is taking another man’s girlfriend). Trey sings, “I ain’t never gave no fucks.” In fact, “One fuck’s too much / [Pause] / Unless you talkin’ bout us.” This famine of fucks seems to be the thesis of Trigga—this could’ve been its intro.
5. Non-cornrowed Trey has no time for humble-bragging or buttering up. Like Chris Brown (or August Alsina or Ty Dolla $ign), he’s taken the rap persona to extremes. Trigga seems to target listeners who made Brown’s “Loyal” a sleeper hit.
6. Of course, there’s space in R&B for saps and 16-bar singers whose voices have morphed with AutoTune. But misogynistic sing-alongs run the R&B charts right now (partially thanks to DJ Mustard’s sticky, monotonous beats). The sentimental message often gets lost in the chest-thumping, forcing us (especially women) into a tense relationship with R&B that’s been generally reserved for rap. Whatever, “Loyal” is catchy, right?
7. Justin Bieber goes with the grain with his nasally raps on “Foreign (Remix),” which…did Migos ghostwrite this?
8. “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too” is one of mankind’s most illogical sayings. Trey has a simple solution: just eat it. He turns that cliché into a slinky double-entendre serenade on the album opener, “Cake,” singing: “They say you can’t have cake/And eat it, too/But ain’t that what you supposed to do?/Ain’t ya supposed to eat it, too?/Ain’t that what you supposed to do?/Ain’t I supposed to eat it, too.” Trey then decides: “Cake’s on the menu.” And there will be no debate.
9. Assertiveness is sexy, but Trey sometimes goes overboard here.
10. Sample lyrics:
“I can fuck ’em all the time, but I swear I never wife ’em”
“I know it ain’t good, but these hos gon’ do what they want”
“I done gave her a little taste/Now she wanna have my babies”
“I’ma take her to the motherfuckin’ hotel”
11. Odes to social networking are hard to pull off, and “Smartphones” is cheesy, but Trey’s falsetto shrieks remind you of the Trey from Ready and Anticipation who earned that sex Ph.D.
12. Trey tells us on “Cake”: “I don’t wanna play by the book, no rules.” But he kind of does, and there’s not much of a departure from what he knows will work.
13. Much of the album (“All We Do,” “Late Night”) falls from the “Pour It Up” or DJ Mustard production family tree. The lead single “Na Na” (a clone of “Say Ah” and “Bottoms Up”) and the vanilla ballad “Change Your Mind” campaign for radio play. It works because it works.
14. On “Touchin’, Lovin’,” which features Nicki Minaj, he does a good job snatching R. Kelly’s flow from the Notorious B.I.G. collaboration, “Fuckin’ You Tonight.” He’s been musically synonymous with Kelly since early in his career, and he’s done little to deflect those comparisons.
15. “I Know (Can’t Get Back)” finds Trey finally reflecting honestly on his fast lifestyle and why it’s addictive: “I been losing a fight with my ego/Girl to the right won’t let me go… I got a reputation, good or bad/So what, I gotta keep it up.” It’s only on the deluxe version; still it’s a fleeting moment of clarity. —Clover Hope (@clovito)