Two of Love King’s songs, “FILA” and “Take Care of Me,” are indicative of his new point of view. The former, an acronym for “Fall In Love Again,” is a horn-laden march through the bedroom doors with a tray of fruit and pancakes, a love song for someone you’ve been with for years. The latter, with a hair metal chorus courtesy of his engineer Pat, is as good as any high-octane pop in recent memory, and instead of mindless puppy love lyrics, Dream pleads for a reciprocal bond between him and his lady. As mushy as that may sound, consider for a second what actually happens when you put music on with the lights down and your significant other by your side. The last thing you want to be softly singing into his or her ear is some déclassé objectification. The-Dream never puts you in that position. He hooks you up. He gives you sweet nothings and slightly raunchy witticisms, a little dirty talk and way more game than you’re capable of on your own.
Even “Make-Up Bag,” the soon-to-be ubiquitous song whose title tells you what it is and what it does, is not what you’d expect. As Dream’s managers wait patiently in the studio for him to wrap up the song’s finishing touches so they can debut it at a trusted gentlemen’s club nearby, the irony of the situation goes unnoticed. While it will certainly make good tips for the exotic dancers it’s being delivered to, it will also subconsciously give the girls’ patrons something to think about when they leave the club. It’s not about showering some random with gifts so you can get laid, it’s about buying something nice for your baby when you inevitably get caught doing something that might prevent you from ever getting laid again.