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Hear ‘ROC,’ The-Dream’s First New Song Since ‘1977’


The-Dream, our post-Kells meta-crazed pied piper of love, most recently gave us last year’s thoroughly compelling, thoroughly soused free album 1977, which he released under his birth name, Terius Nash. Apparently titled “ROC,” his latest track looks to be set for his long-delayed fourth The-Dream album, The Love, IV (Diary of a Madman), and it’s as luxuriously over-the-top as the pixelated artwork that accompanies it on his website. Squint. Looks kind of like a pyramid of cash, doesn’t it?

As with The-Dream’s previous albums, though, from 2007 debut Love/Hate on through 2010’s supposedly trilogy-ending Love King, “ROC” is a whole lot sexier thanUncle Scrooge. “When I’m makin’ love to you, girl / I feel like I’m on top of the world,” Nash repeats, in all his multi-layered, Auto-Tune-glistening extravagance, backed by delicate acoustic plucks, pseudo-metal blazes, and of course, plenty of electronic bump ‘n’ grind. That feels like the key line to unlock this otherwise hardly subtle slow jam, which also delights with Nash’s standard, chuckle-worthy pop references — “rock this Roc-a-Fella,” when I dip you dip we dip.” Rock a fella, get it?

Ultimately, though, “ROC” succeeds as a gorgeously produced song that conflates sex with, well, success itself — the financial kind, anyway. The rocky economic conditions of the past few years may have made this an unfamiliar feeling for many, but The-Dream has been on a contrary path, especially considering he recently said he earned about $15 million from his work on Rihanna’s star-making 2007 hit “Umbrella” alone. The past few years have been good to him. And, as he puts it, “They girl don’t look like you / And the niggas ain’t rich like me.” Inevitably drawing easy comparisons to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne, Nash basically asserts that the rest of us are just jealous. After hearing the richly gleaming swerve of The-Dream’s newest boot-knocker, you will be.

Listen below (embed via One Thirty BPM).