As time goes by we forget about some of the people, places and things that might have moved us. How many influential artists have we forgotten about? If their songs are not playing eighty-seven times a day on our local radio stations, we seem to forget them. They become irrelevant unless they are able to return to the spotlight. But what happens when they cannot comeback and magically brainwash people by using the airwaves and infectious melodies? Lyfe Jennings was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars on Sept. 22 (2010) leaving a void in music.
1. Substance: Throughout Lyfe’s career he has been able to blend a wonderful sound with a message that touched upon important issues we deal with in our communities. In his work, he has talked about the life of a prisoner, gender relations, homosexuality and a host of issues that most artists do not usually discuss. Lyfe in many ways had been the reincarnation of the R&B’s conscious which used to speak through artists such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. “Statistics” is a perfect example of how he is cleverly able to discuss a host of social issues in one song.
2. Dynamic: Lyfe has always been a three dimensional person. He has never hidden his mistakes; he blunders at opportunity to help others avoid those same mis-steps. His style is not cute or flashy but it is REAL. Lyfe is someone men and women can look to as a true representation of a man. The ladies can look to him for an honest male perspective because he is believable and men can relate to the reality he presents. “Will I Ever exposes” the depth he puts into his music.
3. Diverse Content: Not only was Lyfe dynamic but he was able to deliver diverse material to his fans. The soulful mix of songs such as “Stick Up Kid” and “Hypothetically” create vivid musical gumbo.
4. Redemption: Mr. Jennings’ life is all about redemption. He is our R&B tragic hero that always seems to rise from the ashes. He continues to let us know dreams come true & the struggle never ends. His testament of the struggle of a man and redemption is reflected through his share of ups and downs but still he has been able to push forward.
5. Women’s Activist: Lyfe has always been a guardian angel to young women. He schooled the ladies on the tricks of those sly slick talking men that look to take advantage of our sisters. “S.E.X.” is a warning to ladies about the pros and cons of sexual relations. (Maybe some of Lyfe’s songs should be included in sex education.)
The song “Statistics” provided females with a realistic breakdown of good men compared to the bad boys. Lyfe’s story is one of struggle and growth. There are no definite answers but we have many questions. As we watch El Debarge make a come back we see that mistakes can sometimes make you stronger. We send our best to Lyfe and hope he continues to dream and rise from the ashes.
We miss you Lyfeâ¦the phoenix!
*NOTE: This article covers Lyfe’s music career ONLY without prejudice and is not related to his personal life.
—— By: Doc