Exclusive: Jeremih on Sex’n’B
2009 has proven to be a big year for male R&B singers and sex. Everywhere you turn there’s an R&B singer talking about how they will make your “Bedrock” (Young Money ft. Lloyd), how they are “Number One,” in the bedroom (R.Kelly ft. Keri Hilson) or even claiming to have “Invented Sex,” (Trey Songz). It’s enough to either make you call up a partner and get busy tonight or long for R&B songs not just about sex, but about love and life. (Cue: Anthony Hamilton and Raheem Devaughn, two soul brothers that are equally adept at being sensual and socially conscious.)
If anyone created “the” sex song of 2009 it is Jeremih with the smash hit, “Birthday Sex.” JimmyJazz.com spoke to Jeremih about the year of sex’n’b to get his thoughts on the trend and its impact both musically and socially.
Jeremih notes that sex is what’s selling, but that this is nothing new.
“It’s a level now where people are expecting R&B music to be. Even back in the day music was sexual—probably not as sexually put but there were some pretty sexual songs. So it’s still here because obviously the sex is what’s selling and it's what people want to hear,” he said.
Hate it or not, Jeremih is right with sex’n’b ruling the 2009 charts so according to the evidence it is what’s selling. Still, the lyrical content is more provocative than some of the sexual songs from back in the day. While this is in some cases a positive sign of sexual liberation, it is also a trend resulting in excessive promiscuity and questionable behavior. For example, R&B concerts have now turned into displays of all kinds of sexual acts.
During his promotional tour, Jeremih was witness to the sexually aggressive nature of his fans.
“The front row is like the Mardi Gras vibe. They all had on they little freakum dresses, and the whole time I was performing they just had their tops down and it was just like crazy,” he said.
The music is having an impact and for better or worse releasing the sexual inhibitions of fans, but the troubling part is that many of those fans are youth. One of the side effects of sex driven R&B is that many of these artists have young fanbases who get sold on a message they are too young to fully comprehend.
Jeremih realizes that the sexual songs are affecting youth and he admits that he doesn’t like the fact that ten year olds recite his lyrics.
“I don’t think at all that it’s appropriate. Nowadays kids are doing a lot more different things. They having sex at like ten now and I don’t even think I got hard then. I definitely wouldn’t condone it or propose to tell kids to engage in it. Being as though they are anyway I feel like I might as well do a keep it safe campaign,” he said.
With so much sex’n’b and young listeners gravitating to the music, the music industry will soon have to start similar campaigns to take responsibility for the messages being marketed to their young demographic. However that won’t be enough if the messages in the music are inconsistent and still sell sex to youth. Perhaps less freaky songs will do the trick?
Let’s see what happens to sex’n’b in 2010.