OK people, let's get it straight. It's "Na, na, na, na, na, oh," not "Gobble gobble gobble" or "Not another mouthful."
Amerie is getting a lot of props from her fans for her hit record "1 Thing," and mixed in with some of the accolades are questions that make her chuckle.
"I didn't think it would be such a big deal, but people are always asking, 'What are you saying at the beginning?' " she said with a laugh one day recently in New York. "I thought 'Gobble gobble gobble' was bad, but 'Not another mouthful' is funny. It's so funny to me because it's so easy to understand."
While some people may be unable to decipher her words, there's no misunderstanding her emotions on the track: Some fella has put stars in her eyes.
"It's pretty much about that one thing that someone can do that basically makes you whipped.
"This album I wanted to revisit go-go and have go-go references on the album," she added, referring to the percussion-driven '80s style that infuses the Rich Harrison-produced dance track. "I wanted to do it at least one time. I have two records that have that live-band feel [on the new album]."
Amerie said she's opening up a bit more on her new LP, Touch, which comes out on April 26. She co-wrote every song on the album; Rich Harrison produced half of the songs and Lil Jon, Bink, Dre and Vidal and Red Spyda are among the other producers.
"Lil Jon did the beat for 'Touch' and I co-wrote it with Sean Garrett," she said. "I wanted to look at where I was as a female and as an artist. I thought of what people said their perception of me was on my last album. That's why the hook says, 'Don't be afraid to touch/ I know you think I'm a good girl.' I think I have — or I had — that image of being a goody-goody."
Amerie says she is a good girl, but only some of the time (see "Amerie Growing Up But Keeping Her Clothes On, Thank You").
"Don't be afraid to go there with me," she said. "I'm not a prude. Be respectful, but I am human. I wanted to give more of myself on this album. Last album it wasn't so much about people not getting me, but it was me only giving but so much."
Amerie can only take so much on "Man Up." On the song, her beau isn't pulling his weight and she is reading him the riot act.
" 'Man Up' is about being with a guy who really can't take care of himself," she said. "I've always been an independent female. I was raised that way to make sure that when you get with someone else, it's great that you help them, they help you, but at the end of the day, they know you are independent and you can take care of yourself. You're not stuck in the relationship because you don't have any independence — you can walk away and you'll be OK. That's kinda the way my parents raised me and my sister. As an independent female, you need to be with somebody that's independent too."
If Amerie didn't drive the point home enough for the guy, maybe he'll understand when a real man talks to him: She gets a little assistance on the record from Nas. You might remember that Amerie appeared on Nas' God's Son LP and also lent her vocals to "Rest of My Life" from his Street's Disciple album.
"He was in the same studio when I was recording ['Man Up'] and I went by his session like, 'Hey, is it cool if you get on this?' He got on there with a big-brother vibe."
If you listen to the mixtapes, you've probably heard a million remixes of "1 Thing" with everybody from Jay-Z to B.G. to Peedi Crakk. Amerie says that she is a fan of all of those remixes but none of them were official. The authentic remix is with Eve and the video for their collabo should be hitting any day now.