Keep Your Boo Behind-the-Scenes: 11 Celebs Who’ve Mixed Their Mates With Their Music
Ever since I heard the slowed beat of Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” drop, I instantly had Ciara’s latest single “Body Party” on repeat. I knew the video would feature her slithering and sliding in moves that would keep EMTs busy for weeks as women across the country blew out their backs and pulled hamstrings trying to imitate the moves for their men.
I wasn’t disappointed when Ciara scissored her legs in the air for boyfriend Future as they play out how they first met for the video, but it was like deja-vu as I saw her relationship slowly steal the spotlight from her first two singles. Is it me, or does something happen to a recording artist when they fall in love and choose to flaunt it in their work? After watching Ciara’s steamy video for “Body Party,” I couldn’t help but wonder if she’s risking the buzz she’s worked so hard to build back by allowing boyfriend, Future, to make so many appearance.
Mixing business and pleasure is a risky move. There’s something about when celebs turn the camera on to their personal lives that causes their careers and their relationships to fall apart. Here are a few celebs who might want to think about leaving their boo behind-the-scenes in the future.
J.Lo had a pretty good buzz going as a singer even if her “hits” were only heard in the clubs, but as soon as Ben Affleck took J.Lo from the block to the yacht in her Jenny From the Block vid, Jenny’s singing career went man down for a minute and she was left man-less and a little embarrassed. Not to mention Ben credited the cameo with almost ruining his career. And who can forget how clearly sprung she was on the track “Dear Ben,” in which she sings,” I love you, you’re perfect.” Well apparently the feelings weren’t mutual; Ben quickly married another Jennifer after their break up and made like 11 kids with her. Sting. Word of advice for the former fly girl: You can sing all the love songs you want about your boo, just don’t name them after him and throw said boo in all your videos.
Before Future, a rumored romance between Reggie Bush and Ciara lingered after she straddled him in the “Like A Boy” video. That couple was never confirmed unlike the relationship that she and Bow Wow shared with appearances in the video “Like U” to prove it. And who can forget the fling between her and 50 Cent whose chemistry we all got to witness as she caressed his pecs in her video for “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone.” Cici is still the punch line for many of Curtis’s jokes, and did you see that awkward interaction the singer and Bow Wow recently shared on 106 & Park? No matter how much I’ve enjoyed her music it seems to never get as much press as who she’s paired with. Cici, take notes from Beyoncé and let your love simmer for a bit before casting your man in your music videos. Otherwise your “future” with Future might not be looking too promising.
3. Keyshia Cole
Call me a hater but I never had high hopes for Key Key’s relationship with “Boobie.” It just seemed like Keyshia wanted love too bad and it happened too fast. Before I could change sew-ins Keyshia had met Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, married him, had his baby (not in that order) and cast him in her video for “Long Way Down.” When celebs are too quick to undress and fondle each other on camera for the public, I instantly assume they are trying to convince us of their passion because they don’t really believe it themselves, and for some reason I really got that vibe from these two. As rumors flew of Boobie’s cheating and frustration with Key Key’s attitude, “Keyshia and Daniel” premiered to really set the record straight, but only left me more convinced they were in over their heads. A word of advice: Work out your problems off camera before every fan and their mama clouds your judgment with their opinions.
4. Janet Jackson
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand how and why Janet Jackson linked up with Jermaine Dupri. Janet is like pop star royalty and while Jermaine is highly respected in his own right, it just seemed like a mismatch to me. Well, you can thank J. D. for that hot mess of an album 20 Y.O. I’m a big Janet fan, and didn’t even bother to buy it after hearing “Call on Me,” a track which critics called a desperate attempt at re-creating Kelly and Nelly’s “Dilemma.” Under J.D.’s love spell, what we got was jaded, generic music that was easily forgettable. Nonetheless, it went on to be Janet’s eighth consecutive platinum album and the video for “So Excited” was pretty impressive. But since they’ve split, she’s found success in another area of her life, marrying billionaire boyfriend Wissam Al Mana.
While other couples are running to make love on set, Monica found love on hers. Fresh off a break-up with her baby daddy rapper, Rocko, folks speculated that Monica and Shannon were involved after he starred as her groom in her “Love All Over Me” video. After being labeled a home wrecker and battling rumors of Shannon’s infidelity, it seemed like Monica’s music took a backseat to what was going on in her bedroom. I’m not saying Shannon sabotaged anything, but she went from the 2010 commercially successful Still Standing to the 2012 New Life which sold a meager 69,000 copies its first week. Monica cited her new love, and new outlook as inspiration behind the album and justified its poor reception (which critics called generic and clichéd) as a result of the public’s rejection of all things R&B. Did Monica fall off or did she meet the same fate as Mary J. Blige and fans weren’t as happy about her new life and new man as she was?
6. Christina Milian
Christina Milian seems to have a thing for dating powerhouse producers that could make magic with other singers, but only make her albums go double dust. After producing her So Amazin album, Cristina dated Dre from producing duo Cool and Dre. After an amicable split, she dated the The-Dream and they started to work together on an album that never saw the light of day. After running off to elope and making a baby, they split up after The-Dream was seen walking hand-in-hand kicking up sand with his assistant. He went on to release the single “Used To Be” about Christina in which he sings, “You used to be so confident. but all that ish came and went, used to be anti-Internet but now you constantly blogging and ish.”
Meanwhile, Christina’s music career has been on hold while she ironically works on The Voice. But guess what? She recently signed to YMCMB and is dating Jas Prince of Rap-A-Lot records fame. I’m surprised he’s not producing her album…
7. Whitney Houston
As much as everyone likes to blame Whitney’s demise on the King of R&B bad boys, Bobby Brown, I think this was just a case of bleach and ammonia: pretty powerful on their own, but deadly when combined. Bobby brought out the ratchet in Whitney, and if “Something in Common” was any indication, musically they just weren’t a good match. I mean it was a cute song, but it was released on the album Bobby. You remember, it had those other hits like…yeah, come to think of it, it didn’t, but it did have “Humpin Around.” As if parachute pants and baby backpacks weren’t enough reasons to hate the ’90s. Thankfully, Whitney returned back to her pop and soul roots and truly left her boo behind the scenes, where he in fact he may have done more damage.
If you’re not familiar with her story, you need to give your two-months-notice to that rock you have been living up under. I’ve been debating whether the Rihanna/C. Breezy drama hurt or helped their careers, but the truth is, it probably did a little bit of both. This intense relationship gave the Good Girl Gone Bad more street cred and made her pop-locking boyfriend the man the media loves to hate. At the end of the day, they both ended up with more fans, more publicity and back together again. But their on-and-off again affair is starting to leave bad taste in our mouths and many of us are wishing they’d do like they promised in “Nobody’s Business” and stop updating us every time they kiss and make up. I think at this point, we’d all prefer they keep releasing hits and not Instagram pics.
9. Mariah Carey
Like Monica, Mariah Carey found love on a video set when Nick Cannon was flown out to play the romantic lead in her video for “Bye Bye.” The couple has said it was love at first sight, but my only question is whose idea was it to cast the comedic Cannon as the love interest in the first place? He doesn’t exactly ooze sex appeal to me. Besides not understanding how Nick fit in with the concept of the video or song, I must admit, this pair has grown on me. Nick’s corniness balances out Mimi’s drama and brings her butterfly glamour back down to earth a bit. Most importantly, they both stay in their lane. You won’t catch Nick busting a weak rhyme on a Mariah track (though he might direct a video or two of hers); and she knows her man’s strengths and they don’t include rapping. Because of this, they both have found and maintained success independently and something tells me their union will outlast most.
10. Kanye West
Kanye was once the king of rap to me, a little misunderstood, but still undeniably brilliant. But since linking up with the Kardashian clan, he’s just been a plain old weirdo whose acting like he’s snagged the Holy Grail since snatching up Ray J‘s leftovers. While he’s made a couple of awesome cameos here and there, we haven’t really gotten any hits and his whole career seems to be slowly overshadowed by his position as Kim K’s boyfriend. And must we hear in every song how he has the baddest b**ch by his side in all his new songs? It’s getting harder and harder for me to take him seriously. So yeah, I need Kanye to leave his boo behind-the-scenes, although of course I know she won’t stay there, eight months pregnant and all.
11. P. Diddy
P. Diddy made the list because he keeps trying to make his boo Cassie’s singing career happen. I don’t understand how in a world of Jazmine Sullivan’s and Chrisette Michele’s we have to be subjected to crap single after single. I mean, don’t get me wrong, on a bad day Rihanna sounds like a cat-in-heat too, but when a hot beat can’t even save you, it’s time to explore other career options. The sad part about it is, Cassie is a kick-a** model. Cassie is a prime example of someone that needs to sit and look pretty and be seen and not heard. I don’t care whose arm she’s on. Here’s a prime example of why Diddy’s side-boo needs to remain in front of the camera and not behind the mic: Cassie Performs “Me and U” on 106 & Park.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.