He Wasn't Man Enough

"He Wasn't Man Enough" is a song by American R&B singer-songwriter Toni Braxton. It was written by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels, and Harvey Mason, Jr. for her third studio album, The Heat (2000), while production was helmed by the former. "He Wasn't Man Enough" is an uptempo pop soul and R&B song that differs in genre from Braxton's previous ballads. The song was released by LaFace Records on February 29, 2000, as the lead single from the album.

"He Wasn't Man Enough"
Hewasntmanenough.jpg
Single by Toni Braxton
from the album The Heat
ReleasedFebruary 29, 2000 (2000-02-29)
RecordedJanuary–February 2000
Genre
Length4:21
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Jerkins
Toni Braxton singles chronology
"How Could an Angel Break My Heart"
(1997)
"He Wasn't Man Enough"
(2000)
"Just Be a Man About It"
(2000)

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom praised it as one of Braxton's best works.[1] "He Wasn't Man Enough" had international success and became one of Braxton's signature songs, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, where the single stood for several weeks, and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for four weeks. As of 2019, this song is her last Top 10 appearance on the Billboard Hot 100. An accompanying music video was released for the single. The song earned Braxton her sixth Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and was nominated for Best R&B Song in 2001.

Background and compositionEdit

"He Wasn't Man Enough" was released as the lead single from Braxton's studio album The Heat (2000). The song was written by Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels, and Harvey Mason, Jr., while it was produced by Darkchild. The song was recorded in the United States, during the production of Braxton's third studio album, between January and February 2000.[2][3] During its production, L.A. Reid said "It's very strong, and very personal to her".[4]

All instruments on "He Wasn't Man Enough" were played by Darkchild and the background vocals were sung by Braxton, Nora Payne, Sharlotte Gibson and Darkchild.[5][6] The song's vocal range starts with a D#4 chord to a C#6 chord in a chord of G Major. Popmatters praised Braxton, saying "the track seems to be an attempt to make some headway within the lucrative urban R&B market."[7] The song's length is a total of four minutes and twenty-one seconds at a moderately slow, yet steady pace.[8]

The song earned Braxton her sixth Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2001.[9] According to Billboard.com, this song is her last Top 10 appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 to date.

Critical receptionEdit

"He Wasn't Man Enough" was widely acclaimed by contemporary music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic highlighted the track along with "Gimme Some" as having a "skimmering beat".[1] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly gave it a positive review, certificating it with a B rating. He said "From producer Rodney Jerkins' cushiony pulse to its premise (one woman warning another about her ex-beau), the amenable single "He Wasn't Man Enough" sounds mightily familiar. But it's still no "Scrubs", largely thanks to Braxton's husky, mumbly delivery."[10] NME gave it a positive review, saying that for the track, "Braxton can probably claim the best set of tonsils in soul-pop".[11] Popmatters gave it a positive review, saying "The lead single sees Toni tapping into the recent success of female assertiveness (TLC, Kelis, Destiny's Child, and Pink) with the hit single "He Wasn’t Man Enough".

Chart performanceEdit

"He Wasn't Man Enough" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of May 6, 2000, and stayed there for two weeks behind "Maria Maria" by Santana featuring The Product G&B. The song spent 37 weeks on the chart. The song also peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for four weeks. The song debuted at number five on the UK Singles Chart on its issue date of April 29, 2000. The song debuted at number six on the Australian Singles Chart and peaked at number five in that country. The song debuted at number 36 on the New Zealand Singles Chart and later rose to number five after seven weeks on the charts. The song received platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), selling over 15,000 copies there.[12] The song debuted at number 99 on the French Singles Chart before falling out, then re-entering at number 74 on the charts and eventually peaked at number fifteen, becoming the biggest jump of the issue date of July 1, 2000. The song debuted at number 21 on the Single Top 100, peaked at number five and stayed on the charts for seventeen weeks.[13]

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Bille Woodruff from February 25–26, 2000,[14] starts out with Braxton as an animated superhero who unzips her shirt to ward off villains. Next, she is shown dancing in a red cylinder-like hallway. The shot turns to a club where her ex (portrayed by Braxton's former husband Keri Lewis of R&B group Mint Condition) and his current wife (portrayed by Robin Givens) walk in. Givens looks Braxton up and down and flashes her wedding ring at her. Braxton scoffs because she had had him first and knows what a cheat he is.

The video flashes between Braxton dancing in the hallway and the club scene. At one point, the two women are in the club's bathroom, and Braxton informs the new wife why she dumped her husband. They set up an act, wherein Braxton goes into a private room with him and gets him to drop his pants; all the while he is on camera, and everyone at the club, including his current wife, is watching. At the end, Givens busts in and throws the ring at him, and the two women give each other a high five.

The video also features cameo appearances by Rodney Chester and sister, Tamar Braxton. Originally, actor Michael Jai White was cast to play the role of the husband. However, he ended up dropping out before the video shoot, due to Givens allegedly taking issue with White's resemblance to her former husband Mike Tyson, who White played in the HBO film Tyson five years earlier.[14][15] He would make an appearance in another Braxton video a decade later, 2010's "Hands Tied".

Track listing and formatsEdit

CD single
(Arista 74321 75146 2)

  1. He Wasn't Man Enough (Radio edit) - 3:58
  2. He Wasn't Man Enough (Extended edit) - 5:35

Promo CD single
(LaFace CDX 2239)

  1. He Wasn't Man Enough - 4:21

Australian CD single
(Arista / LaFace 74321 75785 2)

  1. He Wasn't Man Enough (Radio edit) - 4:02
  2. You're Makin' Me High (Classic edit) - 3:38
  3. He Wasn't Man Enough (Extended edit) - 5:35
  4. He Wasn't Man Enough (Music video)

US CD single
(LaFace 73008 24463 2)

  1. He Wasn't Man Enough (Album version) - 4:21
  2. He Wasn't Man Enough (Instrumental) - 4:19

US promo CD
(LaFace LFPCD-4444)

  1. He Wasn't Man Enough (Album version) - 4:21
  2. He Wasn't Man Enough (Instrumental) - 4:19
  3. He Wasn't Man Enough (Call Out Research Hook) - 0:10

Official versions

  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (a cappella) – 4:19
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Junior Marathon Mix) – 12:06
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Junior Instrumental) – 8:06
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Peter Rauhofer NYC Club Mix) – 8:42
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Peter Rauhofer NYC Dub) – 10:29
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Forces of Nature Remix)
  • "He Wasn't Man Enough" (Forces of Nature Dub)

ChartsEdit

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[61] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[62] Gold 25,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[63] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Gold 400,000 
United States (RIAA)[66] Gold 600,000[65]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States February 29, 2000 (2000-02-29) Urban adult contemporary radio [67]
United Kingdom April 17, 2000 (2000-04-17)
  • CD
  • cassette
[68]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit