I remember when we were introduced to Keri Hilson back in 2006 along with her feature in the song/music video for “Help” by Lloyd Banks. I believe it was featured as the New Joint of the Day on 106 & Park.
From that point, I became interested in who Keri Hilson was exactly. I found out that she had done a ton of writing for artists such as Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige, while also having a very close working relationship with Timbaland. I even recall Kelly Rowland telling her fans to look out for Keri Hilson during an interview on either 106 & Park or TRL…sorry, I can’t remember which one.
Fast forward to 2009, Hilson would release her debut solo album, “In a Perfect World…” The album was introduced by her lead single, “Energy,” which peaked at the 21st spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs in 2008.
What really gave Hilson a credible mark as a solo act to be taken seriously was when she released her second single, “Turnin’ Me On,” which featured Lil Wayne. It was an uptempo, club banger that the ladies loved! It peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts. From there she would release her third single, “Knock You Down” featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, which peaked at #1!
The following year, in 2010, she released her “No Boys Allowed” album which was lead by the radio topping track, “Pretty Girls Rock.” Although her first album showed better on the digital charts than her second effort, both albums were great! So at what point did her music career start to go downhill?
Let me first make clear that when I say “music career,” I am only referring to her mainstream popularity as a solo act. Everyone can’t stay in the spotlight forever, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have had an “unsuccessful”music career. But with Keri Hilson, she was only 2 albums in! We felt like she was just getting started!
Around 2009, during the era of her debut album, Hilson released a diss track, “Turnin Me On (Remix).” In the track she allegedly took a huge jab at a couple of the music industry’s leading women—Beyoncé and Ciara. Check out a few of the lyrics below:
“Your vision cloudy if you think that you’re the best
You can dance she can sing but she need to move it to the…
“Go-on and tell these folks how long I been writing your songs
I been puttin you on, just check the credits ho
And if you want me you can find me in the Decatur ho
Cause you’re turnin me off”
In my opinion, this was a huge mistake on Keri’s part. In reality, she should have been embracing other female acts who were classified in the same genre as her BECAUSE… she needed the support of their fans. That’s just how the music industry works. For instance, that’s pretty much the entire point of artists being featured on other artists songs—to reach a larger fan base, which ultimately puts more money in their pocket…in theory.
After taking a break from the industry, Hilson would go on to land a few acting roles in films such as “Think Like a Man (2012),” “Almost Christmas (2016),” and the 2017 Lifetime film, “Love by the 10th Date.” During her guest appearance on The Real earlier this year, she announced that she is currently working on a third album that will be titled “L.I.A.R.” which means, Love is a Religion.
Hopefully she’ll be able to re-surface in the music industry with her new project, but regardless, Keri Hilson is still one of the N Crowd’s favorites!