Rolling Stone will be seeing much more of The-Dream in our next issue, when contributing editor Touré’s profile hits newsstands, but last night we caught Kanye West, Fabolous and a trio of scantily clad dancing girls joining the rising R&B singer at L.A.’s Area nightclub during a MySpace-sponsored performance celebrating the release this week of Love vs. Money, The-Dream’s new second album. Sporting his trademark wraparound shades and clutching a bling-encrusted mic, the R&B songwriter-turned-singer responsible for hits like Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” played a tidy 30-minute set that mixed selections from the new album with hits from Love/Hate, his head-turning 2007 debut.
Despite a continuous roar from the packed audience (which included Queen Latifah and Christina Milian) — and the fact that hopeful showgoers were required to line up outside the club with printouts of their MySpace pages showing The-Dream in their Top 8s — the man who penned Rihanna’s hit “Umbrella” felt the need to make sure these were more than fair-weather friends: After “Fast Car” he revealed that he’d switched the first and second verses of the song “to see if ya’ll fucking around,” and several times he stressed the importance of buying Love vs. Money with, y’know, actual money. (“If you see somebody with a Dream CD, you know they wanna fuck,” he announced at one point, sweetening his pitch.)
Fabolous’ contribution to “Rockin’ That Shit” elicited hearty cheers of approval, but his reception paled in comparison to the hero’s welcome given West, who popped up for his verse in the ’80s-channeling “Walkin’ on the Moon.” When an apparent computer malfunction cut the song short, West broke character and went on selfless-act duty, leading the crowd in an a cappella medley of his “Good Life” and “Heartless.” Fortunately for history, approximately half of the cameraphones in West Hollywood were there to preserve the moment.
“Shawty Is Da Shit”
“I Luv Your Girl”
“Rockin’ That Shit”
“Walkin’ on the Moon”