Who knew Ne-Yo was such a troublemaker?
First, in his video for "Because of You," the singer wanders off to the bathroom with a tempting lady he's "addicted to" while his girlfriend in the clip barely notices. And now, on the follow-up single "Do You," Ne-Yo is up to devilish tricks again as he tries to break up a happy home when he unexpectedly runs across an old flame.
"It's a song that I wrote about the first girl I ever fell in love with and the way that I basically really screwed that up and she ended up leaving me," Ne-Yo explained from the L.A. set of a video for Fabolous' "Make Me Better," which features the R&B crooner. " 'Do You' picks up a couple years into the future. The girl has definitely moved on and she's met someone else. She's engaged to be married and they also have a little baby girl. And for whatever reason, me and her come back in contact with each other after all this time. So the song is basically saying, 'Congratulations with everything that's going on in your life, but do you at any point ever think about me?'
"I'm kind of innocently causing a little trouble," Ne-Yo continued, coyly.
Some nerve. But according to Ne-Yo, the song — like most of his latest LP, Because of You (see "Ne-Yo Stops Scream-ing, Says He's Addicted To Love On Second LP") — is based in large part on situations he's actually been through himself.
The possible third single, "Sex With My Ex," which Ne-Yo said everyone seems to be asking him about, is just the same. On the wailing track, Ne-Yo channels Prince as he croons: "I ain't what you want, but I'm what you need/ Can't nobody do it better."
"That song is pretty self-explanatory," Ne-Yo said, laughing. "[It's] about a relationship that I was in where the girl went as far as to tell me that I was the best sex she ever had. And went even further to tell me I could have it whenever I wanted it. So we ended up breaking up and I said, 'Lemme test this equation right fast.' I knew she had a new boyfriend — I felt bad about this, I'll smack myself on the hand later — but I called her up around those hours, 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock in the morning, and asked her what she was doing and if she'd be willing to come by. She said yeah, she came through, and that's basically where that song came from. But I eventually had to dead it, 'cause I started thinking, 'If I was the dude she was with, I wouldn't want anyone doing me like that.' So I said, 'Lemme stop being a devil right fast and do it the right way.' It was fun while it lasted."
Although Ne-Yo drew from real-life experiences for his album, if he ever gets in the studio with Britney Spears — who he's still waiting to work with on her comeback album (see "Ne-Yo Getting To Know Jennifer Hudson While He Waits For Britney") — the songwriter said he plans to stay away from her tabloid tales.
"My whole thing is to stay away from the drama they been through," Ne-Yo said. "Because you got to know that every song that's being submitted ... has something to do with Kevin. Everybody is on that. And I think maybe one or two songs addressing that is needed, 'cause people definitely want to hear [her] take on it. But not a whole album of that. Nobody wants to continue to hear [he sings]: 'I been through the rain and I'm still strong and I'm still here.' So my contribution is just regular songs. Regular, quality songs, that's what I'm trying to do."