SOUL RECKLESS 08: Ne Yo ‘In My Own Words’

When Ne-Yo penned his 2004 debut “In My Own Words” he sung “So Sick,” “When Your Mad” and “Let Me Get This Right,” songs he seemingly repeated in 2008, except this time they weren’t songs. In 2008 Ne-Yo’s words hit Yung Berg, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Rihanna, R. Kelly, and others while also steaming up the charts with “Closer,” “Miss Independent,” and Jennifer Hudson’s “Spotlight”. Kicking the year off with speed, Ne Yo found himself booked at Cobb County jail for driving in excess of 100 mph without a drivers license in his Range Rover less than a month after he filed suit against Rowe Entertainment for booting him from R.Kelly’s “Double Up” Tour. While Ne-Yo escaped jail time for the Feb. 19 incident, the singer was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and serve at least 24 hours of community service. Even though the major story was Ne-Yo’s court case, blogs had more than fun pointing out Ne-Yo’s booking photo. Because Ne-Yo has a hat on nearly 99.9 percent of the time at award shows, music videos and other videos no one really knew what the “Gentleman” looked like without it. When Ne-Yo’s booking photo hit the net it was a wrap for the crooner. Blogger Necole Bitchie just about summed it up: “Well Jesus Joseph and Mary, it’s about damn time someone figured out the mystery of the caps (sarcasm). And ya’ll betta not come with the cone head jokes. He looks aiight to me, could look worse..” All head jokes aside, Ne-Yo kept us talking throughout the summer, especially after he checked Britney Spears: “I heard that she was upset with me and you know, I don’t care.” According to Ne-Yo Spears stiffed him on numerous occasions when it came time to hit the studio and expected him to hold songs for her album “Circus”. Claiming that he had not been paid Ne-Yo dropped the ‘madness’ on Britney’s people stating “I’m like wait, wait-wait-wait. Until ya’ll ain’t cut me a cheque, I’m givin’ away my music. It may’ve been written with Britney in mind, but it’s not hers. My door swings both ways. Whitney and Michael – those are artists you wait on. But Britney? Nah, no yet. You got a little workin’ to do before you get to where I sit on a song for you. Sorry.” Britney has yet to say something about that. Ne-Yo ended up giving a song or two to Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. For those of you who caught that “my door swings both ways” piece of Ne-Yo’s speech he had something for you too in September. Taking on rumors that he had written songs about another man, mainly taken from the song “Forbidden Fruit” Ne-Yo said the track was written for Shakira. “I wrote that for her. She wound up not taking it. Nobody makes the assumption that I’m a songwriter and I do write songs for women every now and then. People don’t gather that so then they go, ‘Oh, what is this? What is NeYo doing’ … is he trying to tell us something ? Questions Ne-Yo quickly responded to stating: “No, I’m not trying to tell you anything. You shouldn’t have downloaded the song, pirates !” Ms. Spears’ and internet pirates were not the only ones getting smacked by Ne-Yo. Yung Berg, who by this time had already made his infamous “I don’t like dark butts” speech, was on his way to getting a smack courtesy of Ne-Yo or so he said on Big Boy’s Neighborhood Morning Show: “Yung Berg. I can’t respect a person that’s not trying to do nothing original. From an artist standpoint it sounds like a rip-off of what Lil Wayne did. It sounds like what ‘Pain’ (T-Pain) is doing right now. It just upsets me. That is what’s wrong with the business, the music, there’s no originality anymore.” On the same show Ne-Yo made his most controversial statement talking about Chris Brown, his “Stomp The Yard” co-star and at one time touring partner. While the whole thing got played up and interpreted as an “I hate Chris Brown rant”, Ne-Yo basically called Chris out for being a little ripe after a show. “Chris Brown gave me a hug after a show, one of the first shows we ever went on and he stunk after that show.” “As a matter of fact I let him know after that show and he laughed it off and kept it pushing.” Wrapping up his 2008 edition of “In My Own Words”, Ne-Yo put Chris Brown and Rihanna’s relationship on front street stating “Just months prior to them dating record companies were trying to put me with Rihanna to build up some controversy.” Confirming what many had already assumed, Ne Yo gave The Sun his take on the young power couple: “I’ve hung out with them so much that I know that it’s the real deal and they’re in a relationship.” “They tear hair out of each other and argue. I’ve seen them kiss and make up like other couples do.” After being virtually quiet and accepting six Grammy Award nominations for much of November and December Ne-Yo made a statement that still has everyone talking – this time the wrong and possibly most damaging ‘words’ he’s ever said. Apparently not learning from Yung Berg’s “Dark Butts” comment, Ne-Yo slipped on an interview with radio personality Jenny Boom Boom. Stating “All the prettiest kids are light-skinned anyway,” Ne-Yo found himself in more hot water….the question is, was it hot enough to scorch his career for the next few months like Yung Berg who at present day is still getting it from his slip. So far Ne-Yo has not addressed the incident, where he also dismissed rumors about him and Chris Brown hating each other, but his camp has pulled the video from nearly every video outlet including YouTube. That’s a wrap for Ne-Yo’s “In My Own Words” 2008 edition. On a bright note though, Ne-Yo had a great year musically. As previously mentioned, the “Year of the Gentleman” singer picked up six Grammy Award nominations, penned songs for Jennifer Hudson and reportedly Whitney Houston and gave nearly $35,000 to an Atlanta area elementary school’s music program. That’s #2 ladies and gentleman… stay clicked to Singersroom (Friday) to see who made the #1 spot on Soul Reckless 08′ ! Click Here for a recap of the top 19 moments.


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