Whatever U Like

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"Whatever U Like"
Nicole Scherzinger - Whatever U Like.png
Single by Nicole Scherzinger featuring T.I.
A-side"Baby Love"
ReleasedJuly 30, 2007 (2007-07-30)
FormatDigital download
GenreR&B
Length3:53
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Nicole Scherzinger singles chronology
"Come to Me"
(2006)
"Whatever U Like"
(2007)
"Baby Love"
(2007)
T.I. singles chronology
"You Know What It Is"
(2007)
"Whatever U Like"
(2007)
"Hurt"
(2007)

"Whatever U Like" is a song by American recording artist Nicole Scherzinger, featuring rapper T.I.. The duo, along with Sean Garrett and Polow da Don, composed the song for Scherzinger's planned debut studio album Her Name Is Nicole. Interscope Records released "Whatever U Like" as Scherzinger's solo debut single on July 30, 2007.

Background and composition[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls debut studio album PCD (2005), was a commercial success that would end up selling 2.9 million records in the United States. The album featured number-one hit singles such as "Don't Cha" and "Buttons".[1] The success of the group's album, spotlighted Scherzinger's work as the lead singer and began recording with other artists such as Timbaland and P. Diddy on "Come to Me" (2006);[2] which became Scherzinger's first solo top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The collaborations furthered Scherzinger's popularity who was working on her own music over the course of two years (2005–07) and viewed the group as a stepping stone to launch her own solo career.[2] One of the first songs recorded for her solo project, Her Name is Nicole was "Whatever U Like" which was written and produced by Polow da Don and Sean Garrett.[4] The song was leaked early July,[5] before being released as a digital download on July 30, 2007.[6] Interscope Records never intended to ship the song to radio and wanted to use the single to introduce Scherzinger as a solo artist.[2]

"Whatever U Like" is an up-tempo R&B song with a length of three minutes and fifty-two seconds. The artists co-wrote the song with its producers Polow da Don and Sean Garrett.[7][8] The song's beat was compared to Kelis' "Blindfold Me" (2006) and Chilli's "Straight Jack" which were both produced by Polow da Don.[9] Rosie Swash of The Guardian compared the "rave-horn, synth-heavy production" to the works of Timbaland.[10] Lyrically, Scherzinger sings about doing whatever her man likes: “riding it like a Harley.” Garrett appears throughout the song repeating the lines, "Ladies and gentlemen, I know what you want! She's hot as a stove. Her name is Nicole," while T.I. appears towards the middle of the track.[4][9]

Reception[edit]

Rap-Up was one of the first media outlets to hear seven full tracks from Her Name is Nicole which included "Whatever U Like". A reviewer described the song as a "club banger," while commented, "It’s a perfect lead single and a good song to release in the summer."[9] DJ Z from DJ Booth criticized the song for using the same beat and composition as Chilli's song "Straight Jack" writing: "Never a brilliant move to use a duplicate beat while dealing with a minor identity crisis, but if you’re Nicole Scherzinger, I guess it's OK?"[11] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine referred to the song while reviewing The Pussycat Dolls' second studio album Doll Domination (2008). He agreed with DJ Z writing it was a, "blatant rip-off of Kelis's 'Blindfold Me.'"; however he did write the song "was unjustly ignored."[12] Adam Vary of Entertainment Weekly commented, "'Whatever U Like' is no 'London Bridge' — and that’s not exactly a high bar to reach."[13]

In the United States, "Whatever U Like" failed to make a chart appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at number 4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[14] It additionally stalled at number 73 on the US Digital Songs and number 83 on the US Pop Songs.[15] In Canada, the song fared better, managing to peak at number 57 on the Canadian Hot 100.[16]

Music video[edit]

Scherzinger lying in a body of water as seen throughout the music video.

The official music video was directed by Paul Hunter who previously directed the Pussycat Dolls' debut single "Don't Cha" (2005).[17] Filming concluded on July 27, 2007 in San Pedro, California.[18] On August 11, a short clip was leaked online.[19] On August 20, Scherzinger appeared on TRL to premiere the music video.[20]

Synopsis[edit]

The video begins with spotlights hitting a wall, with Scherzinger running from an unidentified person, revealed to be four masked kidnappers. Sean Garrett performs his opening sequence as Scherzinger is captured and concealed within a box, where she performs the first verse and chorus, before escaping the box. Scenes of Scherzinger floating through water are interspersed with her dancing before a spotlighted stage, and performing in front of a black background. Throughout the next chorus, Scherzinger is shown walking along a bench covered in steaming stones. During T.I.'s rap, the two are concealed in the box, with Scherzinger seductively crawling all over him. Next Scherzinger is shown covered in mud before standing beneath a shower washing it off. Different shots of the singer from the previous scenes are spliced together throughout the next chorus. Scherzinger is now shown in a black leather outfit during Sean Garrett's verse dancing before a backdrop, with spotlights shining on her, spliced with scenes of the producer rapping, her former assailants now dance in front of her. The video ends with Scherzinger leaving the backdrop.

Reception[edit]

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly graded the music video B- adding that it "it badly needs levity, and more of the T.I. cameo."[21]

Live performances[edit]

Scherzinger performed the song for the first time on the finale of the third season of the U.S. television show So You Think You Can Dance on August 17, 2007.[22] On September 9, 2007 Scherzinger performed the song along with Lil Wayne, who was filling for T.I. at the preshow of the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. Scherzinger was wearing a "red cocktail dress, black boots and leather gloves."[23] Gil Kaufman commented, "Before Brown had them pounding the stage in excitement or Britney had them scratching their heads in confusion, Pussycat Dolls lead kitten Nicole Scherzinger got the party started early during the preshow with a sizzling hookup with Lil Wayne." He continued, "They made an interesting team on a night that was full of many different varieties of hookups."[23] Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times agreed with Kaufman describing the performance as "one of the best musical moments came before the show started."[24] On September 27, Scherzinger performed on Yahoo!'s Pepsi Smash.[25] The following month she performed at KIIS-FM’s Homecoming concert at the Honda Center and performed "Whatever U Like", Baby Love and "Supervillain".[26]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[27]
  1. "Whatever U Like" (featuring T.I.) – 3:53

Charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA Digital Track Chart)[28] 32
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[16] 57
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[29] 50
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[14] 4
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[30] 13
US Digital Songs (Billboard)[31] 73
US Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[30] 48

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref
Australia July 30, 2007 Digital download Universal Music
[6]
United States August 28, 2007 Interscope Records
[32]
Germany August 31, 2007 Universal Music
[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (September 20, 2008). "Pussycat Dolls' solo work on hold for "Domination"". Billboard. Reuters. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Stack, Tim (December 14, 2007). "Nicole Scherzinger's solo debut delays". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "Ludacris Holds Off Akon, Timberlake To Remain No. 1". Billboard. October 26, 2006. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b AllHipHop Staff (December 3, 2007). "Nicole Scherzinger: Remember the Name". AllHipHop. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "New Music: Nicole Scherzinger f/ T.I. – 'Whatever U Like'". Rap-Up. July 5, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Music – Whatever U Like (feat. T.I.) – Single by Nicole Scherzinger". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Whatever U Like [Digital Single] – Nicole Scherzinger". AllMusic. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
  8. ^ "Whatever U Like (Nicole Scherzinger) BMI Work #9090800". BMI Repertoire (Broadcast Music Incorporated). Retrieved 2011-08-16.
  9. ^ a b c "Nicole Scherzinger Album Preview". Rap-Up. July 2, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  10. ^ "Marching with the Pussycat Dolls". The Guardian. August 7, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  11. ^ DJ Z. "Nicole Scherzinger – Whatever U Like ft. T.I." DJ Booth. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  12. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (September 22, 2008). "Pussycat Dolls: Doll Domination". Music Review. Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  13. ^ Vary, Adam (August 17, 2007). "The So You Think You Can Dance season finale". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Nicole Scherzinger Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (August 17, 2007). "Billboard Bits: Nicole Scherzinger, Polvo, MySpace". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Nicole Scherzinger Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  17. ^ MTV News Staff (April 6, 2005). "For The Record: Quick News On Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Ciara, 'Dimebag' Darrell, Nirvana, Shins & More". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Nicole Scherzinger Shoots First Video". Rap-Up. July 27, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sneak Peek: Nicole Scherzinger – 'Whatever U Like'". Rap-Up. August 11, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "Nicole Scherzinger Visits 'TRL'". Rap-Up. August 20, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  21. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (August 23, 2007). "EW critiques six hot music videos". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Nicole Scherzinger : News : Watch Nicole Scherzinger perform on So You Think You Can Dance FINALE TONIGHT!". Nicolescherzingermusic.com. 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
  23. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (September 10, 2007). "Britney Spears Kicks Off Show, But VMA Night Belongs To Rihanna And Justin Timberlake". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  24. ^ Sanneh, Kalefa (September 10, 2007). "For MTV, the Best May Have Been Off-Camera". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  25. ^ "Video: Nicole Scherzinger on Pepsi Smash". Rap-Up. August 27, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  26. ^ "KIIS-FM's Homecoming concert misses more than it hits". Orange County Register. March 19, 2011. Retrieved Jun 6, 2017.
  27. ^ "Whatever U Like (feat. T.I.) – Single de Nicole Scherzinger – Télécharger Whatever U Like (feat. T.I.) – Single sur iTunes". iTunes. 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  28. ^ "The ARIA Report: Issue 914 – Week Commencing 10 September 2007" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. p. 9. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  29. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200742 into search. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "Chart Search: Whatever U Like". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  31. ^ "Nicole Scherzinger Chart History (Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  32. ^ "Whatever U Like [Explicit]: Nicole Scherzinger: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  33. ^ "Whatever U Like (Explicit Version) [feat. T.I.] [Explicit]: Nicole Scherzinger: MP3-Downloads" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved October 8, 2014.