I Can't Call It: Reality Show - Jazmine Sullivan

Posted On Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's funny, whenever I talk about Jazmine Sullivan there's ALWAYS a sense of pride in my voice. You know, with her being from Philly and all. But I'll spare ya'll with all the "I love my city, Philly this, Philly that, we got the best chicken cheesesteaks & soul singers, blah, blah, blah" hoopla and just focus in on Jaz's newest album on tap. Now, not too many folk can front on Jaz cause let's be honest, shorty probably has the best voice in R&B...period. I mean, don't get it twisted I know B can sing but Jaz can "sang" and there's a HUGE difference. A minute ago, I heard about Jaz retiring from the game cause of label politics and her needing a break and I was a 'lil salty at first cause it was like, how is shorty gonna retire? Like Jay said, the game needs her! But then, I came back to reality and realized that damn near every entertainer who says they're retiring, never does. So I knew in a minute I'd have some new Jaz on my hands and since that day is finally here, you already know you're mos def looking at a happy camper.

"Reality Shows" sets off with the Salaam Remi produced 808 heavy "Dumb" featuring Philly's own Meek Millz and has Jaz going in on her man, "I know you know you ain't right, please stop, I know where you was last night/and if you gonna lie, then at least be good/I heard you was in your old hood/I thought we were past these days, no more games I believe/so now what I hate the most, is you think you're so smart, you think you're foolin' me." The album's 3rd single "Mascara" has Jaz breaking down the hoopla that these video chicks and IG models gotta go through on a daily basis to stay fly, "Yeah my hair and my ass fake, but so what/I get my rent paid with it and my tits get me trips, to places I can't pronounce right/he said he'd keep it coming if I keep my body tight, and them bitches stay mad cause I'm living the life/cause I'm living the life, oh most people think I'm shallow/cause I'm always dressed like I'm going out to the club/but I gotta keep up cause it's new chicks poppin' up everyday, and they want the same thing." "Silver Lining" has an ill Stevie Wonder "Inner Vision -ish" feel to it, the reggae themed Chuck Harmony produced "#Hood Love" has Jaz talking about that good ole fashioned hood love that outlast any and everything while "Veins" has Jaz breaking down that addiction that keep and feeds that hood love.

"Stupid Girl" has got an Amy Winehouse vibe to it, "Stanley" has Jaz telling her man he needs to pay her some attention while "Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)" is flat out beautiful and has Jaz talking about how even with her flaws and all that she's still a masterpiece.  Now, usually I've got one track on an album that stands out and is my fave but with Philly's finest I got 3 of 'em checking in with that fave tag. First up is "Brand New" that has Jaz telling a story of a shorty holding her man down while he persues his rap dreams only to get disssed once he blows up, "if I had a dime for every nigga with a rap dream and all the girls that be riding working two jobs/but her boy stays at home making mixtapes, with a don't disturb on the doorknob/then I buy a cheap dress every Friday, cause I go to every show on the weekend and I gotta look good when I'm reppin' him/he say he about to sign a deal he about to blow and gotta move to Atlanta we about to go/I finally see the light and I'm glad I stayed/but the label said he should be single/well baby f-ck you and then the new crew that you're rollin' with,they don't know you like I do/I swear when niggas start making money, they start acting funny/there's no love when they come up, they get it brand new." Next up is "Let It Burn" which samples After 7's "Ready or Not" and Jaz's pen game is so bananas that even though she samples a R&B classic, she's able to make it her own. But to knock "Reality Show" all the way outta Citizen's Park is the album's 1st single "Forever Don't Last" that has Jaz breaking down over an ill acoustic guitar how love doesn't last in the game, "I had high hopes for us baby, like I was on dope for us baby, chasin' after a high that I'd never get back again/so we turn into three long years and it became painfully clear that we would never see those days again."

At the end of the day, Jaz is a beast! Her voice is bananas and her pen game is just as sick! My only beef with Jaz’s albums is she'll always have these REALLY great songs that are flat out bananas but then the rest of her albums always trail off to me. Like with her debut album, you’ve got these three MONSTER songs like “Need You Bad”, “Break Your Windows” and “Lion, Tigers & Bears” that I will probably bang for eternity but at the exact same time I couldn’t name another song off that album if you gave me a million dollars. She mos def stepped up her game on her sophomore album “Fearless” but with “Reality Show” she did the damn thing. See, this is the album I’ve been waiting for Jaz to make from day one. Now don’t get it twisted, “Reality…” still follows in the footsteps of her past endeavors and what I mean by that is you've got your 3 great songs that I REALLY love but on "Reality..." instead of the album trailing off and me not being able to even name another song, this go 'round, not only can I name 'em but I rock with 'em.

4 outta 5 mics

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