26 November,2014:Â After Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo broke off their engagement, the 24-year-old â€œAmerican Idolâ€ winnerâ€™s life came to a screeching halt. Oh, wait â€” no, it didnâ€™t. Within a week, she was back at work, popping by â€œThe Wendy Williams Showâ€ to let everyone know how â€œgoodâ€ she was. That grind also brought us a new mixtape named #ByeFelicia, released Tuesday (Nov. 25).
â€œOne, itâ€™s really funny,â€ Jordin says about the title at the end of the mixtapeâ€™s opening track. â€œTwo, it just applies to my life right now. I donâ€™t have time for certain people and certain things, so: Bye, Felicia.â€
The mixtape, her first release since 2009 sophomore album Battlefield, lives up to its â€œFridayâ€-inspired title on many of the nine songs contained therein. She is speaking her mind and expressing her desires with a confident ease â€” a far cry from the damsel in distress she channeled on 2007â€²s â€œNo Air.â€ (Which is still a flawless single, donâ€™t get me wrong!) Her sound has taken on a new form here, forgoing belted power-pop for hip-hop-infused R&B that occasionally dips its toe into trap territory.
The standout of the bunch is easily â€œIt Ainâ€™t You,â€ a DJ Mustard-produced track written in response to Chris Brownâ€™s â€œLoyal,â€ Ty Dolla $ignâ€™s â€œParanoidâ€ and other songs Jordin says are â€œdissing women.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re great songs,â€ she explains, â€œI turn them up. Theyâ€™re fun. But then, I was, like, listening to them going, â€˜Why am I singing this, like, [song] thatâ€™s dissing me?â€™â€ She adds: â€œYouâ€™re not the only ones that think you know the opposite sex is crazy.â€
Other must-hear songs include slinky callout track â€œHow Bout Now (Remix),â€ which would flow real nicely into Tinasheâ€™s Dev Hynes-produced â€œBetâ€ (Iâ€™m just saying), and the trap-leaning â€œDouble Tapâ€ featuring 2 Chainz. The clever lyrics employ a double entendre that plays off the act of double-tapping someoneâ€™s Instagram picture and double-tapping the, uh, the actual person.
Oh, and you should probably play mixtape-closer â€œ11:11â€³ all the way to the end. Spoiler: Sparks reveals that her third studio album, Right Here, Right Now, will â€œdefinitelyâ€ be released in 2015, and that it will contain every #ByeFelicia track, as well as some as-yet-unheard material.