The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Future R&B Star: Jack Freeman
This Week's Subject(s): Will.i.am's irony; Lil' Wayne's unirony; R&B vs. Rap
We've written this a time or two before, but we always thought it's curious that, despite Houston's size and rich music history, it has yet to grow itself a legitimate male R&B vocalist. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jack Freeman.
We first saw Freeman satirically demolishing the hook from The Niceguys' "Not At All" several weeks ago. As soon as we did, we began searching him out on the Internet looking for more music. None could be found. Because, as it were, he was barely beginning his music career.
We eventually got in touch with Freeman, who told us about his debut album he's prepping, how he quite playing college football to pursue music and why he might end up being Houston's flagship male R&B artist. But that's not what you're going to read about here.
Ask A Future R&B Star: Usually we'll pick one subject topic from the rap/music world to discuss here, but there has been a bunch going on. So what we're going to do is give you a headline, and you tell us if it's legitimate or stinky crap news. It's easy to figure out. You'll get the hang of it, we're certain. Here we go:
You heard about the new Michael Jackson album his brothers are putting out, right? Will.i.am is calling it "distasteful," essentially saying that its exploitative. This seems to fly in the face of the "Let's Only Make Songs That Might Get Picked Up For Commericals" mantra that the Black Eyed Peas have adopted these past few years. So, is Will.i.am right, or is he is a hypocrite with weird hair?
Jack Freeman: I think it's a little of both, actually. On one end, sometimes you can't tell the motive behind one's actions. However, the are his brothers and Will.i.am, well, he's not. So in that aspect I feel he's wrong for kind of butting into "family business."
The real question is, would we be having this discussion if the re-release of the Thriller album, which he produced remixes on, came out after MJ's death? Hmmm. To answer the other part of the question, yes, Will has terrible hair. He needs to work on that.
AAFR&BS: Lil' Wayne's new Bogey Blunts are now available for purchase in stores. Is this great, or horse rubbish?
JF [laughs]: Being that I'm not a smoker, I could care less... I thought all the "cool kids" were smoking papers now anyway.
AAFR&BS: The Game and MMA fighter Rampage Jackson are arguing again over which of the two makes a better Mr. T in The A-Team. The question here is obvious: Who gives a shit?
Jack: I'll tell you who gives a shit... both of them [laughs]. For two reasons. First, Rampage's fight career may be in question (to say the least). Second, because The Game still has a lot of explaining to do with that god-awful Belly sequel. I'm a little disappointed in the people who gave that mess the green light.
AAFR&BS: Let's say that, for whatever reason, God decided that he was going to get rid of one music genre in its entirety; just wipe it out of existence. And let's say he had a tournament in his giant God-brain to determine which genre it was that got the axe. And he was trying to decide between rap and R&B. Which one should he pick? Why?
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JF: Well, my friend, let's see. On the rap side, it seems like any birdbrain with a microphone raps these days, i.e. half of the "mainstream" hip-hop scene. And most of that percentage are people who wish they could sing, but can't, so they either use Auto-tune or make an overly stupid sex song to compensate and show their "sexuality" (or to hide their "other" agendas).
But on the R&B side the pickings are slim. There aren't many R&B artists out, let alone good ones. Many of them are trying so hard to be pop crossovers that I'm not sure R&B really has much of an identity, with the exception of a few that really are doing their thing. Therefore, being that you can not have R&B and still have soul, jazz, blues (which is the root of all of these genres), I say get rid of R&B.
I mean, it's already killing itself, so why not let God make quick work of the task?