By Maurice Bobb
It’s been awhile since Chrisette Michele crooned alongside a rapper, but the “Aston Martin Music” chanteuse is back to fraternizing with hip-hop on “Charades,” a new 2 Chainz-assisted track from her upcoming mixtape, Audrey Hepburn: The Audiovisual Presentation. And she tells RapFix that if she had it her way, a 2 Chainz feature would've ended up on her studio album as well.
The artist formerly known as Tity Boi starts things off on the track with his signature "Yeah" adlib, then let's Chrisette harmonize the ode to playing games with the refrain, “If you wonder why I'm throwing you shade/it's your charades," before pinch hitting the last verse highlighted by the line, "Yeah they call me deuce/that's short for seduce."
Tity Two Necklaces serves as the perfect complement to the song, but their chemistry is surprising since they've never actually met in person.
"I've never shaken his hand or seen him face to face," Chrisette told RapFix. "It was all from Twitter. A bunch of people were saying that he said my name on one of his songs. So I ran to the computer and downloaded his songs and saw that my name was on one of his records so I immediately hit him up on Twitter and was like, 'we gotta work together. I had no idea you knew who I was.' So he was like ‘whatever you wanna do.'"
"So what originally happened was, I sent him a song that was for my actual album but unfortunately, I was unable to clear that song in time. So I was like, you know what? I'm doing something for a mixtape; I would love for you to get on it. I sent it to him and he literally sent it back to me in maybe two days.”
The singer-songwriter said that her mixtape, which will be released in December, will be an eclectic mix of global soundscapes culled from her travels abroad.
“Most of the songs are named after movies that Audrey Hepburn did,” Chrisette told MTV RapFix. “One of the movies that she did was called ‘Charade’ and so I just went into the booth and just freestyled melodies for the word charade and that’s the concept that I came up with. I’ve had a lot of guys play games with my heart but I play more games than most guys so I guess this song is from personal experience as well. It's very eclectic as well. So you’ll hear from Bilal, you’ll hear from Robert Glasper, you'll hear from a rapper from London I've been hanging out with names Wretch 32 and I have a DJ from Paris mixing the entire record.”
The Motown recording artist (via Island Def Jam) says she’s glad to be back in the studio recording music after her much-needed hiatus from the industry.
“I took a leave of absence from any type of media or anything like that just because I needed to give myself some time and be inspired to be able to deliver something artful and honest as opposed to just something from pressure on deadline,” Chrisette told RapFix. “During that time, I experienced a lot of things and traveled a lot to different countries and just saw lots of different types of people in the arts and honestly, I was just overwhelmed with inspiration. Music for me is so much more than just the music. It’s the colors and the haircut and the clothing and the videos. Every part of it, every layer of it is so important. And so when you go outside of your comfort zone and experience things you don't know and things you've never seen, you're able to reinvent everything you've done before.”
And as for the reported blowup about hip-hop that caused the rift between her and Rick Ross? That’s water under the bridge. She loves hip-hop and hopes that the people guiding her career will allow her to continue releasing songs with in that feature rappers.
“You know what's crazy is people are so opposed to me doing more songs with rappers,” Chrisette told RapFix. “People want me to be so classic and so timeless and I respect and appreciate that, but I think there's a time to be timeless and I think right now, at this particular moment in my life, I am in love with hip hop. I'm in love with jazz. And if I could marry the two together, I'd be so happy.”