My instant response in two words “Too Soon….!”
The internet and all of social media is still going crazy over rookie artist Jacquees boasting claim to the throne as the one and only King of R&B. Just when you may have thought things cooled down news of a petition to ban him from doing music covers surfaced last week.
At one point on the air waves you could almost instantly identify artists within 30 secs to 1 minute into their song.
Jay-Z — It’s Hov, It’s the Roc In Here, Yeah said with a ch sound to say “Ch-eah
Michael Jackson — A fake laugh “he he” or “whoo”
T-Pain — Autotune —when he first started he was the only one using or saying “Nappy boy”
I bring up all of these “catch phrases” for a reason. The reason being that I only recently discovered Jacquees after listening to him for almost 2 years now. Wait what? How does that even happen? It’s simple, he doesn’t stand out, he doesn’t have a signature tag or trademark to his songs at all; at least not a notable or memorable one. There was no way to uniquely identify him at all. Day in day out in rush hour I’m hearing his song “Bed” for over a year, is it even more sad that I thought he was singing “And they be looking out for Queen” instead of “Quee”. When we had to evacuate to Atlanta for Hurricane Irma we were flooded with his song over and over on the airwaves but still I didn’t have an interest to look then. I didn’t search for him until I heard a catchy tune on the long drive back from the next two towns over for a routine trip to the only black beauty supply store south of Sarasota. And I hear “You”, the song spoke to me, and is so relatable. I went to Google to search him using the lyrics. Of course I find an official music video. I also found other songs and videos from years and years ago. “How did I miss this guy?” I thought to myself as I listened to some songs and soon had picked some solid personal favorites “You” of course and “Lay Ya Down”.
I shared the video “You” with my husband for laughs. He liked his style, similar to his own musical style and began exploring his songs on YouTube. It took him some time but it clicked, and he remembered seeing Jacquees on an episode of Hip Hop Moguls over a year ago. He recanted Birdman saying “We have Jacquees coming through…then later saying “I’m going to make you a star”.
What I am saying at this point is that you don’t have to be living under a rock to have missed this guy before this whole claim has come about. So don’t beat yourself up for feeling out of touch by any means.
From the likes of notable disappearing acts such as Jay Holiday which the ongoing joke online has been folks been waiting for him to get out of “Bed” for 10 years now; a play on words using the sole title bearing his claim to fame. I watched shamefully as a woman asked loud enough to hear “Are you valet?” said it all. He’s neither the 4th or 5th in running to King of R & B but just another contributor to the genre. Although, I really liked J. Holiday, he can also have a seat.
The truth is you have to stay humble in this game and respect the ones who have come before you. They paved and made the way. The ones who even gave you a gate to approach and a door to open in the first place.
Biblically speaking from Luke chapter 14 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
You don’t have to be a devout Christian to understand the moral of the story and I’m not here to convert you. The irony in referencing this bible verse was that there were pictures of his mother’s beautiful wedding were posted around the time that he staked his claim. And though they both looked like royalty in the photos the truth of his error remains. He invited himself to the table before being invited, humble/humiliated enough, and exalted enough to have a seat.
My overall thoughts of him, he is a great artist and though he’s been grinding for years he hasn’t been grinding in the limelight of mainstream long enough. He needs time to develop in the spotlight, continue to build his catalog of HITS. Not just songs but solid hits that crack the billboard charts, a cross over jam, and some grammy’s to tout. Until then, he needs to keep working.
But even as Mike Epps said in a recent interview “Don’t get too cute…”
We ALL know Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop just as fans of Rock N Roll claim Elvis to be the King of that genre. Shamefully Wendy Williams in great error claimed him to be the King of R&B. Wait what!? After that statement I seriously questioned her as a representative for anything of high social media status and prowess. As for Chris Brown, I honestly consider him a pop artist now, he crossed over years ago.
I love R&B! My knowledge of the genre, notable songs and artists is very extensive. The bottom line, in my book, the King of R&B is debatable. There are so many men who have contributed majorly to the genre and “fathered children” both in songs and new notable artists that they created major hits for behind the scenes like Kevin “Babyface” Edmonds, Neyo, The Dream, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Quincy Jones. Then the front runners past and present, Ron Isley, Tyrese, Usher, Jodeci just to name a few as that listing isn’t all inclusive by any means. I do not care to mention him we cannot fail to list R. Kelly though he’s been dethroned for poor moral behavior.
There are key factors to consider. Longevity of career, expanse of repertoire and catalog of actual R&B hits, awards and accolades, popularity and reception to audience of the genre. I start with “Longevity” first because from there a lot are disqualified at that start point before even reaching the next two important measures for consideration of such a title of clout.
I think that BET should take a vote on their website and settle the score with an award on their 2019 Show, and for that King to be honored by ALL who were considered in the pool singing HIS songs. I don’t want the Grammy’s to do it, it has to be BET.
Ending conclusion, this was definitely a publicity stunt and it worked. We ALL took the bait. I’ll be waiting on BET to settle the score until then it’s very much debatable who is the King of R&B.