Taking a look ago at the track that exemplifies the ideal of mid–2000s R&B

Omarion through Jabari Jacobs (provided by Atlantic Records)

The mid–2000s to be not constantly a an excellent moment because that hip-hop. 4 that the peak 10 highest–selling lab albums in 2004 belonged come Nelly, Ludacris, and also Young Buck, and somehow Robin Thicke hosted the top spot ~ above Billboard"s "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs" in 2007. However, one good thing come come the end of this era is Omarion’s “Ice Box,” a collaboration between Omarion and Timbaland that puts The Weeknd’s dramatic tracks to shame.

You are watching: Icebox where my heart used to be

“Ice Box” is precisely what 2006 R&B music need to be, and for the it is the single–greatest breakup track of the past 15 years. For all the growing pains hip–hop to be going through in the mid–2000s, the R&B artists of the moment were excelling choose no other when given minimalist beats to pine and sing on.

Artists such together Ne–Yo, D’Angelo, Usher, and also others to be enjoying somewhat of an R&B renaissance ~ pioneers such as Aaliyah, mar J. Blige, and Lauryn Hill led the method for the sound of mid–2000s R&B in years prior. Yet, for all the hits that Ne–Yo and also Usher generated, no one of them completely encapsulated the sound of your era much more than “Ice Box.” “Ice Box” is neither profound nor lyrically overpowering, but that’s no what the target of a breakup song need to be. At its most fundamental level, “Ice Box” is a musically scan R&B jam devoted to once one wanted a connection to job-related out, yet just couldn’t obtain it to occupational anymore.

Omarion by Jabari Jacobs (provided by Atlantic Records)

Omarion opens up the tune by wistfully sharing, “Fussing and fighting, we ago at the again/I know that, it"s my fault yet you don"t understand/I got memories, this is crazy/You ain"t nothing prefer the girl I used to know,” setup the stage for the layout of the song. Omarion hits residence on this id throughout the song–he doesn’t love his girl anymore–yet the tantalizingly pipeline the listener v little–to–no information around what adjusted over the relationship.

Listeners get glimpses in ~ his do the efforts to piece things together, together leading approximately the chorus Omarion sings, “Girl i really wanna work this out, cause I"m exhausted of fighting/And ns really hope you still want me the method I want you/I stated I really wanna work-related this out, cursed girl I"m trying,” however as frequently happens in this situation, the last–ditch attempts to fix a broken relationship prove to be futile.

While Omarion struggles to excel lyrically, his true success in “Ice Box” is his tone and also technical skill, as delivers a painful yet defiant vocal performance about the finish of his relationship. The beat is mainly unremarkable and uniform throughout the verse, as it sounds mostly like any type of generic R&B breakup song.

Yet, as quickly as Omarion ramps as much as the chorus, the tone of the tune shifts dramatically from dismissal come pain, reflecting the realities of processing a breakup itself. The chorus of “I obtained this ice cream box wherein my heart used to be/icebox whereby my heart used to be,” instantly followed through Timbaland’s “I’m so cold, ns so cold, ns so cold,” achieves exactly the sort of passionless and also desolate sound that Omarion attempts come convey through his lyrics. “Ice Box” is a masterfully produced track by Timbaland, and also Omarion’s vocal performance was the ideal complement to complete the standoffish tone of the track. By sent wavering between grief and aloofness, pain and detachment, but most the all, uncertainty, Omarion"s tone and vocal performance epitomizes the second–guessing and also confusing nature of a recent breakup.

Omarion by Jabari Jacobs (provided by Atlantic Records)

Arguably simply as essential as the track itself, however, is the music video for “Ice Box.” If one wanted to recognize the sounds and atmosphere that mid–2000s R&B, one only needs to clock the music video for “Ice Box," which has a full 40 seconds of a love beating before launching right into Omarion’s very first verse. In the meantime, we get our very first glimpse at combination dancers, a giant clock, and also a roaring fire in one otherwise dark and also desolate room. At first glance, the viewer is led to believe Omarion is talking to himself, yet soon enough, the camera pans to disclose yet one more stereotypical layout of mid–2000s R&B music videos—the quiet, yet sultry, mrs over whom the artist is languishing. However, yet one more factor improving the character of "Ice Box"s" music video clip is the reality that this sultry mrs is actually Solange. Ten years prior to her wonderful album A Seat at the Table, the R&B artist it s her performed as the woman in the direction of which Omarion had actually gone therefore cold. Complete with a suddenly journey right into the woods, an ext heavily–choreographed dancing, and Timbaland sit in the ago of one all–white roll Royce, this music video is the epitome of mid–2000s R&B and easily gives “Ice Box” the crown because that the best breakup song of the previous 15 years.

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