As the iconic R&B musical duo Chlöe and Halle Bailey settle down after completing the era of their 2020 sophomore album, “Ungodly Hour,” the two musicians have begun their own individual journeys.
With Halle Bailey pursuing an acting career as Ariel in the upcoming live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” Chlöe Bailey, now only referred to as Chlöe, debuted as a solo artist and is currently gaining attention for her recent single, “Have Mercy.”
Prior to “Have Mercy,” her first performance twisted Nina Simone’s classic, “Feeling Good,” into her own soulful and sultry yet chilling and modern cover, embodying not only her sound and image but embracing a new version of herself in the public eye. She blossomed into an empowered Black woman embracing her skin, encouraging other women to love their sexual side and bodies.
Chlöe continues to exhibit this positive message in “Have Mercy.”
What first began as merely an announcement, soon turned into a teaser going viral on TikTok. The wait finally ended on Sept. 10 when the song dropped.
“Have Mercy” is an uptempo R&B track with a modern sound that would make anyone want to dance. It caters to a new shift in the genre, but also dips into old sounds by sampling TT the Artist and UNIIQU3’s 2018 track, “Off The Chain.” Chlöe uses their iconic line “Booty so big (Work), Lord, have mercy” to define a raw, yet fun sexual energy.
The lyrics are simple but set forth an anthem where people of any body type can feel confident in themselves without a care in the world. Chlöe sing-raps at a fast-paced speed that perfectly suits the rhythmic upbeat tempo of the song, especially toward the pre-chorus.
“He say he like that Laffy Taffy / He so goofy, call me daddy / He go stupid, he go daffy / Introduce me to his papi / He can never live without me / I’m so real, I’m never cappin’,” she sings.
Though she keeps the same singing-rapping voice throughout the song, there are some hidden harmonies and high notes that showcase her vocals nicely.
If the song is not enough to entice people to listen, then the vivid, eye-catching music video will, as it incorporates a Medusa-sorority theme. Chlöe and her backup dancers portray themselves as modern-day sirens who roam through a beautiful, brightly colored sorority house where they dance in order to seduce men to their deaths by turning them to stone.
Besides its plot, the music video packs so much more as it shows star-studded cameo appearances from Tina Knowles-Lawson, British pop artist Bree Runway and actor Rome Flynn. Also, there are the amazing visuals of Chlöe channeling her confidence, swag and effortlessness through choreographed dance, along with constant outfit changes that display the boldness and artistic side of the artist.
Chlöe continued to ring in this new era of her single with a live performance on the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, where she established herself as a rising star. At the beginning of her performance, she embodied a scary and possessed persona to showcase her theatrical side, then broke into a fierce scream. The scream represents the fury she unleashes, showing the world she has had enough of being criticized for showing skin and isn’t afraid of judgment anymore.
She continues to do this overtly provocative performance, incorporating elements from her video by seducing her male backup dancers as her Medusa character and toward the end, licking the microphone.
Not only does this performance and her journey with her first single, “Have Mercy,” show how Chlöe has grown artistically, but also that she is a blossoming young woman who won’t let anyone stop her from going further into her path of self-acceptance.