Jordin Sparks hasn’t released an album in more than five years, but the former “American Idol” champ is back -- with a vengeance.
On Tuesday, Sparks issued her first mixtape “#ByeFelicia” — the title is taken from a popular meme that originated from the movie "Friday" — which has a lot more fire than the pop-inflected R&B of her earlier works.
So what has ignited Sparks?
Maturity, for one. She was only 19 when she issued her last album, 2009's "Battlefield." But there's also the recent high-profile demise of her relationship with fellow R&B singer Jason Derulo.
After three years together Sparks and Derulo split in September, and the breakup spiraled into messy gossip fodder. There were accusations that Derulo cheated and there was too much pressure for marriage -- but, maybe he shouldn't have “proposed” to her in a schmaltzy music video.
Regardless, Sparks has taken a cue from Taylor Swift and poured the breakup into music.
One track is especially biting. On the remix of Drake’s “How Bout Now,” the singer shakes off her perceived wholesome image and blasts her ex with a profane takedown that would make Swift blush.
“Remember I deleted all my other guys’ numbers out my phone for ya / Remember when you broke your neck and I had to wash your back for ya,” she sings, referring to Derulo’s 2012 neck injury. “Once you blew up, head got big and you started changing / Can't believe all the things that you started saying / Like I'm with you for your fame and your name, what?" Yikes.
The nine-track mixtape, presented by L.A. Leakers, is heavy on club bangers and features collaborations with 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla Sign and production work by Salaam Remi and DJ Mustard.
“There’s a little part of me in every single [song]. But because it’s been so long and because I’ve been working so long, it has been kind of like a perfectionist mentality,” she has said about the new music. “Life is too short. This stuff is great. I feel good about it. I’m confident in it, I love what it’s saying, and I think people will be able to relate to that.”
You can listen to the mixtape, but be warned there is some profanity.