by Charne Graham
Tweet’s sultry vocals were first heard in Sugah, a trio of singers signed to Devante Swing’s Swing Mob imprint that included herself, Susan Weems and Rolita White. While working under Devante, she met fellow Swing mob artists Timbaland, Magoo, Playa, Ginuwine, Renee Anderson and Missy Elliott. When Sugah dismantled Tweet returned home, depressed, suicidal and no longer making music. In 2001 Missy asked Tweet to deliver backing vocals on her album Miss E... So Addictive. A year later Tweet released her debut Southern Hummingbird. And while the two hit radio singles “Oops (Oh my)” and “Call Me” remain classics, “My Place” stands out.
Powerful songwriting and a limitless approach to layering harmonies define Tweet’s music. This skill is on display on “My Place,” which follows the vulnerable intro poem “So Much to Say.” On it, Tweet opens up about giving up on life, love and contemplating suicide: “A handful full of pills and a Plan B, I wanted nothing to do with life or what was to become of me.” What follows is a song about starting over and inviting a new love into her home.
In the first verse Tweet sings,
“And I picked up a joy to my face/My heart beats faster than a regular pace/And I'm not sure of what it is/I asked my mother to help me with it/ And she said ‘Daughter, you reached a jones and that's real lovin, so carry on’”
This verse signals the start of something fresh. Tweet is not only anxious about beginning a new love, but she is equally anticipating confirmation of her feelings from a maternal figure. What follows is an urgency in Tweet’s request for her lover’s presence, and then a detailed explanation of how long she’s waited for them to get there. It’s a display of familiarity and sisterhood that helps listeners relate their tales of love and romance to Tweet. “My Place” is more than a song about longing and lust. It’s for the women who have waited patiently for love. Who were close to giving up but held on.
Time hasn’t lessened the impact of her this iconic track one bit. Here’s a look at three of the best songs that sampled “My Place.”
Bryson Tiller - “No Longer Friends”
Produced by Gravez and Swiff D, “No Longer Friends” is the second track on Tiller’s sophomore album True to Self. This song is all about Tiller being the homie your girl always told you “not to worry about” but ultimately the truth comes out that they aren’t just the friends they seem to be. You can hear Tweet’s hypnotizing harmonies throughout this song.
Goldlink - “Dance on Me”
Goldlink’s “Dance on Me” is produced by Milo Mills & Hasta on his 2015 sophomore album And After That, We Didn't Talk. This track took a more uptempo approach to “My Place” using the same sampled instrumental but sped up with a BPM that makes it hard to sit still or hold up a wall. The concept of this song was to simply be carefree, enjoy yourself, and dance. It’s less about staying in and being booed up, and more about being out and shaking something. Something like this.
IamSu! feat. Ty Dolla $ign and Terrace Martin - “Float”
This 2013 collab was the Cali trio we all needed. “Float” is produced by Kuya Beats and featured on Iamsu’s Kilt 2 and Ty Dolla $ign’s Beach House 2. This song took a lustful approach to blending the genres of rap from Iamsu, R&B from Ty Dolla $ign and jazz from Terrance Martin. The unique and somewhat unconventional love song is all about the hopes of a physical future with someone as “My Place” does but there does not seem to have that same patient anticipation.