Should Have Been Bigger: Nicole Scherzinger’s “Whatever U Like”
In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.
“Whatever U Like” should have been the song that catapulted Nicole Scherzinger to solo stardom. She had already paid her dues with The Pussycat Dolls and was generating huge buzz with features on Diddy’s “Come To Me” and Timbaland’s “Scream.” The plan was simple and seemingly bulletproof. Interscope hooked the diva up with Polow Da Don (one of the era’s super producers), organized a cameo from T.I. and shelled out for a big budget video. What could possibly go wrong?
Unfortunately for Nicole, everything. Pop radio refused to play the song and fans were turned off by the edgy hip-hop sound. “Whatever U Like” failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 and subsequent buzz singles, including the legendary “Puakenikeni,” performed even worse. The diva’s debut LP, Her Name Is Nicole, was shelved and she reunited with PCD for Doll Domination. A decade has passed and the 38-year-old is still trying to get her solo career off the ground. It’s a shame, because she is one of the game’s true double-threats.
As for “Whatever U Like,” the record still holds up. That beat still goes hard today (it was at least five years ahead of its time), while Nicole gobbled up the sexy lyrics. “Boy, you want my body, wanna ride it like a Harley,” she cooed with a straight face. “Once or twice around the block.” And then there’s the stylish video, which finds the “Right There” hitmaker walking on hot coals, striking random yoga poses and contorting herself in a box. She served look after look and it still flopped. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. Relive the magic below.