Keri Hilson takes control on her sophomore album No Boys Allowed, holding it down for the ladies on the follow-up to last year’s In a Perfect World… Executive produced by Timbaland and Polow Da Don and featuring contributions from Danja, John Legend, Boi-1da, Ne-Yo, and more, Miss Keri’s latest effort offers the female perspective on the sizzling songs, with the male ban lifted for guest stars Rick Ross, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Nelly, and J. Cole. Rap-Up.com highlights five must-hear tracks ahead of the album’s release next Tuesday.
“Buyou” featuring J. Cole
Keri already ripped her man a new one on the leaked Lil’ Kim-assisted version of this horn-festooned banger, but the album version offers a male perspective courtesy of J. Cole. After Miss Keri lays out her requirements for a sugar daddy, the Roc Nation MC comes into the fold, rapping about an intellectual chick who ended up with the wrong guy. “I see ya, it’s hard not to see ya/ Face like Aaliyah, and plus a college degree-a/ Climbing up the ladder at that full-time job/ Tell me how the hell you end up with a full-time slob?” he asks.
“One Night Stand” featuring Chris Brown
Produced by Tank and Kevin McCall, this scintillating slow jam is a boy vs. girl affair, with each singer representing for the opposite sex as they beg one another for another night together. Keri takes first verse duties as she alluringly coaxes her man into coming over for a second rendezvous, harmonizing with Breezy on the rich chorus before he sings about kissing his girl “from your head to your feet” and treating her like a princess. A battle of the sexes hasn’t sounded this hot in a minute.
“Gimme What I Want”
Stern synthesizers introduce this boss bitch anthem where Keri demands her boy to cut the games and give her what she wants. The mid-tempo banger gives Keri space to lay out what she needs from a man to satisfy her every need. “Pull the trigger, ya ladies shoot ‘em up/ Turn into Killer Keri with that drink up in my cup/ Where my sexy, sexy fellas with that money in their pocket?” she poses on the cut.
“All the Boys”
Keri tones it down on “All the Boys,” written by John Legend and produced by Fugees affiliate Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis. Bidding adieu to all her exes, the songstress admits that she’s finally found her true romance after years of searching. “After all the boys that I thought I loved before/ I didn’t know what love was ’til you knocked on my door,” emotes Keri on the bouncy arrangement accented by deep cello melodies and light piano chords.
“Won’t Be Long” featuring Timbaland
Keri teams up with longtime collaborator Timbaland on the disco-inflected “Wont Be Long,” an upbeat track included on the deluxe version of the LP. With spinning instrumentation packed with synths and dizzying percussion, Keri and Timbo predict the future by singing in tandem about dominating the club with their feel-good rhythms. “I walk alone/ Dream in my pocket/ And I’ma touch that moon/ I don’t need no rocket,” declares Keri before kicking it with Tim on the infectious chorus.