This is another American singer who was popular for what turned out to be a rather brief moment. Blu Cantrell (although her first name is really Tiffany) was born in Providence. She had previously been a backing singer, and, er, a model. In November 2001 “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” was released. This mustn’t be mixed up with “Oops (Oh My)” which was a hit for Tweet not long after.
Now rappers, singers, and so on around this time were noted for sampling just about any type of genre on their singles, whatever it might’ve been, and however unlikely the combination would seem to be, and somehow some of them did work. This one sounded like a rather old piece of jazz music that had been given a modern R & B twist.
But this did manage to reach no.12, and this was also her first and only Top Ten hit single in America. There were no hits for her in 2002 though, and just when I thought that she was going to become a one-hit wonder, it turned out that she was actually on the brink of the peak of her career. “Breathe” was a collaboration with rapper Sean Paul. Just give me the Blu.
Now at this time he seemed to be the guest rapper on just about every other single on the chart. I also remember when Mark And Lard were particularly amused by one of his songs when it sounded like he said “I’m an ugly number two“, which they thought was rather honest of him. Such was the anticipation for “Breathe” that an imported version made the lower end of the chart for three weeks.
And when this was finally released in this country in August 2003, “Breathe” wasted no time in becoming a chart-topper, and stayed there for four weeks. This was all rather pleasing, although the video was rather odd as her voice didn’t seem to be going with her mouth. Oh, and this sampled Dr Dre’s “What’s The Difference”, I almost forgot about Dre.
Also in 2003, her second album “Bittersweet” made the Top 20. Next in December 2003 was “Make Me Wanna Scream”, which also featured a contribution from Inner Circle. But this one made only no. 24, and didn’t hang around for that long on the chart. This turned out to be Blu’s third and final hit single in the UK, but at least one of them was one of the most successful of its era.