“Motivation,” off her third album, “Here I Am,” is Rowland’s second No. 1 hit and first No. 1 as lead artist. Nelly’s “Dilemma,” featuring Rowland, hit No. 1 in 2002 and spent nine weeks on top. The No. 1 hit has even sprung remixes by other R&B acts such as Jeremih and The-Dream.
It doesn’t hurt for “Motivation” to be laced with the rhymes of Weezy – who dominates the R&B/hip-Hop Songs chart with 12 songs – but it’s Rowland’s alluring vocals and Rico Love’s lyricism flawlessly layed over the soundscapes of Jim Jonsin that makes this a No. 1 hit.
Five years after her solo introduction, “Simply Deep,” Rowland made a dent on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with her sophomore album, “Ms. Kelly.” “Ms. Kelly” peaked at No. 2, but didn’t cling onto the charts as high with solely singles. The Polow da Don produced track, “Like This,” featuring Eve, had the most impact, peaking at No. 7 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and charting for fifteen weeks.
Originally to be called, “My Story,” management and Columbia Records decided to shelve the project because it was “too full of mid-tempos and ballads,” and “would have made people cry,” according to Rowland. Rowland then stepped back into the studio and knocked out a few upbeat tracks. The sophomore album had strong heartfelt ballads – with Rowland coming off of a breakup- but the more high-tempo tracks (“Ghetto” and “Work”) weren’t as radio friendly. The last minute alterations and delay of release may have had something to do with “Ms. Kelly”‘s impact.
Four years later, Rowland has crafted a No. 1 hit she’s worked hard to do, and not only is she cozing up on the top of the charts with “Motivation” but has us longing for more.