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#SoundsOfTheCity: The Suffers & Others Play With the Idea of Love

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How R&B moves in Houston compared to rap is similar to watching a 100-meter dash compared to a marathon. Rappers ultimately live for and in the moment, feed the constantly diluting microwavable listening consciousness until they hear otherwise. With singers, it's different; fans are a bit more patient in regards to receiving new music from them. Once upon a time, two years between releases was seen as the norm. Only outliers such as Prince, who decided to give fans and critics a new album every year from 1978 until his death this past April, and Rihanna have decided to supply listeners with new material on an insanely consistent basis. Furthermore, that may be the only time we ever compare Rihanna and Prince, though I’d say the former has taken one traumatic experience to enlarge not only her brand but her sex appeal.

Houston has been embroiled in a biblical amount of rain over the past week. It’s forced Free Press Summer Fest to shift to NRG for the second year in a row. It would have been the perfect time for a ton of R&B crooners to kick in all of their lustful thoughts for some baby-making music. But the usual suspects, such as Lee-Lonn, are busy with pursuits like basking in the glow of his second year performing in the Motown Revue that occurs every Memorial Day Weekend.

Still, doesn’t mean that love and all its many facets haven't found their way into the spectrum recently. The Suffers managed to take a song about the clumsy portions of a honeymoon phase and make a video out of it. One of the scene’s more noted polymaths is singing odes to former adult-film stars. And a woman with her own name tied to her with grace and legacy has already offered a double shot for people to dig into.

The Suffers, “Peanuts”
When the Suffers gave us “Peanuts” ahead of their debut album, we took it and loved it because we don’t get many songs about the early moments of love — those awkward honeymoon stares and glances that regard some broken eggs as something to look at and work with. By the time The Suffers determined a video was necessary, they skipped all the considered treatments like Kam Franklin or a band member or any of the band members like Chapy or Nick Zamora in a love arc. Instead, they tag-team to kidnap all the members of the band for a giant water-balloon fight. Guess there’s even a little whimsy in love and war, even if war means making sure you have pencils to pop your enemies' water balloon.

Jodii B. Basik, “Dear Mya”
Remember Lil Wayne’s “Prostitute Flange” during the height of his creative prowess? Jodii B. Basik of The Numbers Committee has decided to one-up him. It may be a pipe dream to sing about former adult film star (and occasional Houston resident) Mya G, but Jodii has never hid his tongue or felt shame about the ladies he covets. It may be filthy, but he's been a polymath since day one, able to convey women via linguistic odes of carnal pleasure (“Clitar”) or twist his love for good weed and good women into one (“Rasta Love”).

Shun Ward, “So Scared”
Over the course of his career, Shun Ward has mostly lingered in the background, providing choruses for a ton of rappers. His watery falsetto has its mesmerizing moments, and it shines big time on his new single, “So Scared." Trapped between his own thoughts of his girl cheating on him, Ward offers pensive ideas to cope. “Oh paranoia, don’t you have some place to be, oh, I thought I saw you, the sight of you’s not safe for me,” he sings, praying for faithfulness and realizing that the worst might come. It’s not a breakup record, but the kind of overthinking every man does in a relationship.

Coline Creuzot, “Show Me”
When we spoke to Coline Creuzot back in March, she promised that new music was coming. “Truth Is” had already delivered a stake into the idea of male fragility. “Numb,” the single she released in conjunction with “Show Me,” was an emotional ballad that dragged all the pains of a dead relationship out into the open. “Show Me” is flirty, a happier jump thanks to Happy Perez where the talk is not about sex but rather emotional support and dedication to the art of love.

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