IV Play

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IV Play
Studio album by The-Dream
Released May 28, 2013
Recorded 2011-2013
Genre R&B
Length 58:51
Label Radio Killa, Def Jam
Producer The-Dream, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Carlos McKinney
The-Dream chronology
Terius Nash: 1977
IV Play
Love Affair
Singles from IV Play
  1. "Slow It Down"
    Released: March 5, 2013
  2. "IV Play"
    Released: April 9, 2013
  3. "High Art"
    Released: May 15, 2013

IV Play is the fifth studio album by American recording artist The-Dream. The album was released on May 28, 2013, by Radio Killa Records and Def Jam Recordings.[1] It features guest appearances from Jay-Z, Big Sean, Beyoncé, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Kelly Rowland, Gary Clark Jr. and Fabolous. IV Play is an R&B album with overtly sexual themes.[2]


Prior to the release of his 2010 album Love King, The-Dream announced in interviews that it would be his final solo album. When the album was released, the song "Sex Intelligent (Remix)" featured a line in which the artist sang that he would release another album, titled Love Affair, on June 7, 2011. However, multiple delays pushed back the album's release for nearly two years and several different album titles were reported.[3]

On the album's original release date, June 7, 2011, he released a promotional single free on the Internet, a medley of two new tracks titled "Body Work / Fuck My Brains Out." [4] On August 31, he released the album 1977 for free online. The album was later retitled Terius Nash: 1977 and released commercially with a modified track list by Def Jam Recordings on December 18, 2012.

While backstage at the 2013 Grammy Awards, The-Dream revealed the final title to Billboard.[5] In an interview on 106 & Park on April 2, 2013, The-Dream announced that Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Big Sean, and Jay-Z would appear on the album.[6] On May 13, 2013 the track listing was revealed, including guest appearances by Pusha T, Gary Clark Jr. and 2 Chainz.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

In support of the album, he co-headlined the "Lights Out" tour[8] with Kelly Rowland, though most of the tour dates were canceled after Rowland was hired as a judge on The X Factor.[9] On May 20, 2013, The-Dream performed the song "Where Have You Been" with Kelly Rowland on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[10] The album became available for streaming via The-Dream's VEVO channel on May 21, 2013.[11]

In June 2011, The-Dream released a double promotional single titled "Body Work / Fuck My Brains Out." In 2012, he released "Roc" (initially reported to be the album's lead single[12]) in January, "Kill the Lights" (to promote his 2012 tour of the same name) in February, and "Dope Bitch" featuring rapper Pusha T (reported to be the second single) in July. Despite the "Roc" and "Dope Bitch" being serviced to radio and having music videos, none of the songs appeared on the final track list of IV Play.


The first single that appeared on the final version of the album was "Slow It Down," featuring rapper Fabolous. It was released as a digital download on March 5, 2013.[13] On April 2, 2013, the official music video was released.[14] The second single, "IV Play," was released on April 9, 2013.[15] It was sent to urban radio on May 14, 2013.[16] The official music video for "IV Play" was released on May 16, 2013.[17] The music video for "Too Early" featuring Gary Clark Jr. was released on August 16, 2013.[18] On May 15, 2013, the third single "High Art" featuring Jay-Z was released.[19]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[20]
The A.V. Club B+[21]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[22]
Entertainment Weekly B+[23]
Fact 3.5/5[24]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[25]
Pitchfork Media 6.9/10[26]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[27]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[28]
Spin 7/10[29]

IV Play received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 19 reviews.[30] Entertainment Weekly called The-Dream "one of R&B's best talkers" and stated, "he flexes that weird, wordy, girl-crazy mind all over IV Play's lush love jams."[23] Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine said that its second half is "densely layered, immaculately produced, and frequently luminous", although he found the guest-heavy first half to be uneven.[28] Andrew Ryce of Pitchfork Media also criticized the "string of clunkers" early in the album, but felt that its highlights show that "the brilliant auteur we fell in love with is still in here somewhere."[26] In a mixed review, Andy Kellman of Allmusic called the plentiful guest appearances and the album itself "trivial."[20] Alex Macpherson of The Guardian said that it lacks the "panache" and "commitment" of The-Dream's past work and called him "a grotesquely diminished figure promising bad sex in return for retreads of old ideas".[25]

In the United States, IV Play debuted at number 16 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 23,000 copies in its first week.[31] In its second week the album sold 9,100 more copies.[32] In its third week the album sold 5,500 more copies.[33] In its fourth week the album sold 4,600 more copies bringing its total sales to 42,000.[34] The album has sold 68,000 copies in the US as of June 2015.[35]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "High Art" (featuring Jay-Z) Terius Nash, Shawn Carter The-Dream 4:29
2. "IV Play"   Nash The-Dream 5:38
3. "Equestrian"   Nash Carlos McKinney, The-Dream 4:23
4. "Pussy" (featuring Big Sean & Pusha T) Nash, Sean Anderson, Terrence Thornton The-Dream 3:58
5. "Turnt" (featuring Beyoncé & 2 Chainz) Nash, Beyoncé Knowles, Tauheed Epps The-Dream 3:46
6. "Where Have You Been" (featuring Kelly Rowland) Nash, Kelly Rowland The-Dream, Da Internz, Miykal Snoddy 3:51
7. "Too Early" (featuring Gary Clark Jr.) Nash The-Dream, Bart Schoudel 5:36
8. "Michael"   Nash The-Dream 4:54
9. "Loving You / Crazy"   Nash The-Dream 6:52
10. "New Orleans"   Nash The-Dream 4:07
11. "Self-Conscious"   Nash Carlos McKinney, The-Dream 3:07
12. "Holy Love"   Nash Carlos McKinney, The-Dream 3:37
13. "Outro"   Nash The-Dream 0:23
14. "Slow It Down" (featuring Fabolous) Nash, John Jackson The-Dream 4:10
Total length: 58:51


Credits for IV Play are adapted from Allmusic.[38]


Chart (2013)[39] Peak
US Billboard 200 16
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 2

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Edition(s)
United States[1][40] May 28, 2013 CD, digital download Def Jam Recordings Standard, deluxe


  1. ^ a b "IV Play (Deluxe Explicit): The-Dream: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Birkut. "The-Dream - IV Play". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "New Tracklist: The-Dream "The Love IV"". Vibe. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Listen: Two New Songs from The-Dream". Pitchfork Media. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  5. ^ "The-Dream Announces Next Album Title". Rap Radar. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  6. ^ "The-Dream Says Beyonce, Jay-Z Will Appear On 'IV Play'". Vibe. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  7. ^ "The-Dream – IV Play (Tracklist)". Illroots. 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  8. ^ "Kelly Rowland and The-Dream Announce 'Lights Out' Tour Dates". Rap-Up. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  9. ^ Pelly, Jenn. "The-Dream and Kelly Rowland Cancel Most of Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "New Music: The-Dream f/ Kelly Rowland – 'Where Have You Been'". RapUp.com. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  11. ^ "The-Dream – IV Play (Album Stream)". 2dopeboyz. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  12. ^ "The-Dream: "ROC"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Slow It Down [Explicit]: The-Dream: Official Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Video: The-Dream f/ Fabolous – 'Slow It Down'". Rap Radar. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  15. ^ "IV Play – Single by The-Dream". iTunes Store (United States). Apple. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Video: The-Dream – 'IV Play'". Rap-Up.com. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  18. ^ "Video: The-Dream f/ Gary Clark, Jr. – 'Too Early'". Rap-Up.com. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  19. ^ "High Art [feat. JAY Z] [Explicit]: The-Dream: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (2011-06-06). "IV Play - The-Dream : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  21. ^ Rytlewski, Evan. "The-Dream: IV Play". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  22. ^ "Album Review: The-Dream – IV Play". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  23. ^ a b "Review: IV Play". Entertainment Weekly. New York: 136. May 31, 2013. 
  24. ^ "IV Play". Factmag.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  25. ^ a b Macpherson, Alex (June 6, 2013). "The-Dream: IV Play – review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b Ryce, Andrew. "The-Dream: IV Play". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  27. ^ Jon Dolan. "The-Dream, 'IV Play'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  28. ^ a b "The-Dream: IV Play". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  29. ^ Sargent, Jordan. "The-Dream, 'IV Play' Review". Spin.com. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  30. ^ "IV Play Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  31. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/2/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/9/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/16/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/23/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. 
  36. ^ "iTunes – Music – IV Play (Deluxe Version) by The-Dream". iTunes.apple.com (US). May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  37. ^ "The-Dream Drops 'Climax' EP". Vibe. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  38. ^ "IV Play - The-Dream : Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  39. ^ "IV Play - The-Dream : Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  40. ^ "IV Play (Edited): The-Dream: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.