With more singers and rappers crossing the line that separates hip hop and r&b, including the likes of Chris Brown and Trey Songz, SOHH recently hit up R&B singer Ne-Yo to see if he would ever take on the role of being a part-time emcee.
Despite having leisurely free-styled over such instrumentals as “A Milli” and “Otis”, the Grammy-Award winning R&B crooner has forewarned fans to not expect the release a of Ne-Yo rap album anytime soon.
“I am in no shape, form or fashion trying to become a rapper,” Ne-Yo promised SOHH. “My lane is R&B, my lane is singing and writing. That’s what I do. Rap is something I do when I’m in the studio and just wilding out, having fun. I’ll mess around with it but don’t expect to hear a Ne-Yo rap album coming anytime soon. I do what I do.” (SOHH)
Recently, 112’s Slim spoke to SOHH and offered his take on seeing entertainment beauties like Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian trying their hand in what he considers to be his lane.
“When you have people like an Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian or whatever, I look at it like this; in this day and age, you have to grow with what’s going on,” Slim told SOHH. “You have people out there that are trying to touch every aspect of entertainment there is. For that right there, I can’t knock them. At the end of the day, they’re touching their dream. I look at it like, the sky is the limit. Go for it. You have people that probably told Drake, ‘No, you can’t sing ‘and’ rap.’ I followed him through his mixtapes — I find it very amazing that somebody from Toronto can come down and really embrace the Texas-feel of music and do a really good job at it. He mixed the style of where he’s from and what he’s going through, and really took it to a whole ‘nother field. I can’t knock it. As long as you believe in what you’re doing, then the sky is the limit.” (SOHH)
Although no stranger to harmonizing over a track, rapper Drake said he favored rapping over singing.
“I could never really take singing on the road the way I can take rapping on the road. I can’t get on stage and blow people away with my range and vocals. I’m a studio singer because I can convey emotion and I have unique melodies, so that’s kind of what I pride myself on, but that’s where it stops. I make music more for people to listen to rather than to hold me as an R&B artist. Not to wish that I couldn’t sing better. If I could sing like Trey [Songz] then yeah, I’d definitely just want to be a singer. If I could do anything, trust me, I wish I could just sit at the piano and sing.” (VIBE)
In late 2009, Brooklyn rapper Fabolous gave his opinion on “sing-songy” type rappers.
“I don’t got no problems with that,” Fab explained in an interview. “Some rappers sing, some rappers rap. It’s about melody I think. Certain people used to get mad at Ja Rule for singing — everybody was mad, you may say he’s not singing on key or whatever, but all these guys are singing and using auto-tune — I’ve never had a problem with it. It’s melody, melodic, a lot of the joints that are hit records have that form to them. 50 [Cent] used to say he was singing, it was different than Ja because of what he was singing about, but it’s still him singing his own hooks. Just because it’s not an R&B guy singing, it’s still singing. It’s the same thing.” (Real Talk NY)
Check out some past Ne-Yo footage below: