Babyface weighs in on the King of R&B conversation and talks working with female R&B artists on SiriusXM's "Bevelations".
Babyface joined Bevy Smith this week on SiriusXM's "Bevelations".
During his conversation with host Bevy Smith, Babyface weighs in on the King of R&B conversation and discusses working with up-and-coming female R&B artists.
SiriusXM's "Bevelations", hosted by Bevy Smith, airs weekdays on Radio Andy.
Babyface Weighs In on the "King of R&B" Conversation: "I will not name a king"
Bevy Smith: I recently had Usher on the show. I had him on like two weeks ago.
Bevy Smith: And it was on the show where he really went off about Puffy saying that R&B is dead. And he was just like, "You know, listen, I don't know what kind of games you playing, but R&B could never be dead."
Bevy Smith: I asked him about King of R&B. What's your thoughts on the, the current day, alive, you know, someone who's alive cause dead, we got so many iconic Kings of R&B, but who do you feel is right now a modern day, current artist, who's still making music who could take that title of a King of R&B?
Babyface: King of R&B. So who, who are we talking about?
Bevy Smith: Who, I mean, you know, the names Usher had been throwing around, the name Chris Brown has been thrown around. Usher told me that he's willing to accept that title King of R&B.
Babyface: That he's the King of R&B?
Bevy Smith: Yeah.
Babyface: It's, it's interesting. When you, when you say king, what makes you king? Is it how many hits that you have or is it how many people you touch, you know how many people that you give that feeling to where that when they think of home, they think of R&B and, and that you take them and you make them feel good. Um, R&B's a really hard one to figure out like a king of, even when we picked the King of Pop. And when Michael picked the King of Pop was, cause it was overwhelming with the hits that he had and, and the songs that he had. So it's just a little overwhelming. So when people, if you're doing it based off of hits, then, then we can go down the line and see how many top tens you had and how many, top 10, you know, period, we can, how many number ones you've had and you could pick it that way, but then one may argue that well that's, but that even though you had that, that wasn't my song.
Bevy Smith: [laughs] Right. Right.
Babyface: So it's so hard to call on that and, and you always say the people that are here today and, and, and those that are, that are alive and we have one that's alive, but he he's going away for a while. But, um,
Bevy Smith: Who? Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, certainly if he had not been in the trouble that, you know, if R. Kelly would had not, you know, destroyed his life, imploded it, um, certainly he would be in the running for that conversation.
Babyface: No question, no question.
Bevy Smith: Certainly
Babyface: No question. So it's an interesting thing. Cause, cause this was, this is what makes it difficult. Today, You have what would, uh, songs that everyone knows, uh, off of what they heard on the radio and everything, and then you have the streamers.
Bevy Smith: Yeah.
Babyface: So you can have, um, you can have people that will go to a Chris Brown concert and know every single word and they'll have some of us that go there. We won't know the words. But we'll love how it feels, but we won't know everything.
Bevy Smith: Yeah.
Babyface: And the same thing can be for, for Usher.
Bevy Smith: Right.
Babyface: So it's really hard to, um, to say, because today that the audiences are so different from each other, that it's not like everybody is on the same page as they were with Michael Jackson back in the day. So it's, it's so it's a little harder.
Bevy Smith: Yeah. Well it was a stand alone. There was no denying it
Babyface: But I, you know, look, I, yeah, I can't, I will not name a king. I will not call one, uh, because I love all the artists and if I was gonna lean, I would, I would obviously lean towards Usher because, you know, it's connection.
Bevy Smith: That's right.
Babyface: But it's un- but it's unfair for me to, to, to just do that.
Babyface on Learning from the Younger Generation of Female R&B Artists:
Bevy Smith: What did you learn most when you were in the studio with them and who did you learn the most from?
Babyface: Hmm, good question. I learned from all of them, but I think that the biggest thing about the younger R&B girls today is that they all write. And they all are very interested in what they're saying and, and how it's said. And, and they wanna, they have to be a part of that process. Which is very independent. And I think, and I love that part of it. Um, and I don't try to say, "Well, because I did this and I accomplished this then I know I'm right." Um, I, I will listen cause there's something for me to learn. And then at the same time, they also came in with their, uh, minds open to willing to learn from me as well. That's what made it a, a great experience. Yeah. Um, but more than anything, I just, I saw that they, there's an independence that's there that didn't quite exist before. I think we all felt kind of like, we were all just whatever the record company says.
Bevy Smith: Yeah.
Babyface: Whatever they tell us, that's what we, that's kind of what we have to do. And, um, and it, it was, it would always be the superstars that would like say, "Nope, I'm not doing that." And they they'd be able to go beyond, but best way to put it is every girl that comes in now, they come in like they're already superstars.
Bevy Smith: Amen.
Babyface: So, and they approach it that way, which is not a bad way to think. You know, doesn't always make it easy, getting everything together, but, you know, um, but that is, that's the way you gotta think is like, you know, if you, if you really wanna stand out and be your own person, then you kind of have to think like a superstar.