A longtime fan favorite, low-quality snippets of this track leaked months ahead of its official release with fans dying to hear the slinky synths and breathy coos in full HQ. There was hope it'd be pushed as an official single when Ciara uploaded the song's audio to her Vevo page with some very sexy accompanying artwork, but it (shamefully) never went anywhere.
While Ci's Nicki Minaj collab "I'm Out" was a hit, there was yet another banger with Onika that should have definitely gotten the single treatment. "Livin' It Up" screams breezy summer hit and with its reinterpretation of the Ripples' famous hook from "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky," was something that could have appealed to the youth and the old-timers.
Fun fact: The song was a huge success in South Korea where it stormed up the country's digital charts and was a hit. Maybe CiCi should consider a side career as a K-pop star?
Usher was at another career high in 2010 with his a string of hit singles like "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," "More" and his No. 1 hit "OMG." Ciara snagged him for the blazing duet "Turn It Up" that's oozing with harmonies from the R&B-pop stars over this hyper-kinetic dance beat.
One of the most ambitious songs Ciara has ever recorded, the Danja-produced "Turntables" was fairly overshadowed by controversy thanks to featured guest Chris Brown. Brown was still in the midst of his of domestic abuse scandal with Rihanna and was not seen as the ideal duet partner. Nevertheless, he remained on the record and it garnered loads of praise for its blend of modern-day hip hop/R&B with an actual Bollywood track. "Kehna Hi Kya" was helmed by A. R. Rahman (the man behind Slumdog Millionaire's "Jai Ho") and is bizarrely perfect wedged between Ci and Chris' voices.
Radio is always looking for fresh sounds and a little Hindi-pop would have been dope to hear around the country. Check out the original song below:
Everyone knows that when Ciara and Missy Elliott come together, it's going to be a booming banger (see "1, 2 Step" and "Lose Control"). Their reunion on 2009's "Work" was an explosive, chant-heavy jam that was pushed more in the U.K. than in America, where it peaked at No. 52. Not only was the track absolutely addictive, but its video is one of Ciara's best and showcased twerking waaay before it was trendy.
By now, you've probably realized that 2009's Fantasy Ride is very likely Ciara's most underrated album to date, and "Tell Me What Your Name Is" is another sorely overlooked track. Produced by pop maestros Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco, the cut was rumored to be a future Fantasy Ride single, but it never saw the light of day. The song was one Ciara's most pop-leaning records to date, which she could pull off with her versatile vocal stylings, and it also pushed the pop producers into a more hip hop territory. The results were lush and gorgeous.
One of the most striking parts of Ciara's chart-topping debut single "Goodies" was her near-operatic vocals on the pre-chorus. This Luda collab (which was rumored to be the lead single to Fantasy Ride) felt like a throwback to that, but brought to a 2.0 level.
Fun fact: Lil Jon (yes, the "Yeaaah!" Lil Jon) produced "Goodies." Reuniting with Ci on "That's Right"—which Jon produced and rapped on—seemed like a surefire hit. While the track got a music video, last-minute single choice switches left "That's Right" on the back burner and didn't give it the opportunity to smash like it should have.
Ciara's debut album more or less nailed the singles choices, but "The Title" was a smoldering, old school-inspired R&B joint that felt just as current as old school. Ci's focused on modern and forward-thinking productions on Goodies, but "The Title" proved the girl could also own the sounds of yesterday.