Brandy and Kelly Rowland have released new music, just in time for fans to add the tracks to their New Years playlists.
On Christmas Day, Brandy dropped “How High”, a previously unreleased song from her 2012 album Two Eleven. The mid-tempo track features the refrain “When you say jump/I’ll say how high.”
Indeed, it is the fans Brandy seems eager to please, especially after the low sales of Two Eleven. “How High” features a gimmick in the form of a guest rap by her rap alter ego Bran’Nu.
In 2010, Brandy explained her newly formed rap persona to Vibe, “I really do love to rap. It’s a part of my personality. I really get to express creatively, but I wouldn’t do a whole rap album. I think it’d be a lie if I did that.”
Brandy continued that her rapping style is inspired by current favorite Nicki Minaj. “She is just so dope to me. I like her style and the way she performs, all of that. She’s different than anybody that has ever been out. I would do a song with Bran’Nu and Nicki,” Brandy said.
While a Minaj collaboration would be interesting, Brandy playing the parts of both vocalist and rapper does not quite add up on “How High.” Rather than showcase dual aspects of her personality like Beyonce and Sasha Fierce, “How High” seems to play around with two styles haphazardly, hoping one will be a hit with airwaves.
Fresh off her Divas Live performance, Kelly Rowland also opts for a midtempo jammer in “Number One.” Channeling her Destiny’s Child-era independent woman sass, “I don’t care/I don’t share/hear me clear when I say/I’ll only be number one.”
“Number One,” is a collaboration with “Bandz” producer Mike WiLL Made-It, appearing as one of the exclusive cuts on his new mixtape Est. in 1989 Pt. 2.5.
While not super commercial, the track is a strong one for Rowland, delivering more dynamic vocals than usual. Rowland seems to be coming into her own vocally and stylistically, but just needs to find stronger material to not remain in the background.