NEW YORK — Monica has learned a valuable lesson — keep track of your tracks.
The singer admits to not always having the closest eye on her music, and she was bit by the bootlegging bug last year when her album, now called All Eyez on Me, was supposed to drop (see "Monica's Next Album Showcases Her Newfound Potty Mouth").
Sitting back to reassess her situation, Monica, who now has a release date of June 10 for her third album, went back in the lab with Missy Elliot, among others, and made a few new tracks. It's a good thing, too, because she found a hot new first single in "So Gone."
" 'So Gone' takes you back to when people first heard me," Monica said recently while in Manhattan. In the song she sings about almost losing her mind over an unfaithful man.
"It's got that feeling like no holds barred, not trying to cater to any one audience. It was done in probably three or four hours. Missy and I did two songs a night sometimes. The song comes from us going in [the studio] for a week in Miami. We shot the video two weeks ago in Miami with Chris Robinson and Derek Luke from 'Antwone Fisher.' It just went really good.
"The video is like [Luke] and I are in a relationship," Monica said. "In my mind I think he's cheating. As you see in the video, my mind's playing tricks on me. I've destroyed his home and all this stuff for no reason. I get arrested as you would in real life."
All Eyez on Me's title track, which dropped in 2002, wasn't Monica's most arresting single. The song samples Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T." and won't be on the album because it didn't flow with the rest of the LP, Monica said.
"I felt that the first single was a great song, but it didn't reflect the rest of the album," she explained. "It was misleading."
Besides working with producers Rodney Jerkins, Jermaine Dupri, Soulshock & Karlin, Dallas Austin and Elliott, Monica also had her best friend Mia X, DMX and Tyrese in the studio.
"The song with [DM]X and I, men will probably gravitate towards," she said. "It's about a guy who's married but he's in love with somebody else. The girl is coercing him by telling him he 'doesn’t have to go home tonight.' That’s the name of the song. It's one of these records that at first I was mad when I heard it, but then I was like, 'OK, this has a good feel. There are some people who think like this.' I thought it was real good twist to have. People will be shocked to hear me singing that. The song with Tyrese is called 'Don’t Go to Bed Mad,' which I firmly believe in."