While chilly winds and icy rain droplets outside New World Stages in New York City were less than dreamy, the climate inside the performance space was unseasonably warm. Crowds of tastemakers sipped on signature “Dream,” “Sex,” “Love,” and “Money” libations while others snacked on mini grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ chicken skewers, and crab cakes. The indulgent soiree was put together for the man of the hour: songwriter-turned-club banger king The-Dream. For the evening listening session, the hitmaker premiered tracks off his sophomore album, Love vs. Money (Radio Killa Records/Def Jam), for a sea of eager listeners in a theater-style auditorium.
Onstage, L.A. Reid welcomed the crowd before exiting stage right, leaving eyes focused on a large panel screen which began to showcase vibrant visuals–erotic women, dancing silhouettes, and wads of money–as The-Dream’s sophomore tracks boomed from the speakers. Guests were exposed to the sounds of “My Love” featuring Mariah Carey, the drum-heavy “Rockin’ That Sh!$,” the Kanye West-assisted “Walkin’ on the Moon,” and baby-making jams “Put It Down” and “Sweat It Out.”
During a brief intermission, a noticeably slimmer Dream graced the crowd, dressed in a black leather jacket, black fitted cap, and neon yellow, orange, and black Louis Vuitton sneakers. Accompanying him was HOT 97 personality Angie Martinez. In a brief Q&A session with the Latina lady, the celebrated singer revealed he was presently teaming with Mariah Carey for her next album, MC3. “I’m hoping to write every record,” he beamed. The-Dream also shared a rather interesting tidbit: in interviews, he began claiming that Mariah was featured on Love vs. Money even before she heard the record she eventually sang on. “I was at Legacy Studios… There was a writer for Billboard there while I was recording. Next day, she called me and asked me who was going to be on the record. I named a bunch of people and said Mariah was on it… Meanwhile, she never even heard that song.”
Before leaving his audience to revel in his effort–an album ready for wooing a boo in the bedroom–L.A. Reid presented The-Dream with a plaque for the successful sales of 500,000 albums and 500,000 ringtones.
Here is a tracklisting for Love vs. Money based off of a song booklet given at the event. The album hits stores on March 10.
1. “Rockin’ That Sh!$”
Rap-Up TV was on location at The-Dream’s “Rockin’ That Sh!$” video shoot. Watch behind-the-scenes footage here.
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