Ghetto Love, Jahiem Warner Bros.

Paul Wong
Catch Staind tonight as they roll through EMU on the “Wake the Fuck Up” tour, along with Godsmack, Cold and Systematic.<br><br>Courtesy of Elektra

When I first took a look at the cover of the new Ghetto Love LP by Jaheim, I thought to myself, “Another R&B singer trying to double as a thug.” Well, I wasn”t altogether off-base in my assertion, but I will admit that Jahiem is not just another voice in the seemingly endless shower of monotonous artists who finally got themselves a record deal.

He has an original singing voice that is reminiscent of no other contemporary singers a rarity in today”s R&B industry. He”s got that voice that says, “Baby PLEEEASE don”t leave me” one that seems not to be so prevalent in the “feelin” on your booty” age of emotionless, uninspiring ballads. Sure enough though, he isn”t beyond the stereotypical image that

So many are trying to stray away from. The intro shows him leaving jail to jump start his career, and the rest of the record has that street-life flavor that he feels is necessary to have in order to maintain his image.

Interestingly enough, the track “Lil” Nigga Ain”t Mine,” an ode to the baby mamma drama featuring rappers Castro, Duganz and Precise, is probably one of the most entertaining songs on the record, albeit the most negative one.

Jahiem has great producers and great guest-stars (Next, Lil” Mo, Miss Jones) backing his respectable voice. The record is by no means disappointing, despite his overused image, and he definetly has a career ahead of him, so long as he can prevent himself from shooting up a club, beating up his executive producer, or being caught in a courtroom with weed in his pocket.

Grade: B

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