What Will It Take?

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I know I often blog about my love of music that sounds like it belongs in the fryer and served with a biscuit, but just so you know, I also have a great appreciation for strong vocalists and lyricists. I’m talking the likes of Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill (or whoever wrote The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill), D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Faith Evans, Kelly Price and so on.

When I’m really in the mood for some soul music, I’m blasting My Life, Baduizm, and Brown Sugar, not B’Day (although when it’s time to work out, twirk, or get my morning jig in…Bey wins).

Notice all of the albums I just listed are from the mid-90s. Well, that’s because a huge chunk of R&B music – at least in its traditional form or some variation close enough to it – sucks. I have the likes of Teedra Moses, Keyshia Cole, and Amy Winehouse to tide me over, but for the most part, I have to dip back a decade prior for something substantive.

That’s one reason why I’ve taken to Jazmine Sullivan so much. When I heard her rendition of “Resentment,” I fell in love instantly. Beyonce sounds quite good on her version of the song, but I don’t really feel it. There’s sounding pretty and there’s emoting a feeling with your voice. Jazmine is the latter, and for that type of song, it’s what’s required.

I bought her album out of respect for someone with genuine singing talent. I don’t find her album to be perfect, however. Much like many of the albums released this decade, it strives too hard to sound universal. I get that artists (particularly Black ones) don’t want to be limited by any single genre of music, but sometimes it’s OK to just go with what works best for you.

I really appreciate some of the singles from her album. To me, “I Need You Bad,” “Bust Your Windows,” & “Lions, Tigers, & Bears” are some of the best R&B singles to come out this decade. It’s a shame not one of those songs reached their full potential because her labor didn’t give her the proper push.

I know she’s not the best performer yet, and I just acknowledged that her album is only decent, but c’mon, look at half of the non-singing, no-rhythm having, wack ass chicks labels are still trying to stuff down our throats. There are so many girls that look, sound, and dress the same and they’re all very much interchangeable and forgettable.

Why isn’t Jazmine’s label pushing her more? She was nominated for 9 Grammys and she didn’t perform. What is that about?

I really like this cotton commercial. Jazmine sounds fantastic. It makes me want to scream “EFF YO POLYESTER!” to strangers.

But this is only so much. While I think it’s commendable she’s managed to score multiple top 40 hits and rack up 400k in sales with very little promotion, she could be doing so much more if her team gave a damn.

Why does it seem like J Records only knows how to promote one artist at a time. That artist being Alicia Keys. Mario’s last album was pretty good but no one heard it. Monica’s image may not have been the most commercially viable, her last album was pretty solid. I barely heard a peep from either, though.

What is this chick going to have to do to get ahead? Bust her gut to get folks to care about her busting windows?

If Jazmine Sullivan were a bulimic with an addiction to peroxide, would we be seeing her all over the place? I see Christina Milian’s ass every where. Do I need to set up a PayPal account so us fans can put our money together and rent Jazmine a boyfriend for press?

Let me know what I have to do, because even if she does sing like she smells or looks like Snuffleupagus on occassion, she deserves to be larger than what she is.

Do you know how long it took Keri Hilson to score a hit? How many years Christina Milian has been trying? Imagine if that much effort went into Jazmine. Mmph.

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