Barely a year out from the release of his Def Jam artist debut, The Dream returns Dec. 16 with his sophomore set, “Love vs. Money.” “In the beginning I was just having fun. I didn’t want people thinking too hard, I just wanted them to gravitate toward my lyrics,” the-Dream tells Billboard.com. “But this time my vocals are different. I’ve definitely grown in my singing.”
Although a first single hasn’t been selected yet, some of The Dream’s favorite cuts include the ’60s-inspired “You Ain’t Sh*t”; “Fancy,” about a girl who wants to live the glamorous life; rhythmic/pop track “Right Side of My Brain”; “Make Love to Me,” which he describes as a “good ol’ baby-making record”; and “Kelly’s 12 Play,” inspired by R. Kelly’s debut album. Mariah Carey guests on “My Love.”
An encore to the heartbreak track “Nikki” from the first album will also appear on the set. The Dream says his third project will most likely include a song in the vein of “Nikki” as well, as he hopes to release a full album of the Nikki chronicles at some point.
The Dream re-teamed with producer LOS Da Maestro, who helmed most of the tracks on “Love/Hate,” and partner Tricky Stewart, who produced most of the tracks on the forthcoming set, while tapping on other mix-masters like Lil Jon. The latter produced a track titled “Booty.”
“L.A. Reid has lots of problems on his desk; he’s definitely having a hard time choosing [a single],” says The Dream. “It’s such a great album that he’s considering releasing two singles — one for pop and one for R&B.”
But if The Dream had his way, Def Jam would wait until “around Valentine’s Day” to release “Love vs. Money.” The reason is not only a sultry sound that fits the lovers’ holiday, but also because the group Electric Red, signed to his joint venture with Def Jam, Radio Killa Records, is slated to release its album “Electric Love” around the same time.
“I want to use some of my resources to get them where they are supposed to be,” he says, “because their album is crazy.”
In addition to Electric Red, The Dream is slated to work in the weeks and months to come with J. Holiday (for whom he wrote hit single “Bed”), Mario, Jamie Foxx and Usher.
And while details were limited, The Dream is also hoping to try his hand at reality TV, and is currently in talks with MTV for a show in which he scouts for talent.