Is there a angry realm in Music?

Posted: September 30, 2006 in African American Stories and Viewpoints, Decision Factors, Editorial, Entertainment

Help me out with this. I am reading a article on, and it has a one on one interview with Natalie Cole. Natatlie has dropped her latest CD, “Leavin” which featured some remakes of artists ranging from Fiona Apple, to Sting. I have listened to some samples and the fact is Natalie has not lost her touch. But what caught my eye was the fact that Natalie has a problem with today’s R&B scene:

BET J: What’s your opinion of the current R&B scene?

Cole: It’s not that I don’t like the music, but I feel that some of the people behind it don’t really understand the history. I don’t think they have any sense of responsibility to the music that makes them want to get it right. I think there’s a disrespect that goes along with a lot of new artists of today. The songs don’t really say a lot; the melodies are not there. It’s kind of like they’re just playing [at singing R&B] and aren’t artistically motivated.

When I was growing up – and, this is not because of my family but just the environment that I was in, which was very musical – nobody was not good. [Laughs]. Everybody could sing. We could get up and jam and not embarrass ourselves. We didn’t need dancers or videos. And we didn’t always need to holler.

I’m just wondering where are vocalists that can bring the chill bumps up – still give us goose-bumps. Or sing something that’ll make us think. I think we are missing that a lot.

Well, with this in mind I think it is debateable. I mean this kind of sounds like my parents not liking rap music! If Natalie is concern with this, why not say, I want to invite Alicia, Beyonce or Cassie to spend time musically with me. It doesn’t mean for making a CD but just a “Meeting Experience” to see what happens between styles. Now I think this is the rising climax of her “anger”.

BET J: Are there any current R&B artists, who speak to you, musically, like Jill Scott or Angie Stone?

Cole: I would like to think that some of the newer artists have potential and could really go somewhere. This business has become so crazy, though. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the industry, right now.  I’m not convinced that it could support the careers of someone like John Legend, India.Arie, or Jill Scott – artists who aren’t quite as visible all the time. They’re not on the cover of every magazine. We know that Beyoncé probably has a 20-year career. The industry is going to make sure of that. But what about the other artists, who just love what they do but don’t look like Beyoncé or have hair flying around? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Beyoncé is a one of a kind. Yet her talent is so much different from the other people I just mentioned. And they are the ones most likely to be overlooked in favor of someone cute.

BET J: What else is popping off?


Cole: This new record has pretty much taken up a lot of my space. So I really want to make sure it gets off the ground. I think the CD is very strong and it shows that I’m still a force to be reckoned with. All these young girls will find out that I’m still here and kicking butt. They are going to have to mess with me. I’m ready to rumble.

I think this statement may backfire on her. Some of today’s r&b artists probably don’t know who Natalie Cole is, nor about her famous father Nat King Cole. They may not heard of “Unforgetable” or any other hit that Natalie that has put out over her career. Secondly, it seems to me that Natalie is doing this to gain attention, like a kid. Come on! This is a legendary artist who was planted by a famous family of music and she is taking jabs at the artists now. You would expect this from someone who doesn’t “respect the game”, but a person who has been through the storm, it’s senseless! She talks about respect in all, but I think she might be demoting herself about this. I remember one time that Little Richard was talking about how african americans have used the art of shaking hips in music. That has never stopped. My thing is this. She needs to calm down! Most of all, she should be a real person to break down this wall of hate and start to educate new artists about the art of “real singing”. Like I said,  I respect Natalie Cole as an artist, and of course an actor. But this statement is not part of her character.


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