For Our Consideration: The-Dream is a complicated pop genius

Last Tuesday, Terius “The-Dream” Nash, one of the most important figures in the past decade of pop music–the guy who helped to bring “Single Ladies,” “Umbrella,” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby” into the world–released the first half of a diptych of EPs, entitled Crown. (The second half, Jewel comes out July 7.) The general listening audience’s reaction was about the same as it’s been for every one of Nash’s releases since 2009’s Love Vs Money: ecstasy from his smallish but intensely devoted fan base and near-total indifference from the rest of the world. Its lead single “That’s My Shit,” the EP’s best shot at a radio hit, failed to make much of an impact on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. Why can’t one of the most successful songwriters of our time catch a break these days?

It’s not because …

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