Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.


Syleena Johnson is one of the bonafide soul singers of our generation and a true R&B Diva that has maintained a penchant for great music since the late 90s. Her musical diary in the form of her Chapter releases have been stacked with hit songs since the original Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness was released in 2001. Now with a new label, Blakbyrd Music, Syleena releases her sixth installment of the series, the true to life Chapter 6: Couple's Therapy. While she has grown in her years and through her experiences, the quality of music remains grand. An overall review just wouldn't do here, so we decided to deliver a track by track review of Syleena Johnson's Couple's Therapy.


Singer/Songwriter, Destiny ‘Adia’ Andrews was born in St Louis, Missouri but I’d say she hailed from Huntsville, Alabama. She calls herself a mutt when trying to describe exactly where she’s from, as she grew up all over. But “Huntsville is home” she insists. That’s where all her close relatives and her late grandmother – the most important piece to her puzzle—were from. Admittedly, She should probably come with a warning sign, one that reads “slow down, no assumptions just yet!” If you don’t know, Adia is a Gospel singer but not the average.


Following both the somewhat lackluster albums, No Mercy and Trouble Man, T.I. returns with Paperwork, a 15 track project that is essentially the second in a trilogy of albums from the Atlanta emcee - the first being Paper Trail, released in 2008. There are high moments and low points on Paperwork that ultimately allow for T.I. to showcase that he deserves to remain among some of the greats. Paperwork is intricate to the point where there is a sense that there were different personas at play in the studio. Pharrell executive produced the album, and that is a characteristic he has displayed in his previous trips in that role.


A ‘talented triple-threat that no one saw coming’ is the best way to describe new artist, Luke Christopher. With a collection of mixtapes floating around, Christopher has gained a fan base of followers calling themselves #TMRWGANG. He keeps them engaged by releasing a new song every Tuesday on his SoundCloud and #TMRWGANGTUESDAYS has already received over 2 million plays. His latest mixtape TMRW TMRW Pt. 2 can also be found on SoundCloud featuring contributions from Asher Roth, Baily, Shlohmo and Banks to name a few.


The Game has been a mainstay in the world of Hip-Hop since his emergence in 2005. His consistency is commendable. While there may be many varying opinions about the way he goes about handling his business, from his use of name drops to the high number of guests on his albums, it's still undeniable that more often than not Game goes off on a rap and delivers some of the best stuff out. On Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf, Game does something different from his norm, this time aiming to spotlight his own crew Blood Money Entertainment.

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Egos should be checked right before the arrogant thoughts leave their heads. Unity within the music business isn’t really prominent. Everyone has their cliques and entourages but there is no affiliation with other successful musicians. Respect is hardly given. Of course music is ego-driven; ego is shown through award shows and the artist themselves. But the egos have lead to the greatest collaborations and the nastiest rivalries! The most recent rivalry is between new school rappers Wale and Kid Cudi.

 

Who knows where this beef stems from but it seems as if arrogance is a major part of it. On one side there is Wale, a D.C. native, whom through tweets complains about not getting enough recognition in the radio market and through his mixtapes brags about being the best new school rapper out there. On the other side is Kid Cudi hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, whose style is totally different from Wale but seems to hold his own. In a recent interview he egotistically confronts and disses Wale by calling him a "simple a** rapper." This beef was bought to the forefront by Wale but it seemed to fly under the radar. Off Wale’s mixtape, More About Nothing the first verse of the song, "Numbers Won" talks about the strained relationship between him and Cudi. He raps, "I lost my connection with a brethren/athlete mentality said f**k my competition/me and him was homies/maybe we still cool/but every time we book/we stay in our green room." This makes you think can rappers or other genre musicians really be friends or are they bred to be enemies.

 

There are so many failed relationships whether business or personal in the music business. A prime example is G-Unit, the group consisted of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and The Game. Through riffs and differences the latter two have since been disassociated from the group. This exemplifies the term frienemies, friends one moment becoming bitter enemies the next. R. Kelly and Jay-Z went through a similar disagreement. We had two musical geniuses collaborating on albums to them not being able to share the same stage.

 

The ego, according to psychologist Sigmund Freud, represents what may be called reason and common sense. Implementing the ego into music has been going on for the longest time but in the last decade, arrogance has become synonymous. Combining the ego with arrogance has formed a super-ego. The new definition of the super-ego differs from Freud’s. His definition says that the super-ego is the police of the personality whereas the new definition takes that of Freud defining the id. According to Freud, the id is the pleasure principle, it is selfish and "doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction." So these new school rappers are obviously driven by their pleasure principle. And the fact that most of them are super sensitive.

 

The introduction to Jim Jones’ song with the similar title pretty much sums up what a frenemy is. Talking over the instrumental he says, "This sh** is f**ked up cause/some n--- call it tough love/it's crazy cause/you might know a n--- all your life/and he got a twisted ulterior motive/and he just want to see you do bad/see a smile on your face all day/so he just acting like your friend/when he is really your enemy/or your best friend can become your enemy/through the jealousy/so we call those frienemies."

 

Who can you trust? Is the person that you’re the most closest to, going to betray you? Can there really be friendly competition? Decide who you’re going to allow in your circle and who is going to be loyal. The point is business and pleasure do not always mix and the outcome is unstable. Only the strongest relationships will survive the bumps and bruises. Betrayal is not an option in a loyal friendship.

"Friend or foe/who you with?"

 

Also Check Out:

Wale - More About Nothing mixtape Download

The Impending Death of the Battle Rapper

A.D.'s Soapbox - The Rap Game 101

Who Is William Roberts? - Rick Ross

Talent Takes a Backseat

 

About The Author
Alaina Latham
Author: Alaina LathamWebsite: http://www.lainalain3.tumblr.com/
Alaina grew up in “the thoroughest borough, BK.” A proud Brooklynite and a destined writer, for as long as she's been able to write, she wanted to use the pen to craft stories. Graduating from St. John’s University in Queens with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, she began her life goal to become the world’s greatest. She started writing for Parlé in 2010 and will continue to pursue the craft as long as possible. Known for her wit, thinking quick on her toes and her constant use of the exclamation mark, anything is possible!

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