Rising artists Chloe and Halle Bailey, of the group Chloe x Halle, have recently released a “Chrome” version of their second studio album Ungodly Hour. This new version includes two additional songs, both living up to the hype of the other tracks. With most of the beats produced in-house by the sibling pair, this album creates a unique sense of identity for Chloe x Halle as we see them embrace their sexuality as well as their flaws while uplifting others via their music.
At a time where women, especially those in the public eye (our #FreeBritney piece on this topic), feel like they have their entire lives under a microscope when it comes to looks, vulnerability, or relationships, this album grants every listener the opportunity to see themselves in at least one song. There is no denying that these two talented young women have presented an album that has thought, fearlessness, message, and emotion perfectly mixed into one harmonious piece of art. Just like any other form of art, any cinephile can find similarities in this album to various movie plots. Just to help you out, I’ve come up with my own Ungodly Hour curated playlist.
Why Did I Get Married? (2007)
The film is focused on a group of friends that all happen to be married. Though Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” featured four somewhat dysfunctional married couples, the main focus was definitely the storyline between Sheila (played by Jill Scott) and Mike (Richard T Jones).
Unfortunately for Sheila, this love story also had a third party—her best friend. Well, technically we can say it included four. We can count the wine bottle being shattered against Mike’s head as the fourth member of this entanglement. Letting go of her rage after finding out, Sheila finds a new life, and love: one within herself and another with a new man.
“You must got me fucked up
I think I’ve had enough”
There is no doubt that this track is dedicated to being done with someone else’s incompetence. With lyrics that suggest that moving “onto better things” is the next step, Chloe x Halle exudes confidence in knowing their own self-worth. Rather than sitting and waiting for a man to realize what someone is worth to them, it’s best to just go on your own path.
“Every day I gotta please them
While I’m picking up the pieces”
One of the medium-tempo songs from the album, “Baby Girl” presents a calm nostalgic feeling for the listeners. It also sheds a light on how things are seen in today’s society. Much of what a woman goes through in today’s world is constantly picked apart and analyzed. Singer Chloe Bailey herself has even recently been criticized for her (what some haters might call) risqué photos.
Hateful comments were made about her alleged attention-seeking and insecurities by people that have no ties to her. Rather than accepting her and celebrating her for celebrating herself (like the song suggests), she was criticized for being herself. Rather than allowing naysayers to overpower her self-love, she’s been doing risqué photoshoots ever since. Maybe she took the advice of her sister who once said this in response to explaining what “Baby Girl” is about:
“So that was definitely an encouraging, empowering song that we wanted other girls to relate to and play when they needed that messaging—when you’re feeling overwhelmed and insecure and you’re just like, “Okay, what’s next?” Like, nope, snap out of it. You’re amazing.”
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Growing up, this was one of my mom’s favorite movies. Eventually, it became one of my favorites too. Why? Because 1.) I’m a sucker for a good love story and 2.) the message behind the movie was monumental to my childhood. All of my life I felt like I was ready to be older. Think about it, you get to go where you want, be with who you want, whenever you want.
And this is exactly what Jennifer Garner’s character Jenna felt when she was wishing in her closet to be “30, flirty, and thriving.” Although her wish was fulfilled, her life wasn’t. She woke up to a gorgeous boyfriend, but they had nothing in common. She had landed her dream job working for her favorite magazine, but she had learned that the reason it was failing was her own fault. And most of all, she had become estranged from her childhood best friend. Even though these things all failed, she wanted to turn her new 30-year-old life into what she had imagined at 13. And don’t let the title fool you. It’s not the age that is of importance, it’s what you do with your time. Just like Jenna, I have come to the realization that yes, being older has its perks, but it’s not everything that it’s cracked up to be. If anything, growing up is harder to navigate, but luckily, she got to rewind and make better choices. If only we all had that option.
It’s a “homies only” kind of mood
And tonight, we on a hundred, One hundred
No drama, no baby mamas, keepin’ it cute
Being that this is one of the first singles that was released in advance of Ungodly Hour, I must admit that it ran through my head 25/8. From the catchy beat, to the multiple times they performed it on their tennis court, Chloe x Halle had me convinced that I need to have a girl’s night out every weekend. And if not, it is definitely a song I ‘beat my face’ to.
Girls Trip (2017)
What’s better than being out with your man? Probably going with your girlfriends! Who can hype up a woman better than the girls who know her best? And something about a man saying “yaaaaas” isn’t as touching as my bestie yelling it across the room (even though I can’t dance).
Your girls are who you can act an absolute fool around, just like in Girls Trip. This gang of friends may not have been in constant contact, but they still know the love and friendship is there. The Flossy Posse still has each other’s back when it boils down to it. And yes, I know that these four did have drama…a mad baby mama… and didn’t keep it that cute, but they still match the song to a T.
“When you decide you like yourself
When you decide you need someone
When you don’t have to think about it
Love me at the ungodly hour”
This song is the definition of “It’s not me, it’s you.” Chloe x Halle let their listeners know that they shouldn’t let the insecurities of the person they’re with be a consequence or blow to their own self-worth. Chloe said it best when she described the message of the song:
“Love me at the ungodly hour.” Love me at my worst. Love me when I’m not the best version of myself. And the song kind of wrote itself really fast. It’s about being in a situationship with someone who isn’t ready to fully commit or settle down with you, but the connection is there, the chemistry is there, it’s so electric. But being the woman, you know your self-worth and you know what you won’t accept. So it’s like, if you want all of me, then you need to come correct.”
Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) had it all figured out: perfect boyfriend, perfect friends, and a perfect future planned. That was up until her boyfriend broke up with her because she was, in his own words not “serious” enough for his parents.
Elle decides to become the serious girl he’s looking for by going to law school, only to find out, she’s the total package but was just at the wrong address. And finally, when he sees her potential, what does she do?—kick him to the curb the same way he did to her. There’s no doubt in my mind that if this movie just came out, “Ungodly Hour” would have been on one of Elle’s playlists to Warner.
“I’ll take you to the afterlife
Boy, if you ain’t actin’ right
Key your car and crash the lights
Hit your head, I’m not polite
Then I’ll hunt down your family
Let ’em know ’bout the tragedy
Who did it? A mystery
But you know that it, it was me, yeah”
Chloe x Halle make it known through this song that they are not to be played or toyed with. I mean can you blame them?
A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996)
This film was my first glimpse of what a femme fatale is. Lynn Whitfield plays the sexy, yet dangerous Brandi alongside her co-star Martin Lawrence who plays Darnell, a playboy. Once Darnell catches a glimpse of Brandi he makes it a mission to pursue her even though she repeatedly turns him down.
He uses everything in the book to get with her, including telling her he loved her even when he didn’t. Cómo se dice… manipulative much? Betrayed and furious, Brandi comes back with a vengeance. She beats herself up, throws a brick through his car window, and eventually holds a gun to his head. Needless to say, Darnell should have heeded her warning.
“It’s nine o’clock
I get a text sayin’, “Are you up?” ‘Bout 9:15
My girl said she got the same message, same thing
A few days, yeah, we’re cool
Then you disappear like I’m a fool
You told me that you with your family
My girl saw you with someone, leavin’ the party”
Chloe x Halle make it known on this single that they have absolutely nothing to give a man that can’t commit to them fully and are not apologetic for it. Regardless of how ‘fine’ he may be. You go girls!
John Tucker Must Die (2006)
If you haven’t seen this movie, no, no one dies. But that does let you know just how fed up all three of John Tucker’s (Jesse Metcalfe) conquests were. Beth, Carrie, and Heather (Sophia Bush, Arielle Kebbel, and Ashanti) plan to take him down by making him fall in love with the new girl, Kate (Brittany Snow). Sweet and dew-faced, it was a fool-proof plan, but somehow even John Tucker could make wearing a thong a trend. What’s the only other problem? Kate has never dated anyone, and she eventually starts to care for John as the revenge dating comes to a head.
2 Can Play That Game (2001)
Have you ever heard of Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey? Well, this is really the OG version. Shante (Vivica Fox) knows everything there is to know about men, so much so, she has no worries about her own relationship. Or at least that’s what she thinks until she sees her boyfriend Keith (Morris Chestnut) go out with Connie (Gabriel Union), the person Shante despises most. Shante concocts a plan to help him get some sense. In case you were wondering, this is her list:
Day 1: Don’t call or text him.
Day 2: If he calls or texts you, don’t answer or respond to the first one.
Day 3: Hang out with your girls and remember, don’t call.
Day 4: Yup, you guessed it, don’t call him.
Day 5: Stay in the house all day.
Day 6: Go on a few dates with someone(s) new.
Day 7: Like queen B says, put that “Freakum Dress” on and show him what he’s missing.
Day 8: Buy some goodies for the house, because he’ll be back home in no time.
Day 9-10: Sit and wait for him to crawl back.
Ok so it’s a little extreme, but hey, they ended up together again, more or less.
“Oh, you angry, I’m just tryna party
Why you trippin’ when I give you what you give to me?
You run a big game, well, baby, I can play
You gon’ be trippin’ when I give you what you give to me”
This song is definitely a genuine depiction of what the dating scene is like now. Things go around and around and tit for tat. But Chloe x Halle let it be known in this track that they reciprocate whatever energy you give them. Lyrics like, “why you trippin when I give you what you give to me” tell us exactly what they’re doing when it comes to the game of love.
“I don’t do well under pressure
I don’t know it all, I wish I had all the answers
Fix it all myself (Oh), I feel overwhelmed”
Although this track is fairly short, the message is loud and clear as the calming cascading voices glide across your eardrums. Everyone at some point in their lives, puts too much pressure on themselves, maybe even to the point of breaking down.
Inside Out (2015)
Despite the fact that this movie is intended for younger audiences, it has valuable lessons for any age. The overall message is that it’s okay to not be happy all of the time.
This is shown through the constant pressure that Happiness feels when she tries to keep all of the emotions under control, rather than facing them, accepting them, and then reflecting on them.
“I remember, just the other day
Brought all my problems, had myself to blame
There my friends go, there my love go
I’m just sittin’ here, yeah, feelin’ solo
It’s not like money gonna save me
Or poppin’ bottles on the daily
I had to learn to love me lately”
Once again, Chloe x Halle lets us know that if you can’t love yourself, then you can’t possibly find love anywhere else. The monetary and superficial things are not what matters to them, and they shouldn’t to us.
Someone Great (2019)
Jenny Young, played by Gina Rodriguez, is devasted by her 9-year relationship with her boyfriend Nate, played by LaKeith Stansfield, ending. In a slump, she and her friends are determined to drink and party the pain away.
In the end, she goes to get closure and finds it in her friendships, rather than the idea of trying to mend a broken relationship. This is definitely a movie to appreciate since it doesn’t have the typical perfect ending. And sometimes a real ending is even better.
Don’t Make It Harder
“Don’t make it harder on me
I told you not to love me
And now you’re growing on me…I told you not to want me But you don’t listen to me, And you never did”
For me, this is one of Chloe x Halle’s more emotion-filled selections. Inspired by one of their close personal friends, Chloe x Halle wrote what I believe to be a masterpiece of what it’s like to have a partner when someone from your past tries to be with you.
You don’t want to hurt their feelings, but the truth of the matter is, their time came and went. And telling them you can’t be with them is awkward, if not harder than it would be if they didn’t fall in love with you in the first place.
A Walk to Remember (2002)
Okay, the song is technically about a guy who cheats on a girl but still loves her, but focus your attention away from that, and on the lyrics to the left.
What better song to pair with this film than one that says what Jamie, a preacher’s daughter, makes Landon, somewhat of a bad boy, promise: not to fall in love with her. Considering they are complete opposite spectrums when it comes to friend groups or even activities, they both didn’t think that either would catch feelings.
Like any good love story, opposites attract, and that’s how they became intertwined once becoming cast in a play together, sharing one kiss. That kiss sparked the beginning of their relationship. Even though her father doesn’t approve, and his friends chastise him about it, they preserve up until the very end.
Caution, I cried the first time I watched it (but then again, I was 9).
“You ain’t gotta let the world get to you
Why you lookin’ in the mirror-like that?
Won’t you turn around and shake a little somethin’
You’re the best they ever had”
I am absolutely in love with the feeling I get when I listen to this song. Whenever I hear it I instantly think Fast and Furious (don’t ask me why lol). But apart from the invincible feeling that the song gives me, the lyrics are equally appreciated. Chloe x Halle give us a fun, upbeat song to dance to when no one is looking, or to drive around at night (which is definitely the best time to embrace this song. Thank me later.)
“Phat Girlz“ (2006)
It’s no secret that body image and body shaming have been around for years. I myself have even been at the center of a fat joke or two in middle/high school.
The same can be said in “Phat Girlz”, a rom-com centered around Jazmine, an aspiring fashion designer, played by Mo’Nique. Living in a society that seems to only accept a size two, she constantly second-guesses whether she has the means to make her dreams come true.
Then she sees the better side of things when she meets Tunde (Jimmy Jean-Louis), a man who loves all of her curves. Sadly, Jazmin is still stuck in her own insecurities and embarrasses herself by accusing him of being on a date with a thin woman (even though he said he loved them bigger).
Depressed and alone in her own negative thoughts, Jazmin finds her confidence and decides to pursue everything she’s ever wanted: love and a career. So yes, this movie is no Academy Award-winning masterpiece, but it does still hold a special place in my heart.
“Love me like you, love me like you hate me”
Ok, you might be thinking that this song doesn’t resemble this movie quite that much, but hear me out. Yes, the song seems to be eluding to the itchy nana, but the chorus lyrics are what really stuck with me upon the first listen.
There’s no missing the dark impression that the constant bass drum and deeper tones reflect the love/hate factor that two people can have for one another.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
This modernization of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew follows Katarina “Kat” Stratford. Portrayed by Julia Stiles, Kat is antisocial and doesn’t like to go with the typical trend of teens her age, a rebel if you must call it that.
This creates a dilemma for her younger sister, Bianca, who can only do what her sister does as a rule of thumb implemented by their overprotective dad. In comes the knight (or Joker?) in shining armor, Patrick, played by the late Heath Ledger. Paid to take out his sister by both of Bianca’s suitors, Patrick finds himself getting to know Kat and finding a real connection with her.
Much to her disdain, Kat equally falls for him. Of course, it all comes crumbling down when she finds out the truth of why he was so persistent in the first place. Despite his lies in the beginning, Kat realizes she does love him, even for the things that she thought she would hate. And to make things even more full circle, she writes him a poem called 10 Things I Hate About You, with the last one being that she hates the fact that she doesn’t even hate him for what he had done.
“He’s conventional, you’re mystical
I’m criminal, but it’s spiritual
I cannot fight off a burning desire
That’s what I get for playing with fire”
I must admit, when I first heard “80/20” I wasn’t sure about what exactly the phrase meant. And no, it’s not the ‘80/20’ rule that “Why Did I Get Married?” brings up in the film. The 80/20 rule that Chloe X Halle refers to is actually a diet. Essentially it means out of everything you eat, 80% is healthy, while the other 20% can be ehhh…not so healthy.
Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013)
This song embodies Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor to the fullest. Having married her high school sweetheart, Judith has believed that her marriage was the healthiest that it could be…that is until she crosses paths with Harley, a new ‘mystical’ client who makes numerous efforts to win her over.
Eventually, she gives in to her desires and breaks her marital vows. Although she does love her husband, the rush and excitement that Judith feels when she’s with Harley surpasses anything that she feels for her husband.
And that concludes my Ungodly Hour Movie Playlist. Now if you’ve been paying attention, or you’re a huge Chloe x Halle fan like me, you should have noticed I left “I Wonder What She Thinks” off of this playlist. I wanted to leave a little mystery, but also to see you guys interact. Tell me what movie you think embodies that song the best. I’ll reveal my answer on my next movie playlist.