Lyfe Jennings never has been a punk about speaking his mind and he let the world know when he dropped "ABCs" where he called out a gang of R&B cats he respected. But what's up with those R&B artists he didn't call out or even cats that may have been offended? In order to find out what was up we talked to the source. Lyfe sat down and let us know what was on his mind and how he is looking at the game of R&B. Check it out.
State of R&B … I would say it is broken up into two parts. If I could add another label to it I would call it R&B/Hip Hop which is almost like Rap. There are really no cats that do R&B/Hip Hop that can really sing in my opinion. Then you have what people consider old school R&B which is where cats really have to sing and get their chops. R&B/Hip Hop is great but now it’s totally taken the place of what they call old school R&B. It becomes easier for a cat that doesn’t really sing now. Imagine comparing these cats to a Luther Vandross. When I talk to a lot of young cats I find that they are listening to really old stuff because the stuff that’s playing now is not what they will remember… it's not classic.
ABCs … I picked those artists for the “ABCs” because I respect those cats. Some people say I left some people out but I think those cats represent a genre of music. All of those cats can go from the streets, love to talking about something political. The old school R&B is falling behind so I did it to help us up the bar. I just basically pointed out people I respected but some cats took it the wrong way, got real sensitive and real girly.
Anthony Hamilton helped to start my career. He sat me down and talked to me. He helped to build my fan base. When you hear Anthony Hamilton you know it is him. If he talks about love or something political it doesn’t seem like he is trying to preach to you. He’s my James Brown. He has a classic voice.
Kem was a little tricky because I wasn’t always familiar with Kem at the beginning. But it is amazing how incredible his fan base is especially for an artist that some people may not know. For him to sell out four thousand to five thousand seaters (venues) he must have some type of power. Kem is super suave.
Raheem Devaughn … I just had a conversation with that cat just now and I don’t have nothing to say about cat. Nothing!
Musiq is like my little brother Musi is a singer. He has incredible range. He has songs everyone knows. Cats in the streets still know who Musiq is. I have to remind people what he has done for R&B.
Jaheim is street and the ladies love him. I liked his transition. When he first came out he was wearing the baseball cap and the timbs but as he got older he let his dress code and music reflect his growth. He wasn’t trying to stay in the Hip Hop clubs. We almost watched that guy grow up. He’s my Luther.
Why Not R Kelly … I think he is in a different zone. When I think of soul music I don’t think about superstars like him. Talking about R Kelly would almost be like me talking about Michael Jackson … not comparing R. Kelly to Michael Jackson. I am not talking about the ideological R&B. I took the street route. I was talking about artists that helped to shape peoples life in the streets … artists that can talk about love and politics.
Permission … I wanted to write about something besides love. I did "ABCs" to do something different. So I gave cats permission to write about something different with ABCs.
If you want to holla at Lyfe about “ABCs” hit him up yourself @Lyfeonline419 .
Album comes out October 8th, 2013.