Home Music NeYo Goes Jacko on Vevo: Yoh!

The big buzz in the R&B world today is that Ne Yo, the 30 year old junior soul man, is releasing two new songs with long form videos.

This afternoon at 6pm, BET is premiering the videos for “Champagne Life” and “Beautiful Monster” on its “106 and Park” show. The videos also go up on Vevo.

Isaw the videos yesterday and even ran into Ne Yo (real name Shaffer Smith) up at Universal Music, where the entire staff of Def Jam was crowded into a conference room to hear his whole new album, “Libra Scale.” The album gets released on September 21st, nine days before the Grammy deadline. As with Ne Yo’s last CD, this one looks headed for a Best Album nomination.

Ne Yo likens the two videos–which clock in around 8 minutes apiece–to Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller.” (Michael, whom we affectionately call Jacko in headlines because it’s short and snappy, folks.) And there’s a sci fi element to the story line, which will play out in at least three more videos to songs from “Libra Scale.”

But Ne Yo is more like Marvin Gaye in this sense: he writes and plays everything. There’s no sampling or “interpolating” (the latter is my favorite word now on albums where old songs are remade anew with new titles).

I’ve been a fan of this guy for some time now. Ne Yo’s songs are strong and catchy, full of melodic hooks. There’s no X rated rap element. He leads a pack that includes Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim, and Maxwell. In a world where contemporary R&B is riddled with raps about how hard it is to be rich and stupid, Ne Yo is a shining stand out.

By the way, “Champagne Life” features a hook with the line “Toast it up”–once you hear it, you won’t be able to get it out of your head. I think Def Jam should put up posters and T shirts everywhere–it’s the tag line for New Year’s Eve 2011.

PS L.A. Reid, who I (very coincidentally) wrote about yesterday, exec produced the album. Toast him up!

16 replies to this post
  1. Ok. Ok. Michael had problems or Michael didn’t have problems.To each it’s own.

    Still, how hard is it to just add an “s” and an “n” to “Jacko”? I mean…those are on the keyboard too, right? I promise, it’s not that difficult, watch: JackSoN. By the way, whoever said that “MJ” was even shorter and snappier, right on! :)

    But Roger is Roger. This is his little shindig. If he feels warm and fuzzy calling him Jacko, then…. even if I don’t agree. It’s alright to stand up for our guy, but calling people assholes…you don’t have to get mad, just simply make your point (and hell, I even agree with you!)

    I do agree that there are SOME fans that are obsessed with MJ (and will go crazy over certain matters), but there are TONS upon TONS of fans who are not – and, truthfully, whether he had BDD or not, his name is Jackson, he had his flaws like any other person, he was the greatest at what he did, and now, let’s go watch Thriller.

    Btw, I like Neyo too, Roger. While I won’t say he’s the best singer (or even performer), he has good talent…especially in comparison to a lot of these so called “entertainers” of the day.

  2. Why is it that when some one stands up for Michael Jackson, or defends his name, they are labeled as “obsessed”? Bob, how much time did you spend with MJ? Did you all talk often? Did you hang out at Neverland and play with Bubbles? Because if you didn’t, you have no way of knowing Michael’s mental condition so fall back.

  3. Bob, thanks for letting us know that the term for people with “some mental issues” is Wacko. This might describe you or your buddies, but it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson.

    What should we call those who are prepositionally challenged? “He was in need from some kind of professional help.” Perhaps the classic term will do – stupid.

  4. Michael Jackson HATED the name Jacko. Therefore there is nothing endearing about using it. Call him by his name…or MJ if you are too lazy to type his whole name. We will not stand for the disrespect.

  5. To all obsessed fans of MJ out there:
    Jackson was called Wacko because he was a man with some mental issues,he had BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER-a mental disorder.Drawing a line between the man and his music is important.
    By the way this comes from a person who grew up listening MJ’s music in the 80’s.
    MJ had some problems…in his head.He was in need from some kind of professional help.

  6. Roger you are so full of it. Michael hated “Jacko” and you know it. For you to be so direspectul to him even in death shows what a low life you really are. How about we refer to you as “Porky” from now and…we’re being “affectionate” of course.

  7. Affectionately?Give us a break, Roger!We all know how much you “loved” him when he was alive.His name is Jackson,he never liked being called Jacko.Show him some respect now that he’s dead.

  8. Actually Roger, the name “Jacko” was coined by The UK Tabloid Rag, The Sun, to use in a pun that rhymed with Wacko. The first story to use the name “Jacko” was not an “affectionate” one, and HE, his family and those who loved him, DO NOT see it as “affectionate” as you put it.

    Jacko, is offensive.

    To quote the man himself. “It’s Jackson, not Jacko”

  9. MJ hated being called Jacko. It’s not snappy, it is degrading because the British press used it to refer him as a wacko. Call him by the names his friends and family used: Michael, Mike, or MJ.

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