Solange Knowles, the baby sister of super pop star Beyonce' Knowles, is getting the big buzz in the media for more reasons than imagined. With her new album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dream, arriving on music shelves this month and her manager/father thrusting the singer into a frenzy of press interviews and public appearances, Solange is also becoming the talk of the town for possessing a "bitchy" attitude so early in her career. We will get to the episode in question a bit later. For now, let us give you the back drop of the story.
Divaism and big doses of attitude is something we may have expected to come from the singer since her first album, Solo Star, underperformed in the U.S. and dwarfed in sales when compared to Mathew Knowles' Music World other clients such as Kelly Rowland and her sister Beyonce'. The 2003 release peaked at number 49 pop and 23 R&B/hip-hop and was being sold in some stores for less that $6 just to make room for newer album releases. Her three-year marriage to football player Daniel Smith also became the talk of the town when she opened up about proceedings of a painful divorce in the October 2007 issue of Essence Magazine. Five years later, Solange returns to the music front with a different sound - almost reminiscent of the Supremes' Motown flavor with a hint of electronica. The album, featuring production work from the Bama Boyz, the Neptunes and Freemasons, became her first domestic Top 10 album, sold 46,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number 9 on Billboard 200. This is good news indeed for the singer as she tries to break away from the pressures of being compared to her popular sister.
What's even better news is that the album has been getting moderately good reviews on the album. The Times called it "a modern classic" and gave it four out of five stars as its score. Some critics, while citing the cool sounds, have addressed Knowles' weak vocals. Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone magazine cited Knowles' attempts to recreate Erykah Badu's psychedelic-soul tracks, but calls her vocal abilities as "embarassing." She goes on to say that the album's sound is like a "woozy lava lamp glow." If you haven't heard Solange perform live, check out videos on YouTube of her performing on the Today Show and most recently, the Tyra Banks Show. She performs "i Decided," her recent single, and falls into a few cracks and irritable chit-chat segments to cover up the unclassy vocals. Her background singers and band even overshadow her solo performance.
Maybe her frustrations - with the media and maybe her family - are becoming too hard to mask as Solange becomes the talk of the town once again for her media rage on a Fox 5 news anchorwoman during a live interview. It's a chilling uncomfortable confrontation that smells like a brewing cat-fight. Thankfully, the anchorwoman plays off Solange's words and goes into classy mode to talk about her new album.
The folks' at The Soup, a Yahoo! comedic skit focusing on celebs and Hollywood pitfalls, even joked about it...also recognizing Solange's attitude.
And to make matters worse...Solange has released a mix-tape to coincide with her album's release that features a song entitled "F*** the Industry (Signed Sincerely)." Remember Solange is signed to the same label ran by Mathew Knowles, her father, and so happens to have Grammy-nominated Trin-I-Tee 5:7 and Brian C. Wilson on its roster. We seriously hope Sister Solange gets her act together...or else Daddy Knowles might have to put her in a time-out for punishment.
[SO-LONG TO A BIG CAREER]
Solange Knowles Snaps at News Reporter! [YouTube.com]
Solange says she stands by her rant [EURWeb.com]
Solange Knowles hopes to emerge from Beyonce's shadow [Pantagraph.com]
Knowles' second album too breathy, uninspired [Redandblack.com]
Solange performing "I Decided" on Today Show [YouTube.com]
Solange performing "I Decided" on Tyra Banks [YouTube.com]