3LW’s Kiely Williams has a big smile on her face as she sits in Manhattan’s Battery Studios listening to “I Think I Wanna Leave With You,” off the trio’s upcoming second LP, A Girl Can Mack.
“I wanna leave with you/ Do you wanna leave with me?” she asks with her groupmates Adrienne Bailon and Naturi Naughton on the chorus.
But the girls’ frankness as they sing about scooping up guys in the club isn’t why Kiely has a look of mischief on her grill. It’s her rhyme “I hang with big dogs/ So what’s a Lil’ Bow Wow?”
“I’m ‘a keep it foul now – no, we weren’t [dating],” Kiely, 15, said of rumors linking her and the 14-year-old rapper. “That’s what’s funny about the whole thing. I’m so over it. I’ve been over it. I was never into it. Little boys like to throw rocks at girls when they like them.
“You know what?” she continued, further delving into the motivation behind the lyric. “He was trying to play us out twice on national television. I had to come with something. I don’t wanna leave with you because you’re like 3 feet tall. I can’t mess with that.”
As for how people will take the teen trio singing about exiting a hot spot with a hunk, the youngest member of the group is just as punchy giving her opinions on that.
” ‘I Think I Wanna Leave With You,’ that’s one of our party songs,” Kiely said. “What we think is cool about these songs is we are getting older and we do have an 18-year-old in the group. We can’t isolate ourselves and be like, ‘Oh, we really don’t think about this.’ We really do. It’s normal, we’re teenagers. We think that the song is keeping it real, what someone would be thinking on the dance floor. She’s like, ‘Ugh, he is fine. I wanna leave with him.’ ”
The trio said to expect more mature themes this time around.
“We wanted to show a huge [growth] from our first album to our second,” said 17-year-old Naturi. “Not too grown-up – we’re not trying to be too old, but it has been two years and we have different issues to talk about.”
“And all our fans will be able to appreciate us because they’ll be moving on to the next stages of their life,” Adrienne added. “That’s a wonderful thing. I think this album just rocks the first [one]. The improvement from the first album to the second album is amazing.”
“We wanna take it everywhere,” Naturi said, jumping back in. “The sophomore album is so important, you gotta make sure you come correct.”
That means wrangling the cream of the crop to help them mold songs. The girls said they’ll head to the studio this week with P. Diddy for “Close to You,” a track they jokingly refer to as their “gold digger song.” Work with producer Allstar is scheduled to follow soon after.
Of the 10 songs they’ve already completed, “Funny How Love Feels” sticks out to Naturi. “Sometimes you feel everything in your relationship is going so right, sometimes it feels so wrong,” she said of the cut’s theme.
Kiely, on the other hand, is really feeling “A Girl Can Mack.” “The title track is saying to a guy, ‘I really like you, but don’t think I’m not doing the same thing you’re doing. When you’re at a club, I’m at the club too.’ It’s an empowering song. When I hear it, I’m like, ‘Yeah, a girl can mack.’ ”