Searching the internet for news on the upcoming solo album from former Floetry singer Marsha Ambrosius, I came across a free downloadable mixtape her label, Dr. Dre’s Aftermath, produced as a way to do an underground promotion of her in anticipation of the release of the full recording. The mixtape is called Neo-Soul Is Dead, released in November 2007, and much of the disc is retread of famous Dr. Dre beats, mostly from The Chronic.
It’s fine to declare Neo-Soul to be dead, Erykah Badu did that about 5 years ago. But it’s quite another thing to all of a sudden become this gangstress singing to the beat of Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit” about how “all you bitches don’t mean shit to me” when you were giving us some of the most beautful R & B love songs recorded in this generation! You would hardly recognize the vocalist from “It’s Getting Late” and “Like A Bird” with songs like “Grind You Up” and “You’s a Beeyatch!!!”
I’m all for artists growing in new directions musically–but this kind of 180 is just too much. Badu’s new recording is a stark departure from her previous work, but she’s not talking about fightin’ “bitches” and actin like she’s a Crip all of a sudden. I am not sure if I want to hear the full recording when it drops later this year.
I can live if neo-soul is dead, but I hope integrity isn’t.