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26 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Ghetto Love Part 2 Nov 20, 2002
By J. Highsmith
Watching BET's Midnight Love one night, I was introduced to a r&b singer named Jaheim. As I was watching his video, I wasn't too impressed with "Could It Be" at first. I saw the song as just another new cat jumping into the r&b game. However, as I heard the song more often, I began to like the song more and Jaheim's voice wasn't that bad, as it reminded me of the infamous Teddy P singing "Love TKO", "Turn Off The Lights", or "Come Go With Me". I was still hesitant in buying "Ghetto Love" but everyone that had purchased the CD gave me rave reviews so I decided to purchase my own copy. "Ghetto Love" turned out to be one of my favorite r&b CDs of 2001. I liked how Jaheim used his sharp "street" edge to his songs. My favorites included "Looking For Love", "Ghetto Love", "Remarkable" w/Terry Dexter, "Ready, Willing & Able", as well as the rest of his singles: "Just In Case" and "Anything" w/Next. With a title of "Still Ghetto" you would expect the same thing from his sophomore CD and ladies and gentlemen that is what you will get. "Still Ghetto" starts off with Jaheim and Duganz doing what they did on a few tracks on "Ghetto Love" by rappin' and singin' straight from the streets. From there, Jaheim does what he does best by lacing his fans with the street anthems and romantic melodies that he is known for now. His 1st single, "Fabolous" is dedicated to the children coming up in the world today. As Jaheim can tell you, he knows how rough it was growing up and being a hardhead so he is trying to motivate children of today to not walk in the same path that he did. While the song may not hit you like "Could It Be", "Fabolous" gets a strong point across and was definintely the right pick for the 1st single. The majority of the rest of the songs deal with relationships and trying to find the right woman. The ladies will definitely be impressed with this CD. "Diamond In Da Ruff" deals with a woman that Jaheim wish he would have treated better and now he realizes how much they could have had if he would have swallowed his pride and been a man about their relationship. "Let's Talk About It" follows the same line as Jaheim wants to talk to someone that he dealt with in the past and try to realize where they went wrong. He was in trouble so much that he couldn't be focused in the relationship. "Put That Woman First" covers territory that has been covered by R Kelly, "When A Woman's Fed Up" and Joe, "Treat Her Like A Lady". However, with the old school feel to the song, this will still be one of your favorites. "Beauty & Thug" features the queen of r&b/hip hop, Mary J Blige and brings pleasant results. Both singers sound very well together and Malik Pendleton, who produced Mary J. Blige's "Seven Days" from her "Share My World" CD does the production. The fellas will be able to relate to "Tight Jeans", as Jaheim tells a tale about one of his good female friends always coming around him wearing tight jeans. While he may have intentions of being a platonic friend, she is tempting him to think of her in other ways. Jaheim also displays the same sentimental side that he showed on "Ghetto Love" with songs like "Backtight", "Special Day", "Long As I Live" and "Everywhere I Am". The latter, is a powerful dedication to his mom who passed away when he was a teenager . On another song, "Me And My B****", Jaheim professes his loyalty for his lady, but at the same time he is saying if you try to "get at her", that might be the last move you make. This may be too much for some r&b fans, but if you understand the concept, you will understand that he isn't trying to offend women, this is just his way of expressing his thoughts on this particular song. If Jaheim would have ended "Still Ghetto" at track 13, I believe that he would have a 5 star CD on his hands. However, tracks 14-16, turn out to be nothing but filler. Especially, "Whut You Want", which puts a damper on 13 straight tight songs. The majority of the production is handled by Kay Gee, formerly of Naughty By Nature and Eddie F and Darren Lighty, which provides primarily the same sound as his debut CD displayed. Overall, Jaheim has a nice sophomore CD on his hands. If you liked "Ghetto Love", you will enjoy "Still Ghetto" but you may enjoy the 1st CD better.
James' Top 5
1) Long As I Live
2) Diamond In Da Ruff
3) Beauty & Thug w/Mary J Blige
4) Me & My B****
5) Put That Woman First
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Ghetto Soul at its Best Jan 27, 2003
By Donovan Juan
A few years ago, I was recovering from a crisis of identity. Having delved deeply into R & B as my music of choice, I began to become one of the homies except for one thing; I did not really fit in. I wasn't really into the banal bling-bling / gangsta lyrics and stance of so many rappers, and I didn't like the annoyingly [imitation] beats of more urban music.
Tyring to find my way, I went back a bit; about 30 years or so to the era when R & B was soulful (hence why it was called Soul) and was about expression. This is the spirit of black music; whether it be African tribal music, soul, jazz or even hip-hop, black music communicates to the soul through the artists pouring his/her own soul into the music. This is lacking today in popular black music (even jazz), so hearing albums like Stevie Wonder's Talking Book and Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, I longed for such a time to exist once again.
In stepped Jaheim. His thuggishness was initially a turn-off for me, until I heard his voice and I said to myself; "this brother can really sing with soul!" His voice reminded me of the ever-soulful Luther Vandross and after hearing the his first album, I had to own it. Throughout Ghetto Love, Jaheim pours out his soul, especially on the mini-songs "Love Is Still Here" and "For Moms". This was what was missing, and it had returned. His thuggish ways were actually real, but he was more like one of the nice guys in the ghetto a roughneck Romeo looking for a woman he could love and treat like a queen.
Almost subconsciously, I began a gradual change to discover soul in music. From the ghetto soul of Jaheim and the Neo-Soul of D'Angelo and Maxwell to the jazz of Miles Davis and the avant-garde John Coltrane and the REAL hip-hop of rap groups like Jurassic 5, I had discovered what I was looking for.
So when I heard that Jaheim had a new album, I had to buy it. listening to samples on his website, I found the album to be as good, if not better than the first. As soon as it hit the stores, I bought a copy. Listening to it, it is obvious that this is a superior album to his first. Gone is the uneven stretch as seen on Ghetto love from Tracks 9-11. This is a mellower yet not saccharine album that is as smooth as Jaheim's voice. The songs have message such as the single Fabulous that talks about issues of self-esteem. And instead of just talking about love and sex, he talks about relationships, in particular putting that woman first. Everywhere I Am is yet another song in honor of his mother, this time he give a full-length track to contemplate her loss and what he wishes she was around to see he had accomplished.
Now, this album would under normal circumstances have lost a whole lot more than one star. Jaheim writes very little of the material and he doesn't play any of the instruments. But, with a voice as soulful as his, and with a delivery that is as sincere as the pioneers of soul, I don't label him a simply pop star with no talent. Soul music is not all about fancy-shmancy one man bands like Stevie Wonder and more recently Remy Shand. The singer has to be sincere with what they sing, and if Jaheim requires other to put his emotions into words, that doesn't bother me. This is an album that will hopefully be remembered as a classic in soul music.
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
The Return of Jaheim. Nov 06, 2002
By The Groove
As a child growing up in the projects of New Jersey, Jaheim Hoagland accumulated more emotional baggage than all of JFK international airport. Having lost his father at two years old, he spent most of his childhood doing the street thug thing, getting into all sorts of petty trouble while being raised in a single-parent household. But when his mother passed away when he was 17, the pain of his loss inspired him to aggressively pursue a recording career, and 4 years later his debut, "Ghetto Love," was released. To be certain, that record wasn't perfect, and it had its share of filler. But what made it worth the trip was Jaheim's voice, which had me do double-takes to make sure I wasn't listening to a Teddy Pendegrass record. On his superior, impressive second album, "Still Ghetto," the flava is r&b with a dash of hip hop, but the influences are clearly rooted in the old school. Throughout its trip of nearly an hour, "Still Ghetto" is honest, rugged, and soulful. Thematically, it's not a huge departure from his debut, as the majority of the songs pertain to relationships and the drama that sometimes comes with them. Mary J. Blige openly gave Jaheim props in a Rolling Stone article, and she appears in the impressive duet, "Beauty and Thug," in which the Queen of Hip Hop Soul's bruised voice goes hand-in-hand with his husky voice. He glides effortlessly through the ultrasmooth slow jam "Long As I Live," and I don't even need to explain what the song "Tight Jeans" is about. "Still Ghetto" is essentially the record Tank's "One Man" should have been. The latter record suffered from tired beats and half-inspired singing, but on "Still Ghetto," Jaheim pulls it off with flying colors. He may be a little rough on the edges, and some may even question his choice of words (um, "Me and My B----," anyone?), but there's no denying his honesty. Some records keep it real, and others keep it right. This record does both.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
The man has done it again!! Nov 18, 2002
To say that I am feeling Jaheim is an understatement.
Who could have thought that "Ghetto Love" would be topped?. Heck, I am still jamming off of "Just in Case". "Still Ghetto" has surely done the deed. Finally I can give the other CD a rest. Soulful, sultry, and tantalizing music.
From his "don't hate on us we're fabulous" single straight to "put that woman first", Jaheim
takes you on a tour of "His" ghetto. Raw yet romantic, Vulgar yet honest. This CD will will be sure to ignite those break-up to make-up lovemaking flames. So beautiful his music but edgy enough to have every sistah searching for her special rough neck. Go ahead, click that "buy" button, your CD collection deserves it!
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Better and Better Mar 23, 2003
"Reformed Music Addict"
Jaheim one of many talented soul artists out there, comparable with Joe, Maxwell and Tyrese but a little better for the moment if you ask me, his dark voice makes the diffrence plus that he actually makes a few more uptempo songs then the average ballad singers. I first heard him a couple of years ago when he was still not that famous. Breakthrough song "Fabulous" is one of the best here, it's a catchy but deep song about growing up, even children sings in the backround. "Put the woman first" a ballad dedicated to women is good, so is his duet with Mary J Blige "Beauty and a Thug" another song i like is the romantic " Me and My b*tch" eventhough it souds like a typical woman hating song it's a romantic ballad, Jaheim had the guts to give the song such a title which i found cool. My favorite song is the uptempo "Let's talk about it" made for success. "Diamonds in da ruff", "Still Ghetto" and "Every which way" are also good. Jaheim's made a fantastic album here, defenitely worth the money!
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