In the third edition of our “Songs That Should Have Been Singles on Every Album” series, we take a look at the career of Tyrese. He released his first 4 albums on major labels RCA and J Records and his last 2 on his own label. Regardless of how many singles where chosen by the artist on each album, we pick our top three and explain why we feel this would have been successful. Tyrese has had a lot of success recently with his latest album “Black Rose”, so let’s take this opportunity to look back at his albums.
Tyrese – “Tyrese” (1998)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “Nobody Else” 2) “Lately” 3) “Sweet Lady”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “Nobody Else” 2) “Sweet Lady” 3) “Lately”
Analysis: “Sweet Lady” was a smash waiting to happen, so it’s interesting that the label waited until the third single to release that song. We have no complaints about “Nobody Else” being released as the lead single because it was a fresh record for a new face in the industry. Remember that Tyrese was only 19 when he released his debut album, so that song was the perfect introduction for him. “Lately” is a personal favorite of ours, but it probably should have been the third single.
Tyrese – “2000 Watts” (2001)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “I Like Them Girls” 2) “What Am I Gonna Do”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “I Like Them Girls” 2) “There For Me (Baby)” 3) “I Ain’t The One”
Analysis: “I Like Them Girls” was the perfect lead single for Tyrese. During this point in his career, he was a MTV VJ and his acting career was starting to take off with his role in the movie “Baby Boy”. He needed a fun record and he got that with the Underdogs produced record. For the second single, we decided to go with the Babyface produced ballad “There For Me (Baby)” rather than “What Am I Gonna Do”. We feel it’s a stronger song overall and something that would have worked with radio at the time. For the third single, we chose to go with “I Ain’t The One”. The song was produced by Rodney Jerkins and has a similar feel to “I Like Them Girls”. If Tyrese was looking to reach Pop success with this album, this song would have been his best shot because Darkchild was on fire in the early 2000’s. We would have picked “Baby Boy”, but that was a single for the movie soundtrack.
Tyrese – “I Wanna Go There” (2002)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “How You Gonna Act Like That” 2) “Signs of Love Makin”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “How You Gonna Act Like That” 2) “All Ghetto Girl” 3) “Signs of Love Makin”
Analysis: This is the album that would define Tyrese an artist. Unlike “2000 Watts” where he tried to capture the Pop fans, this album was very grown and sexy. “How You Gonna Act Like That” was a huge success and it’s still the highest charting Tyrese single. This was the obvious first single for the album. However, we think releasing “Signs Of Lovin Makin” as the second single was a mistake even though the song did pretty well on the charts. There were a couple of midtempos that could have been released prior to the slow jam coming out. The song that we would have picked is “All Ghetto Girl” as the lyrics went well with Tyrese’s charismatic personality.
Tyrese – “Alter Ego” (2006)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “One” 2) “Turn Ya Out”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “One” 2) “Gotta Get You” 3) “Come Back To Me Shawty”
Analysis: The double disc album featured the R&B singer Tyrese as well as his alter ego Black Ty. It’s funny that none of his rap songs were actually released as singles for this project, but it’s okay because there were some R&B gems. “One” made sense as the lead single as it was a sound that was familiar to Tyrese fans. Tyrese went with the Lil Jon produced song “Turn Ya Out” as his second single, but we feel it was a perfect opportunity for him to put out “Gotta Get You”. The Bryan-Michael Cox ballad was perfect radio at the time as this would have been right after the success of “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige. The last single we would have picked is “Come Back To Me Shawty”. It was pretty clear at this point in his career that ballads were his strength and this would have been the perfect ballad for him to put out to close out the album.
Tyrese – “Open Invitation” (2011)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “Stay” 2) “Too Easy” 3) “Nothing On You” 4) “Best Of Me”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “Stay” 2) “Nothing On You” 3) “I Miss That Girl”
Analysis: Tyrese’s first stab at an independent release was a mega success with the hit record “Stay”, but the second single “Too Easy” was a questionable choice. The autotuned club record featuring Ludacris really limited Tyrese’s abilities as a vocalist and it wasn’t the song people were expecting from him. “Nothing On You” would have been our choice for the second single. Although Tyrese did eventually release the song as his third single, he didn’t really give it the push that “Stay” and “Too Easy” got. The third single for us would have been the groovy record “I Miss That Girl”. We also considered “Best Of Me” but the song is too similar to “Nothing On You”.
Tyrese – “Black Rose” (2015)
Tyrese Chose: 1) “Dumb Shit” 2) “Shame” 3) “Prior To You”
YouKnowIGotSoul Would Have Chosen: 1) “Shame” 2) “Prior To You” 3) “Rest Of Our Lives”
Analysis: Tyrese has claimed that this album will save R&B. Only time will tell if that’ll actually happen, but he did put together a solid body of work. The Snoop Dogg featured record “Dumb Shit” served its purpose, but he should be started out the album with “Shame”. The song has such a powerful message that it forces the consumer to listen to what he’s singing about. The song is clearly a smash as it has topped the charts on Urban AC. Tyrese announced recently that his second single will be “Prior To You” featuring Tank. It’ll be interesting to see how it does on the charts, but we think it’s the right choice. If he does end up releasing a third single, it’s almost a no brainer to us that he should release the Brandy duet “Rest Of Our Lives”. The two powerhouse vocalists sound great on the song and there’s no doubt that it’ll get spins on radio.