Blu Cantrell

“Hit ’Em Up Style (Oops!)” is the double master blaster single of the summer, a jeep-jumpin’ production that makes a strong case for modern r&b-pop as a medium of substance. Cantrell delivers her advice—to paraphrase, if your man gets too buck wild on you, just spend his saditty ass into bankruptcy court—like Billie Holiday empowered by a serious American Express-induced shopping high. The Dallas-Austin-penned and -produced joint makes for a perfect career launcher, with its loping beat mated to a scratchy Halloween-flavored string figure, airy but massed gospel backgrounds and, right up front, Cantrell’s distinctive vocals. Cantrell can sing—when she bites off some melisma, she makes you think “church” and not “cartoon muezzin with a helium balloon.” The rest of this multi-producer disc is uneven, but “Swingin’ ”—produced by Austin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis—is a smash. File under “superstar.”