Editors’ Notes Fans of early-2000s pop and R&B very likely know Ne-Yo’s voice better than they know Johnta Austin’s, but they likely know just as much of Austin’s work. After abandoning early ambitions as a performing artist, Austin would go on to craft career-defining R&B hits for Mariah Carey (“We Belong Together”), Tyrese (“Sweet Lady”), and Trey Songz (“Can’t Help But Wait”), among many others. Though Ne-Yo himself is no slouch when it comes to creating earworms for others (see Rihanna’s “Unfaithful,” Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” and the chorus for Pitbull’s “Time of Our Lives”), the area where he may have a clear advantage in a Verzuz face-off is visibility, having danced his way into the hearts of pop and R&B fans as a recording artist with his own “So Sick,” “Because of You,” and “Miss Independent.” Does Austin’s very prolific pen stand up to Ne-Yo’s similarly diverse artist/songwriter catalog and endlessly charming dapper-gentleman aesthetic? You can judge for yourself by way of the official Johnta Austin and Ne-Yo Cheat Sheet playlist, curated by Apple Music host Lowkey.
Can't Be Wasting My Time (feat. Lost Boyz) [One Ball Head Version]