Jaheim After releasing two classic soul albums, Jaheim comes back on the scene with another blockbuster album filled with strong melodies twisted with his original soulful sound. He stops through WHO?MAG to speak on his latest release entitled “Ghetto Classics” and his take on the current entertainment industry.
Interview by Wll Hernandez
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the new album Ghetto Classics? JAHEIM: Ghetto Classics was written, arranged, and produced by me, Kay Gee, and a lot of the writers in my camp. It was produced by Vic, Scott Storch, Costars, my man TO from Track Addicts, my in-house producers Wesley Rogers, Eric Williams, and John Paterson.
WHO?MAG: What’s the subject matter you delve into on this album? JAHEIM:
We gave ya’ll Ghetto Love. Then we gave you Still Ghetto which was a little harder for the streets. This one is more of the classics, something like the Marvin’s, Luther’s, and the Sam Cook’s. Now you got the Jaheim. No skits. 11 cuts. Real talk.
WHO?MAG: How did you end up signing with Kay Gee (Naughty by Nature fame) and his label Divine Mills? JAHEIM: It was God. I got a phone call because I gave this kid a CD that I knew real good. He told me, “I know Vinnie”. I was like “whatever man”. I gave him the tape. We stayed in touch. It didn’t happen right away. It took about 6 months and we went back and forth. I got the deal with Warner Brothers and here I am.
WHO?MAG: How is it working with Kay Gee in the studio? JAHEIM: He’s a gold mine. He knows what he wants. He’s like a squirrel, real quiet trying to get those nuts. He just got them hits and keeps hitting them. The secret squirrel, that’s Kay Gee. He’s definitely an incredible producer. One of best underrated producers in the world and I’ve been around a lot of people. People put people under him. Everybody got him under him, but he’s a great producer. A great ear and he knows music. He knows what a hit record is. That’s something that kinda rubbed off on me. I studied Kay Gee. That’s one of my mentors.
WHO?MAG: Do you have any cameo appearances on this album? JAHEIM: I got my man Jadakiss, Styles P, and a couple of other cats in the industry. I guess with the music breakdowns and the 9/11’s and all the other tragedies in the world, It’s hard to get up with a lot of other artists. Some artists are locked up so we couldn’t do certain things. From the R&B side of things, everybody is trying to be that number one. You know what I mean? So it was hard to get with another R&B artist to make the next cut. I did a song with Syleena Johnson. I don’t know how far it went.
WHO?MAG: What’s the difference between this one and the last one? JAHEIM: The difference between Still Ghetto and this album is that Still Ghetto is more for the ladies. This one is more for the people that lost somebody. They need that love. They need that extra thought in the air when there is nobody near. That is this album here. That is what it is about.
WHO?MAG: How do you feel about the new crop of R&B singers out there? JAHEIM: That’s what it’s about I guess? I can’t say I want everybody to be like me because that’s what separates the boys from the men. No disrespect to nobody, but I’m doing what I do and they doing what they do.