|News| Vibe’s Long Convo With Jaheim

Vibe recently sat down with Jaheim for an extremely ‘long conversation’. During the interview, the soulful singer discusses the concept of his latest video, staying true to his musical style, being called the male Mary J. Blige, comparisons to Teddy Pendergrass, his hood image/sound, his recent run in with the law, the possibility of leaving music, addresses rumors, and much more.

Your first album 2001’s Ghetto Love was a success right out-the-box. Because of the ‘hood feel of your lyrics, people started to refer to you as the male Mary J. Blige. Did you see any similarities?

I can honestly say that early on I marketed myself off of Mary J. Blige. When I sat with her, I told her that. I told her, “You can utilize my ideas, my riffs and flip it. Because I’m going to do the same with you [laughs].” From that conversation, we became great friends. We recorded a few records together. I just wanted to let her know that she did something for me that meant a lot to my career starting off. Mary has the ghetto. But her music is more classy than just ghetto. She doesn’t make the “Nigga, fuck you…” kind of records. I wanted to be hard hitting, but for the brothers. I have a lot of different things going on in my music: Marvin Gaye mixed with a little David Ruffin with 20 percent Luther Vandross. And then there’s Aretha Franklin, who is my favorite female singer in the world.

During you career, you have had to deal with a few tabloid stories pertaining to everything from your sexual orientation—which is a question it seems all R&B singers have to deal with—to your March 28 arrest for marijuana possession. What have you learned about dealing with such talk?

You know what I learned, man? I learned that if you are not doing anything then people have nothing to talk about. When I was on the Wendy Williams show she started to go there with me. She took [my arrest] as a joking matter and it really wasn’t. But you have to be realistic. People take shots at you. I wasn’t mad. I understand how the business is.

Are you planning on leaving music altogether?

Well, this is a tough business, man. I want to get into movies. Hopefully my fans will understand that. I want to sit down for a minute and just do the Hollywood thing.

Read the full article here: A Long Convo with…Jaheim (Via Vibe)