Single Review: Blu Cantrell & Sean Paul “Breathe”

Album: Bittersweet
Year: 2003

In 2003, the most publicity Blu Cantrell coud generate was about who she was dating. Photos of her surfaced in December 2002 holding hands with “Girlfight” and “Blue Crush” star Michelle Rodriguez. A month later, US Weekly reported Cantrell was feuding with Pink over Tommy Lee. Nonetheless, people responded on message boards with “who?”

Apparently, Dr. Dre, producer of “Breathe” was thinking the same thought and didn’t even bother to make a song from scratch for her. Instead he sampled one of his songs “What’s the Difference” from 2001 and had Canrell sing over an instrumental of it. In the single, Cantrell is tired of her boyfriend’s drama.

Sean Paul opens the single by saying hello to everyone in Brooklyn. He also reminds people Cantrell is back and this time, they will remember her. (“Big up to all the Brooklyn massive crew/Some they pay no mind, but now them notice Blu”). He tells his fans he loves them and that the single will do well (“And to my fans you know I love you/To the top we be chargin’”).

Her boyfriend has taken for her granted (“say you love me/But you’re never there for me”). She tells him once she leaves, he will miss her (“You’ll be cryin’, slowly dyin’/When I decide to leave”). They constantly fight (“all we do is break up/and make up”). She’s ready to leave the relationship, knowing the pain she’s going through isn’t necessary. She tells him they need to break up and take some time away from each other (“Why don’t we wake up/And see/When love hurts/It won’t work/Maybe we need some time alone/We need to let it breathe”).

His friends are more important to him than her (“You’re only lonely when your homey/
Ain’t got a ride or no loot”). He’s also cheating on her. Other women tell Cantrell they are seeing her boyfriend (“Then comes the drama/Some other girl is claimin’ she’s goin’ out with you”).

She’s analyzed what’s been going on the past year and has come to the conclusion that her boyfriend doesn’t care about her (“Summer, spring, winter and fall/I realize love don’t love me anymore”). She’s leaving (“I’m still walkin’ out the door”). She had hoped for better in the relationship. She wanted more from him. She used to be in love with him but she’s doubting those feelings now. (“I wish that you could love me more/And give me what I’m lookin’ for/You used to be the one I adore/But now it seems I’m just not sure”).

Cantrell has underrated vocals. Strong and clear, she can sing a wide range of notes with conviction. She deserves material which was not filler on a producer’s album. She should release an album of R&B standards and try that market. Her voice is perfect for it. Unfortunately, “Bittersweet” will probably be her last album.


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