“Do You Wanna Ride?” is a pretty rhetorical question if asked by an r&b singer torn from the same satin cloth as Adina Howard. Just do it. We’ll admit, Adina’s “Freak Like Me” braggadocio is a hard f-ing act to follow, but you see, Ciara is an illusionist of sorts—she’s less explicit with words, but her actions speak volumes. Enter her pivotal third album, Fantasy Ride.
Apart from Ciara’s impeccable track record of fast-paced hits that would motivate even the biggest loser (word to NBC’s fatties), her music videos are the real meat and potatoes. They in and of themselves make enough sense (and dollars, of course) for Jive Records to sling a deluxe edition of Fantasy Ride complete with bonus tracks, three videos, and making-of segments. On this album, we’re introduced to Ciara’s more assertive side, under the “Super C” namesake. We’re not mad at the marketing behind it, even if it’s brought to life in an 8-page digital booklet designed by DC Comics’ Bernard Chang. But let’s face it: the world doesn’t need another alter-ego, super-ego, [cough] Sasha Fierce. We get it, especially from the ATL sex kitten’s ten great moments we’ve gathered that really do the dirty south justice. Just keep your arms, and hands by your side…
#10 CIARA F/ YOUNG JEEZY “NEVER EVER”
The song itself is a little dry, almost on the adult-contemporary tip, but the video sells us on C’s reach to more mature audiences. And when we say mature, we don’t mean the split in front of the pole either. Ciara’s come along way from the girl whose goodies did most of the talking in 2004 (that, and dating Bow Wow). Five years in the game, and we’re still listening.
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#9 CIARA F/ LIL JON “THAT’S RIGHT”
Around Ciara’s second album, when crunk seemed to be a passing phase (as it has yet to regain it’s eminence), Lil Jon went back to his roots by producing befitting his start with Miami’s signature bass-heavy sound. We’d argue that Ciara shines over bass music for it’s fast tempo (“Get Up,” and “Promise Ring” by Tiffany Evans), but that just might be the reflection of her tight leather outfits. You be the judge.
#8 CIARA F/ PETEY PABLO “GOODIES”
The anthem to keep your little sister chaste was spoiled by the time she learned Ciara’s dance routine. Ci-Ci was a problem from the jump. Her back-breaking moves were as mind-bending then as they are now, even with the addition of CGI. We can’t say it any other way, other than in maybe a DJ Khaled voice, but she’s a problem.
#7 CIARA F/ T-PAIN “GO GIRL”
“Go Girl” is Ciara’s Grace Jones moment. The shiny, warrior princess from the future outfit is supposed to be the live action version of her alter-ego, Super C, which sort of failed when the album got pushed back from it’s original fall ’08 release date. We’re pulling up to her bumper once again, with “Go Girl” as one of the three videos packaged on the deluxe edition of Fantasy Ride.
#6 CIARA F/ CHAMILLIONAIRE “GET UP”
More people probably saw the video for “Get Up” than the actual movie that inspired it. Credit Chamillionaire‘s featured verse for tipping the scales in the direction of the song away from the Step Up film soundtrack. Even the movie’s leading stars made cameo appearances towards the end of the video, only to stink up Ciara’s well-choreographed masterpiece as much as the Wayans Brothers Dance Flick will do this summer. Ugh..
#5 CIARA “PROMISE”
When you put the comparisons to Janet Jackson and Aaliyah (R.I.P.) to the side, Ciara is pretty damn innovative. “Promise” could get a bad rap for its simple dance studio setup (a la Janet’s “Pleasure Principle” video), but under the direction of Diane Martel, the silhouette of a woman is defined by Ci-Ci’s curvaceous figure. As far as choreography goes, look closely at the scene where all the dancers have their backs pressed against the wall. Electrik Red‘s rocking hips just may have had a little inspiration from Super C.
#4 CIARA “LIKE A BOY”
A great Ciara video has a strong element of drama in it. The songwriting collective of the Clutch help translate thoughtful lyrics on record, but Ciara brings them to life playing the role of man and woman, as if theater was her real calling.
#3 CHRIS BROWN F/ CIARA “TAKE YOU DOWN” (BET AWARDS ’08)
Ciara’s guest appearances never really took center stage. Some of her collaborations in the past have been pretty modest, on record, and in videos like Nelly‘s “Stepped On My J’z,” Missy Elliot‘s “Lose Control,” and Bow Wow‘s “Like You.” “Take You Down” with Chris Brown though, is where she truly stole the show, specifically at the BET Awards last year. Enrique Iglesias should have taken notes when he hit up C for “Takin’ Back My Love,” at least if he really wanted Ciara to put a hurting on him like she did to Lil Chris. POW!
#2 CIARA F/ LUDACRIS “OH”
While we know Ciara to rep A-Town, she’s actually not originally from Atlanta. Homegirl grew up an army brat—originally born in Austin, Texas, but lived in New York, California, and Nevada as her dad served his country. But “Oh” was a straight up ode to the A. Ludacris hopped on the track. Ciara straddled the top of a dubbed-out whip. The rest is history from C’s first LP.
#1 CIARA F/ JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE “LOVE SEX MAGIC”
JT has always brought the best out of his female collaborators. And he pretty pulled out all the stops for Ci-Ci after much over-hyped Madonna collab, “4 Minutes.” For Ciara, her on-screen chemistry with JT is not nearly as prude as the laughable get-together of a video with 50 Cent.