Album Preview: Teairra Mari – ‘At That Point’

Teairra Mari

It’s apparent Teairra Mari is no longer the Princess of Roc-A-Fella Records, but that hasn’t slowed her stride in the least. She stepped out from the spotlight, regrouped, and has now come back swinging with her sophomore effort, At That Point.

The Detroit native invited a select number of industry insiders to Legacy Studios in New York City to get an advance listen of her album, set to drop on Fo’ Reel/Asylum/Warner Brothers Records in November. The project showcases Mari’s growth from girl to woman, her convalescence from being knocked down to getting back up, and all of the fun stuff in between. To sum it up, this album is about self-recognition.

Mari comes to many points where she realizes that her relationships aren’t in good standing (“Holla,” “Emergency”), she’s done wrong (“Find My Way Back”), and even acknowledges that her love is out of this world (“Automatic”). Though her album is complete, Mari’s journey is far from over, continuing to intrigue those who never abandoned her.

1. “I Know It’s You”
Produced by Joachim Bynum

The uptempo, heavy bass on this album’s opener acts as a dizzying backdrop for a song dealing with a topic that would drive any girl bananas. “I think it’s cute how you don’t know me,” Mari croons frustratingly yet lustfully to a guy who’s loving her in private, yet ignoring her publicly. Talk about being at that point where you’d want to go upside someone’s head!

2. “Holla”
Produced by Rico Love

A ballad co-written by the producer and Mari, “Holla” finds the songstress hitting the pause button on a detrimental relationship. She shocks her guy over a piano background by declaring, “You didn’t think I’d be leavin’/ The joke’s on you, now we even.” One of the best tracks on the album.

3. “Sponsor” featuring Soulja Boy Tell’em and Gucci Mane
Produced by Z. Lewis, B. Muhammed, & J. Phillips

Mari dedicated this street anthem to her college-age “struggling” lady friends that are able to get a guy to “fill up a cup for [her], fill up a tank for [her].” Is “Sponsor” the 2009 vernacular for sugar daddy? Well, if the girl can brag that, “Anything [you] ask from [your] sponsor, he goes and buy it,” without having to give anything in return, we say do your thing, P.Y.T.!

4. “Cause a Scene” featuring Flo Rida
Produced by The Runners

A low, yet heavy and strong bass and drums set the tone for what could happen if Ms. Mari’s hang time is rudely interrupted. “I’m up here on this gasoline/ You know I’m ’bout to take my shoes off and grab my Vaseline,” she warns to any disrespectful chick trying to knock her down. And Flo Rida’s on standby as a backup if needed.

5. “Diamonds” featuring Kanye West
Produced by Madd Scientist

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and if Mari’s claiming that her love for a guy is comparable to the affection she has for her favorite jewel, then she’s loving you long time. Mr. “Diamonds Are Forever” Kanye West also waxes poetically on the track about (what else?) how he styles and profiles while draped in ice. If every diamond is unique and unlike any other, then this song lacks in grade and value, due to the production. The beat mimics Fergie’s “Glamorous,” background hand claps and all.

6. “Find My Way Back”
Produced by Neff-U

Mari revealed during the listening session that she was compelled to write this song after realizing that she’s “always messing up good relationships,” said with a sad laugh. Solution? Pen a song begging for her guy to “don’t tell [her] that it’s over” because she’s going to do all she can “to make it back to you.” However, she sings on the track in a whisper so tantalizing that we’re willing to bet she won’t be in the doghouse for long.

7. “Hunt 4 U” featuring Pleasure P
Produced by Rico Love

The Good: The song’s sentiment is sweet enough, as Mari is searching for the guy she once fell in love with. Yes, he’s gone ghost figuratively, as his personality has switched up. But instead of kicking him to the curb, she’s willing to do some searching within his soul.
The Bad: Her Auto-Tuned opening and chorus of “I’m looking for you,” make the listener (or the guy) want to run rather than be found.

8. “Automatic” featuring Nicki Minaj
Produced by Rico Love

Mari’s got a big ego. Never one to shy away from getting sexy on a song, the 21-year-old singer boldly declares that her sex game “will get you higher than a mutha,” over an aggressive, synth-heavy beat. Oh, you didn’t know? Go ask that dude that “Used to be a baller/ But now just a f**kin’ junkie.” Stepping it up a notch is raunchy rapper du jour Nicki Minaj, who claims that she and Mari “got that ish that make a n****’s nose wiggle.”

9. “Lights Go Down”
Produced by Rico Love

Opening with romantic guitar strings, this song does a complete 180 from the preceding track. Mari’s not screwing, she’s ready to make love to her man, and sets the tone with a smooth, silky contralto. The lyrics aren’t much to mention, but the beautiful cymbals and extremely light bass prove it to be a song worth adding to any Quiet Storm mixtape.

10. “Might Get Lucky”
Produced by Rico Love

On this mid-tempo track, Mari’s singing the praises of a guy who’s treating her the way she wants, and that if he continues “Treat[ing] her like a lady/ [She'll] let you be her baby.” She happily coos and croons if he “keep[s] this up, [we] might get down.” With what, exactly? “He might get lucky with ‘Automatic’,” she shared with the audience during the listening session.

11. “Emergency”
Produced by Rico Love

Here she’s caught up with another swagger-licious (read: bad) guy, and she’s tired of it. Over an urgent, synthesized beat, she becomes self-aware of the fact that she needs to switch-up her dating regimen. Otherwise, she’ll continue to be “hopeless/ . . . losing focus” and screwing herself in the same situation again. The track, however, is an unmemorable low point.

12. “Operator”
Produced by Rico Love

If you ever experienced the passive-aggressive wrath of your boyfriend after mistakenly turning his crisp white tees bright pink in the wash, you’ll be able to relate to where Mari is coming from on this joint. “Operator” drips of the sarcasm that a girl may experience when her man’s acting pissy and not answering her calls. What’s notable is that the song has a ’60s feel, as the chorus of “Hello operator, can you put my baby on the line?/ So we can get together later/ ‘Cause I really wanna spend some time,” harkens back to an era when groups such as Diana Ross & the Supremes ruled the airwaves.

13. “Built 4 This”
Produced by Oak

The album closer tells the story of a little girl who lost her way on the rise to the top, but somehow found her way back. Sound familiar? Every good female R&B album has a good “testimonial” record, and Mari works hard to make hers stand out. “They thought I was gone,” she sings in a voice at its strongest on the entire album. A winning track for a new woman ready to reclaim her throne.

–Crystal “Crys Breezy” Williams

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35 Comments

  1. malcolm

    fail

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  2. dee

    cant wait!

    shes goin flop but the album sounds hot!

    :)

    [Reply]

  3. SuperGirl

    Find My Way Back <3

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  4. Josue Lopez

    sounds nice but who is she?

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  5. Tyler jones

    Wow she is beautiful like rihanna beautiful.
    I like her as an artist because she seems like she tries really hard in what she does and if you do that then sooner or late you will get there in whatever you do.

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  6. 100% Nikehead

    lmfao at malcolm. Yeah it is quite apparent that her album is gonna flop. Cause a Scene coulda been a big hit for her but it didnt go on to itunes for like 3 months and the video was taken off the 106 countdown the following week. there was like no point in even shooting that video if her label wasnt planning on promoting the song smh. What is her next single anyway?

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  7. GeeMan

    Sorry Teairra u don”t fit in this Beyonce, Alicia, Rhianna world, I honestly see a flop in your future.

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  8. LaMont

    I hope it does good! :D

    [Reply]

  9. CassidyBoi

    Yal sipport my girl mann an buy tha album shes an great artist an person out of alot artist she real man an can sing

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  10. D

    NOW WE ALL KNOW, INCLUDING TEAIRRA AND HER LABEL THAT THIS ALBUM IS GONNA FLOP. HER SINGLES HAVE FAILED BECAUSE THE BITCH HAS NO IDEA HOW TO PROMOTE AND NO ONE IS CHECKIN 4 HER ASS

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  11. MISS P

    D your hating ass bitch least she got a deal and you don’t she good if she flop or not cause she’s shoot a movie next month with bowow and Icecube, so bitch if she do flop she can act her ass off and the world will soon see hating bitch!! ha!!

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  12. Music Critic

    I hope she does well, but I can see her “flopping.” I haven’t heard anything after I heard “Cause A Scene” was named her single. That was like a few months ago and she disappeared. Maybe with the right promotion she could break 100k, but because I haven’t heard anything (I’m a big music lover) we can just hope this voice isn’t wasted, but her label doesn’t seem to care much when she has so much potential.

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  13. GeeGee

    Sounds like it might be good I really want to hear some previews!!!! Gonna cop it though…she’s grindin

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  14. vmars08

    Dare I make a positive comment? I wasn’t sure about what Teairra had to offer at first, but as soon as a few joints leaked, I got excited! She has a good voice & quality material. Quality doesn’t always equal sales though, that I understand.

    I do have a question, however. Are these song titles confirmed? For example, the first track “I Know It’s You” leaked as “Deja Vu,” a hotter title imo. I just know that it seems like some of these listening sessions don’t come with anything that actually specifies any song titles. I’m just curious.

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  15. V

    teairra’s album is gonna be hot and u guys should support her. she’s talented, and she’s very sweet and humble which u cant say about many artists today. november 17th – go buy it!

    [Reply]

  16. V

    @vmars08
    teairra has confirmed that “deja vu” is really entitled “i know its you” on her offical twitter before so this tracklist is correct

    [Reply]

  17. THE TRUTH

    F ALL U HATERS! no matter what im buying 10 copys!!!!!!!!! i love u teairra baby!

    [Reply]

  18. mike

    Its sad bcuz she definitely has a great voice, she is beautiful and has solid material and i already have like 4 of these tracks on my ipod….but she has NO PROMO…I think she should wait.

    [Reply]

  19. J. Man

    Ya’ll some hatters man! Aint even give the girl a chance. No worrys T.Mari I’m gonna buy a lot of copys as well cause I got faith in ya ma! 1 love & stay sucka free

    [Reply]

  20. Carl

    Can’t wait to buy.

    [Reply]

  21. hiphop

    sounds good man she SEXY n TALENTED but she got NO PROMO!!
    still copin the album tho

    [Reply]

  22. Bhe

    I just hope it doesnt have another “I dont need a daddy” song. Cause that was just WHACK!

    [Reply]

  23. Harvey

    I’m not feeling Teairra Mari in the least. I’m sorry.

    On a sidenote, I want Megan Rochell to put out an album. What’s she up to?

    [Reply]

  24. hhh

    the album is gonna be hot and the sponser track got gucci and soulja one it so all the haters get over it cause the more you hate the more buzz the album get and the more poeple will cope it

    [Reply]

  25. NytroLuv

    I wish her the best!

    [Reply]

  26. lei

    “sponser” yeah i say gucci & soulja boy “sponser(ing)” alright. nicki minaj is too. hell, even pleasure. i hope teairra brings it this album because that 1st one was soo bubble gum wtf was there a parental stamp again??? for saying “nigga” in “make a girl feel” or whatever it was called. step ya cookies up teairra mari. seriously….whos gonna buy this album?? if its the people following her on twitter, it’s not even gonna go gold. im giving contructive critiques. and being 100% how i feel, if im a hater because i speak the truth so be it! i hate the word HATER. I wish it would die already.

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  27. A3OfDet

    I believe the production on some songs I have heard are not the best but she has talent and will get it eventually. She is working hard with little help and giving her all its not her fault others are sleeping and slackin’ on promotion. Hell it took Rihanna 3 albums b4 she popped off and she had that baboon Jay-z behind her 2 flopped CD’s til’ she finally got some status with the 3rd. Teairra block out the negative A’Holes and continue to do YOU, I wish you all the success in the world. P.S I will be buying your album Reppin’ the D to the fullest!

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  28. Moe

    I’m looking forward to this album. Her 1st album was hot. It’s a shame that her label isn’t promoting her the way they should. I’m buying the album….

    [Reply]

  29. Stilettodiva

    Hmm the write up has got me curious… I am going tohave to take a listen for myself.

    [Reply]

  30. MrSmoov187

    I got faith that she’s gonna succeed!!! She real talented and I can’t wait for the album.. We need another R&B Diva to take the airwaves by storm

    [Reply]

  31. iPhr3sh

    “Sorry Teairra u don”t fit in this Beyonce, Alicia, Rhianna world, I honestly see a flop in your future” NEXT, u wackass ho!

    First of all, Teairra Mari is da shit, & any bitch who keep sayin she gon flop or she tryin 2 be Beyonce, SHUT DAT SHIT UP!!! Te-Te ain’t SHIT like Beyonce, & we all kno good & damn well dat she looks & sounds better than Rihanna & whoever don’t see that needz 2 get their eyes & ears checked. Twice.
    Second of all, her album is gon be fuckin hot. I’m mad Rodney Jerkins, Polow Da Don, Danja & Bangladesh ain’t on it (hopefully they’ll be on her next album…along wit me LOL), but it’ll still be hot. iHope it goes Gold or gets so damn close to it.
    Thirdly, PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION. When you’re reading an article about a new female R&B artist, can ya’ll PLEASE do us a favor & LEAVE A COMMENT WITHOUT MENTIONING BEYONCE, CIARA OR RIHANNA?!!!! LIKE, DAMN! HOP OFF THEIR PUSSIES!!!

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    Tornado.Roc20 Reply:

    (To @iPhr3sh, Music Critic and A3ofDet.) I am listening to this creepy paradox of a song called “Sponsor” by Teairra Mari featuring Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy and the confusion runs through my mind, body, heart and psyche (soul). (To Miss. Teairra Mari Thomas.) Who is the “sponsor” in this song you speak of and why should this “sponsor” profit existence? I’m not saying that you’ll flop or not because it does not matter- what matters is the missing piece I need to put in this jigsaw puzzle as I listen to it. After all, I do have a boyfriend and we’ve been dating for two years, going on three. The problem: when I listened to your first album, I was shocked to hear and see the music videos of “No Daddy” and “Make Her Feel Good”, but now, I am confused by what your lyrics say to me. Please tell me why.

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  32. Jen

    hunt for you is the best song over…i love you Teairra!!!

    [Reply]

  33. dan

    will her album ever come out?

    [Reply]

  34. angel

    I like Teairra mari, I think she has a lot of talent, shit I wish I had a record deal. Can u imagine how hard it is 2 get out there? All I can say is that I will support her and go buy her album. Theres a lot of haters in the world 2 day who will try and bring u down, but GOD will lift u back up, and when u have GOD on your side theres no 1 who can tell you anything.To T.Mari I hope your album succeed. I know she sound better than Rihanna and Beyonce. The songs I heard from her album are Automatic, hunt 4 u and Sponsor and those are some good songs, but I really like Automatic whoever didn’t hear that song u need 2 hear it. Keep up the good work T.Mari u have GOD on your side.

    [Reply]

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