Overall: Ignorant, offensive and insincere trash pretending to impersonate R&B
Trey Songz has either forgotten who his audience is or is unsure about what audience he wants to target. He’s categorized as an R&B act and has a majority female following, but his new release Trigga is a polarizing sung version of a rap album that I doubt any self-respecting woman would enjoy. Mr. Songz has set out to win the award for Best Arrogant Prick in Stereo, boasting about having adulterous flings with other cheaters and singing about women as if their only use and purpose is to be disposable sexual blow up dolls (ex.“F*** ‘em all the time, but you know I never wife ‘em” from “Dead Wrong”), with an overkill of expletives and exclusively referring to men and women as “niggas and bitches.” This isn’t your average sexapalooza/player album; it doesn’t have half the finesse, cleverness and deceptive romanticism that helps such records get by with their questionable content. Trigga is flat-out ignorant. Just as Songz’s previous Chapter V, the album pretends to tell a reformative story where he loses his mate to his shenanigans, but there’s no real epiphany found in the lyrics and the loss part is so late in the game (track 10/17), it’s completely unconvincing, insincere and not fluid. It’s bad enough an album concept was recycled back-to-back, much less the execution failing for a 2nd time. Unlike the lyrics, the music is a tolerably proper, flowing and catchy union of hip-hop and R&B, but for a content-oriented listener like myself, it’s hard to focus on and/or appreciate when offensive and degrading lines are penetrating my ears.
There’s so much irony surrounding Trigga. Usually when a song single or album performs commercially well, the artist will quickly find themselves in a cycle of having to recreate the same thing over and over. After the success of 2009’s Ready, Songz was expected to keep churning out sexual material, but it wouldn’t be a total loss because Ready was a stable, levelheaded effort. I even said in my review that Songz had the potential to help R&B get back on its feet. However, Songz was allowed, or pushed, by record executives to deviate further and further away from the workable launching pad that made him a chart star. Recreation would’ve actually worked musically and commercially in that case, but alas, here Songz is: instead of giving us capable R&B, Trigga is indicative of how and why R&B died. It’s such an atrocity, that it’s insulting it samples Teena Marie (“Na Na” uses “Ooh La La La”) and nods to Monica’s “One of Them Days” (i.e. “Change Your Mind”). This all definitely makes the classy and somewhat symbolic album cover art laughable. The last irony? It seems that when an album is enjoyable or qualitative, it’s only about 11 tracks long, but when it isn’t worth the time, you get 17.