On December 11, 2007, Terius “The-Dream” Nash released his groundbreaking solo debut Love Hate. It’d be the chapter closer for a landmark year, which saw hip-hop and R&B formulating into the sound and culture that we know it as today.
After years of penning for the likes of B2K and Britney Spears, the Atlanta songwriter’s big break came in 2007 — with the help of a couple “ella’s.” The alluring hook of Rihanna’s No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 smash “Umbrella” not only changed her career, but The-Dream’s as well. With the added success of J. Holiday’s No. 5 peaking debut single “Bed,” The-Dream decided to transition into a singing act.
“I felt like I needed to take full advantage of where I was at that time in my career,” the singer tells Billboard. “I didn’t want to wait for Usher, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, or Rihanna to sing my songs. I just felt like I needed to showcase what I did beyond artists at that particular point.”
Enlisting the help of his frequent collaborators and “brothers” Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Carlos “Los Da Mystro” McKinney, The-Dream would assemble contemporary R&B’s answer to Prince’s most sensual slow grooves. The 12-track LP — fully titled Love Me All Summer, Hate Me All Winter — received its name based on the “in’s and out’s of life,” the good versus bad in people, and “how everything [relates] to a carnival.”
The self-proclaimed (and proven) “Radio Killa” went in depth about all three classic singles and a few fan-favorite deep cuts from Love Hate.
“Shawty Is Da Shit (Shawty Is a Ten)” feat. Fabolous
The album’s keyboard- and snapping -illed opener salutes women with dime appeals. The debut single — featuring an iconic acronym from Fabolous — would reach the Top 20 of the Hot 100.
The-Dream: I hit my friend Carlos McKinney up, “Yo give me one of these!” He gave me the track. I [asked myself], “Alright what do I need to do or say to these beautiful women out here, and the people that are feeling great?” At the end of the day, “Shawty Is a Ten” is what it was. It’s like the perfect clean version. It just so happens to fall into place and I was like, “Thank God!” I couldn’t believe it. And the rest is history on that record. It was my first record and the one that made me decide to have a career in the music business as an artist.
Billboard: Were you in the studio when Fabolous recorded his “sugar honey iced tea” punchline?
The-Dream: I was not! But I was elated when that shit came back! I was happy as fuck! I was like, “Wow, I have the best Fab verse period!”
The album’s epicenter which finds The-Dream hitting high “ooo’s” and “ah’s” throughout. As the second single, it reached the Top 30 of the Hot 100.
The-Dream: I just wanted to have a record with that R&B vibe and a big guitar solo in it. It reminded me of the ’90’s. I knew that nobody knew what “Falsetto” was and that was just a play on words. Still to this day people are like, “What’s Falsetto?” and I respond, “It actually is what it says.” It was great that the song educated so many people that listen to music — and that actually do make love. So for me, it’s a purely educational song. It was a pretty dope one on my part — I have to at least pat myself on the back.
“I Luv Your Girl”
With a light 808-thump and another catchy hook filled with cruising vowels, the song became an anthem for all “Mr. Steal Your Girl”s. As the set’s third single in 2008, the song included a Jeezy remix and reached the Top 20.
The-Dream: “I Luv Your Girl” was one of those bold statements — you’re thinking it, but you better not fucking say it. You better not say it! I just wanted to remind the world that this is going on. When you have something beautiful around you, even when you’re not acting on it, that’s what’s going on. So I wanted to say that shit — at the time, R&B guys didn’t want to say things in that nature. So I just wanted to make sure I coined it for myself. I did it on purpose.
That was the last record we did… It wasn’t officially on the main album at first. L.A. Reid asked me to do one more record, and thank God I don’t have an ego when it comes to doing another record. We were able to work that in the end, which is why Jeezy’s verse is on the remix and not the album. That was just a bold statement coming from an R&B guy that was fresh out the box. I’m sure a lot of people got beat up in the club after that record.
Continue reading this story at Billboard.