Exciting news for TLC fans! Chilli & T-Boz are planning new collabs with Drake, Ne-Yo, & J. Cole as they told Entertainment Weekly they're all planning on going to the studio. The music will likely coincide with the release of their summer biopic on VH1 — starring Drew Sidora, Keke Palmer, & Lil Mama as TLC — Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story. Plus, TLC will be performing on July 27th as part of the two-day Mixtape Festival in Hershey, PA. Lots of great tidbits and, I think it's safe to say that many of us will lend an ear to new TLC this summer!
"Everybody has shown us love. Not one person has said 'No,' and that’s amazing. So we’re just going to go in and demo and demo and figure it out. I talked to Dallas [Austin] today, we’re Skyping to see if I want to do this song that he has. I just left the studio last night. I go in again tomorrow."
Last night SNL saw Jamie Foxx hosting and Ne-Yo as the musical guest, and it was a safe bet that Foxx was gonna get in on the live tunes as well. He did just that by performing "Birthday Song" with 2 Chainz in the monologue above, while Ne-Yo performed "Let Me Love You" (of course) and "She Is" below. Were there any good skits last night? Might have to jump on Hulu and find out later today.
Last night, the Soul Train Awards aired on BET and performances came from the likes of John Legend, 2 Chainz, Miguel, Ne-Yo, Keyshia Cole, TGT, and Elle Varner. You can watch and/or re-live the performances above and below as G.O.O.D. Music kicks it off with Legend's "Tonight (Best I Ever Had)" and then 2 Chainz right under with "Birthday Song", "I'm Different", and "Ghetto Dreams". Then there's Miguel with "Adorn", Ne-Yo "Let Me Love You", Keyshia Cole "Trust & Believe" and "Enough Of No Love", TGT (Tank, Ginuwine, & Tyrese) with "Stay", "If You're Lonely", and "Zoom", and finally, Elle Varner with "Refill". Enjoy!
“I feel like the essence of what it is to be an artist has been lost ... The work ethic of some of these younger artists that I'm coming across is embarrassing.”
In a recent interview with AOL, singer-songwriter Ne-yo called out some fellow R&B artists. The 30-year-old entertainer, who recently dropped his 5th studio album, R.E.D. on the 6th, explained that artists today have it easier with the use of shortcuts like Youtube and autotune.
The smooth-talking crooner discussed how he has a great appreciation for classic R&B artists like Marvin Gaye who he described he would love to play in a movie if given the opportunity.
“I think Marvin Gaye's story is incredible. I got the opportunity to sit down with Barry Gordy not too long ago and just talk to him about what it was like back in those days. Marvin Gaye was a drummer. He wasn't even an artist, he was the drummer for everybody else and then they decided to give him a shot. I just feel like his story is really incredible.”-Neyo
Growing up, I was exposed to such classic acts. I could sing along to pretty much any Motown song. I now realize how these great artists, from Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, have been so crucial to the development and recognition of R&B as a genre for the real true artists.
An element of that artistry has been lost with a lot of today's artists. (I’m starting to sound like my father!) An average voice can be covered with auto-tune and a bangin’ beat that you can dance to. Mediocre writing is no longer an issue. You can hire a writer, or 3, to handle that for you. A lot of artists aren’t producing their own music like they used to either.
But this isn’t to say that musicians now, aren’t working as hard as they used to back in the day. As the style of music is changing, every track doesn't need a singer who can belt out every note or background tracks with live bands. With more and more people trying to make it into the business, I have all the more respect for those grinding 2 times as hard so that they can stand out. Youtube and mixtapes have allowed for some of today’s biggest artists to get where they are (Justin Bieber, J. Cole, Drake, etc.), so Youtube's shining stars shouldn't be thought of as taking the easy way out. It's becoming more and more difficult to stand out, so I wouldn't discredit those getting it how they can.
Ultimately, I think we should pay homage to those who came before us in this industry and paved the way for these young artists. Take a minute to appreciate them for their amazing artistry, their raw and natural singing capabilities, songwriting skills and unique and creative production.
Ne-yo is right to a certain extent. Yes, some artists aren’t what they once were, but that isn’t to discredit them and their dedication. A lot of the young people today are far different than the artists of the Motown era, but they’re still artists nonetheless. The essence of artistry hasn’t been lost. It’s evolved.
Hats off to Ne-yo for staying true to this multi-faceted, classic, Marvin Gaye-style artistry. Make sure you go out and cop his R.E.D. album to hear it in full effect.
What do you think about artists today in comparison to those back in the day?