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Anatomy of a radio killer: a guide to the-Dream’s biggest, hookiest hit singles

The-Dream

Music producer The-Dream (aka Terius Nash) speaks during his Listening Party for The-Dream 'Love Vs. Money' at New World Stages in New York, on January 28th, 2009.

Larry Busacca/WireImage for Island Def Jam/Getty

“Umbrella”
Rihanna, 2oo7
The power ballad that established the-Dream as a Gen-Y Smokey Robinson hitches a gigantic hook to a heart-tugging shelter-from-the-storm metaphor, and the 21st century’s most indel­ible nonsense syllables: ella, ella! Eh, eh!

“Just Fine”
Mary J. Blige, 2007
Dream’s catchiest club jam is a buoy­ant self-esteem anthem (“I like what I see . . . walking past the mirror”) awash in a disco-era mirror-ball glow.

“Moving Mountains”
Usher, 2008
Another enormously touching ballad about relationship travails and emotional weather systems. “Umbrella” was no fluke: Dream can do emotional nuance as well as he does sex talk.

“Touch My Body”
Mariah Carey, 2008
This slinky Number One hit has one of Dream’s funniest lyrics — alternately cheeky (“They be all up in my busi­ness/Like a Wendy interview”) and ribald (“I best not catch this flick on YouTube”).

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
Beyonce, 2008
The exuberantly funky single that launched a zillion YouTube tributes features a fiend­ishly ear-wormy tune and a lyric that distills B’s romance-finance cal­culus to a simple mes­sage: one diamond ring, please.

“Rockin’ That Thang”
The-Dream, 2009
The lead single from his new Love vs. Hate is classic Dream: a peak-period Prince synthesizer line, a swaying singsong hook and lyrics that don’t skimp on the details: “She under my shirt/I’m under her bra.”

In This Article: Coverwall, The-Dream

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