After Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo broke off their engagement, the 24-year-old "American Idol" winner's life came to a screeching halt. Oh, wait -- no, it didn't. Within a week, she was back at work, popping by "The Wendy Williams Show" to let everyone know how "good" she was. That grind also brought us a new mixtape named #ByeFelicia, released Tuesday (Nov. 25).
Wait, it's seriously named #ByeFelicia? Point: Sparks.
"One, it's really funny," Jordin says about the title at the end of the mixtape's opening track. "Two, it just applies to my life right now. I don't have time for certain people and certain things, so: Bye, Felicia."
The mixtape, her first release since 2009 sophomore album Battlefield, lives up to its "Friday"-inspired title on many of the nine songs contained therein. She is speaking her mind and expressing her desires with a confident ease -- a far cry from the damsel in distress she channeled on 2007's "No Air." (Which is still a flawless single, don't get me wrong!) Her sound has taken on a new form here, forgoing belted power-pop for hip-hop-infused R&B that occasionally dips its toe into trap territory.
The standout of the bunch is easily "It Ain't You," a DJ Mustard-produced track written in response to Chris Brown's "Loyal," Ty Dolla $ign's "Paranoid" and other songs Jordin says are "dissing women."
"They're great songs," she explains, "I turn them up. They're fun. But then, I was, like, listening to them going, 'Why am I singing this, like, [song] that's dissing me?'" She adds: "You're not the only ones that think you know the opposite sex is crazy."
Other must-hear songs include her remix of Drake's "How Bout Now," which would flow real nicely into Tinashe's Dev Hynes-produced "Bet" on a playlist (I'm just saying), and the trap-leaning "Double Tap" featuring 2 Chainz. The clever lyrics employ a double entendre that plays off the act of double-tapping someone's Instagram picture and double-tapping the, uh, the actual person.
Oh, and you should probably play mixtape-closer "11:11" all the way to the end. Spoiler: Sparks reveals that her third studio album, Right Here, Right Now, will "definitely" be released in 2015, and that it will contain every #ByeFelicia track, as well as some as-yet-unheard material.