I, 'Me,' Mine

R&B songstress Monica returns this week with her fourth album, "The Makings of Me."

R&B songstress Monica returns this week with her fourth album, "The Makings of Me." The J set is led by the single "Everytime Tha Beat Drop," which was produced by Jermaine Dupri and features Dem Franchize Boyz. Other producers include Missy Elliott, Sean Garrett, Bryan Michael Cox and the Underdogs.

"This album is really the makings of me because it talks about so many different scenarios, both good and bad, that have pretty much brought me to the point where I'm at mentally," Monica says. "We found different ways to put in the last 11 years of my life and make this more of a musical diary where people can really see me in a lot of different lights for once."

Monica says the new offering is even more in-depth than her 2003 effort, "After the Storm," which included a song about the suicide of her boyfriend. That disc debuted atop The Billboard 200 and has sold 987,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "'After the Storm' was really a reflection of being in the midst of figuring things out," says Monica. "But now it's a lot easier. Here it is almost six years later -- and that's a big difference for a woman. I've been able to put a lot more in perspective this time around."

Many of the tracks are crafted from the singer's own poetry. "When you start talking about subjects that are that personal, you kind of need people that were there," she says. "For a lot of different things that I experienced, people like Missy, us having a friendship outside of music, she was there. Same with Jermaine. But I did venture off and work with some people I really admired. I wrote with Tank and different people that could really get a good feel of what I was talking about."


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.