Review The Artist (32)
Jaheim Hoagland's story is one of struggle, strength and salvation. And on his dynamic Warner Bros. Records/Divine Mill debut album Ghetto Love, people worldwide-young and old-will hear and empathize as they view and experience the life of a naïve boy who is slowly transformed into a focused and tenacious man. "When I came in the game, I was a newborn. I was blind to everything," says the 21-year-New Jersey native. I took my time and sacrificed things. And a bunch of pieces came together. It's been hectic, but I made it through the storm."
Ghetto Love is riveting rhythm and blues balanced by hints of hypnotic hip hop beats. Ghetto Love is Jaheim's soul-searching diary that takes one through the caged-bird battles of boyhood and on to the experienced, free-soaring wings of manhood. On the engulfing "Looking for Love," Jaheim's raw vocal prowess flies above a funky and smooth bassline as he tells of his slow and careful search for love. With a hook illustrating his lust-filled frustration he sings, "Looking for love in all the wrong places/been around seen a lot of pretty faces/I know I'm the one for you/Only lying I would do is in the bed with you." Jaheim explains: "I've been looking for love for a while. And I got my heart broke once. So it's hard for me to trust again," he says. "All I want is happiness."
Eventually the songbird does find his sunshine, but not without a fight. The brassy trumpet punches of "Let it Go," jab straight to the face of the still-emotionally-hooked ex-boyfriend of Jaheim's new love interest. And as Jah's heat boils, while intensely crooning of his vow to commit a crime of passion, Missy Elliott's prodigy Lil' Mo lends a helping production hand to the radio-friendly vibes of "Finders Keepers." "This song is like I really got to explain it to [the ex-boyfriend] now. I'm like, 'You lost, you had something good going on, but you wanted to act up and now she's with me. So finders keepers, losers weepers,'" Jah contends. "That happened to me a long time ago."
But Jaheim does win the female fight and ultimately moves on to keep his love relationship tight. On the emotionally mature ballad "Waiting on You," Jah collaborates with Ms. Jones to create a wonderful melodic promise of patience and romantic persistence that will definitely be a serenade for every special woman. And after much waiting, Jaheim falls in love, telling the world of his fluttering heart on "Remarkable." Here, songstress and University/Warner Bros. Records artist Terry Dexter joins Jah for an incredible tribute to life-long commitment. Written by RL from the multi-platinum R&B trio Next, "Remarkable" will surely be a wedding song for many.
From cheerful dreams of wifeys at home and shorties on the side on tracks like "Happiness," to opting for monogamy and eternal bonds on the open-souled realization of "Forever," Ghetto Love illustrates the life and times of a scared youngster turned fearless adult. Jaheim brings pure, real and simple skill to the music of Ghetto Love.
Jaheim has been singing since he could speak. As a child growing up in the projects of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jah's life was one of tribulation. At the age of two, death took his father's soul before Jah had a chance to truly know him. Raised in a single parent household, Jah would grow susceptible to the inevitable ugliness of street-life, bouncing in and out of trouble, always following and never truly knowing his path. But music was Jah's saviour and relief from stress. "Singing was my way out," he says. "I focused on teaching myself how to sing by keeping Luther Vandross in my ear all day long. Everywhere I go I sing."
Other R&B and gospel musical influences filled the ears of Jaheim's young body and old soul: his one-time professional singing grandfather, older brother, and notables like Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and Stevie Wonder. These were mixed with the sounds of poetic hip hop artists like The Notorious BIG, Tupac, and Mobb Deep. His inspirations echoed through every talent show that Jaheim touched and won-from Uptown Comedy Jam singing bouts to a three-time winning streak at The Apollo at the age of 15. It seemed that Jah's vocal triumphs were endless.
But tragedy never ceased to follow and at the age of 17, Jah's mother died. "When I lost my Mom I thought I lost everything," he says. "But I had to be strong for my little brother...I'm the strength now."
While relentlessly shopping his demo tape and attaining minor singing fame aboard New Jersey Transit trains, he dropped a demo at Newark, New Jersey's Naughty Gear store. It would fatefully fall into the hands of super production wiz kid Kay Gee (who's propelled phenomenal acts like Zhane, Next, and his own group Naughty By Nature to platinum-plus success). A week later Jaheim was asked to audition for Kay Gee. Two years later through his company Divine Mill, Kay Gee would help Jaheim sign a deal with Warner Bros. Records. Now, another two years later Jaheim's Ghetto Love, is released.
Ghetto Love features Kay Gee as executive producer and is filled with majestic ballads and uptempo pleasers written by Blackstreet's Eric Williams, Next's RL, Darren and Cliff Lighty, as well as the power-packed creations of Jaheim himself. It mixes rambunctious R&B with hardcore hip hop, stylistically portraying the world of a boy who's witnessed street-stories lived out in view of death, jail, poverty and life-saving ghetto love. After 19 tracks of the melodic diary of a lost-and-found man, Jaheim comes to epitomize the meaning of his name: God's wisdom. "I used to be a sheep with wolves around, but I was born again," he says. "I thought if I took my time and got right with God first and put Him ahead of everything, He'd bless me. I know He's got a job for me to do. Like, if I can get everybody to sit down, be quiet, and listen, I'll touch the whole world." And with Ghetto Love, Jaheim is well on his way to doing just that.
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I love this man! | Reviewer: Janet | 2/21/14
I was fortunate to see you in Houston. I love every song that you sing. I have every CD. But man you did it with Stcks and Stones. Can break the heart of the home. Your voice is so hypnotizing, thank you and continue to keep God in your songs and in your performance. I am an avid listener to your music and I'm 57 years old. May God continue to bless you and keep you. He has given you a great gift, your voice.
Love you!!!! | Reviewer: San | 7/18/13
You are a amazing singer and I love listening to you sing. My mother loves listening to you also. Please do not stop singing, because GOD has bless you with that amazing voice.We love you and GOD BLESS YOU!!!!
Truth | Reviewer: MONICA DIXON | 5/25/13
The soul searching and growth you have done before our eyes, is so heartfelt. We have gone through your life, riding on your melody. I'm a ride and die fan, love you, keep singing, your gift is AMAZING!!!!!!
My own curiosity | Reviewer: Rebecca Rodriguez | 3/19/13
Well I've never been 1 to admire an individual who is a singer, rapper,etc,etc. I dnt take any of y'all into consideration period if you wanna b honest about it, I'm nt the type to jump all over the place screamin n yellin just bkuz the individual made a cd. Now what I would like to knw is why is it that when y'all (as in singers n rappers) make it big you ignore where you came frm n you dnt give it a second thought, nor do you guys care to remember those who have helped you within your life to get to where you r now? Can you answer these ?'s I knw u probably won't b the 1 to truly answer these ?'s bkuz like I said u fail to see the lil ppl who aren't after u for any type of gain you see those who want sumthing frm you, n that's not koo what so ever. I dnt care about what others have to say that's nt me I care about truth n reality nt made over fakes.I am inspired by ur story of your life but at the same time have you taken into consideration those who have helped you thru your struggles? Just outta curiosity.
blessed!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: amy olds | 7/10/12
stay strong brother,life is to short not to find your happiness,I have enjoyed your cd's they bring happiness to me,when you feeling down don't be cause your music feels others hearts.so stay strong be blessed,a prayer surely to change your life.
NAIJA 4 LIFE | Reviewer: adeka daddy a | 5/6/12
Hi jaheim nice writin u dis litle words how i feel about u and yr music,i so love yr song and i preach abt them to people,i told somebody abt yr song and i buy a copy of yr album to d person he play it and love it and return my money and some intrest to me.Im from NIGERIA,visit Nigeria and see d love we have for u.GOD FIRST in anything u do.
Muzic to My Soal | Reviewer: Renee D. Reed | 11/2/11
This young man is the greatest songster since Luther Vandross. I call him Luther #2. He has one of the most beautiful, melodious voices of our generation. He sings as a grown man about 'Love' and makes one believe in it. I pray much success, especially since he's a God-child! #beblessedyou'veblessedme
concert in south africa | Reviewer: mbali m | 9/13/11
hi Mr. Hoagland, my name is mbali and I've like your music ever since primary school. the first song I saw was " just in case" I got 4 of your albums. I just want to know when are you coming to South Africa..........plz
my other half | Reviewer: jay aka jahim | 12/14/10
Yo jah,im from africa,in a country called namibia,i live in the capital city windhoek,to tell you the truth your music changed me to a softi i dont know how the happend but it did,my mam calls me jahim,dont know where she got it from,en yes i have all your albums coz i grow up listenin to you,the other funny part is when i c u on tv is like im lookin at myself,cos you look like me,i aint braging but its the trueth,i jus cut my hair which i regret,will keep it real,im signing out,much respect,jahim
In My Hand | Reviewer: jennifer | 9/22/10
Jaheim You are truly using yor God given talent.. I'so thankful that you know to put God first. I love your music. Your song in My Hands is beutiful every time I hear i jusy cry cause it tell what real Love and REALY 100 MAN. mY Favorite verse is Never let your HEART Stray make sure your baby have peace of mind never lie that say a lot about your relationship respect love for your woman. Every i listen to Closer it make me to ask God to send me some that have the whole world in there had. Im 55 years old s see you toching us All. God Bless you Keep him first. I f you every come to Cleveland, Ohio I be there.
remarkable | Reviewer: Naye | 7/30/10
You are a amazing artist.Keep up the good work.I would like to see you do tribute album for Luther Vandross,you keep me going at times when I'm down your voice gives me inspiration to keep moving foward.I know the music industry is hard to deal with especially with the media always following your every move stay strong and always keep the Almighty God by your side you will overcome anything Love You
Anonymous | Reviewer: Lisa Mayfield | 7/9/10
I want to say I enjoy all of your music. Keep up the good work. I want to say I listen to your music more since I am going thru a divorce u keep me encouraged that I will fine True Love again and how a man is suppose to treat a women. Thanks
Brenda | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/13/10
Jah, I enoy your music so much. I am also, fifty something years young, and your music, always take me down memory lane. After seeing your face on television again the other night on Wendy Williams Show, I was so happy! ...and after hearing about the events of your life, I was so touched. Although, you have gone through so much in your young life, GOD never left you and never have HE forsaken you. I always knew you were special and GOD just confirmed it. Stay strong and continue to use the gift that the LORD has given unto you. P.S. you look like my best friends husband.
Put God 1st | Reviewer: Shante'l | 4/8/10
Brother Jaheim, with the blessing of God the Almighty I thank him for choosing you to sing. I have a question for you, your song about your dad,mom and your lil sister going home; what made you write that song tha way you did? Also who taught you to treat women like they are on a pedestal! that is beautiful! Our black brothers should be that way with all of us sistas! Remember: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things shall be added onto you Matthew 6:33. Love with the Love God gave you not what you gave yourself
I'm a die-hard fan | Reviewer: Alisha Allen | 4/2/10
Jah, ... let me first apologize for sleeping on you until a couple of weeks ago. I was a person who only listened to gospel music for years and then after you came out with "Ain't Leaving without you" I put your name in my slacker.com account at work which plays all your music and similiar artist while at work!!! Every song that I heard of yours I LOVED.. You make what I want to call "feel good music" Your voice is sexy, powerful and real.. You are my new favorite 'male artist" above anyone else. I'm glad that you shared your gift of singing with the world and I'm on my way out to purchase all your albums .. old and new!!! I've got to have you in my ear at all times.. By the way, you always give a powerful message in your music... When is your next tour?? Gots to be in the building!! Love ya and it's also great to hear that you are putting God first!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!
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