Story and Interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Interview Below )))
San Francisco- It never fails. In the hundreds of times that I've driven to 'Frisco, I'm either hella late for an event or hella early.
This time?? I'm hella early.
Jaheim Hoagland is hella late but, he can be...he's the "Hip-Hop Teddy P."
Am I complaining?
There were so many fine sistas in the house and, my time was well spent..waiting for him.
After sitting through sound check with his band, Jaheim takes us upstairs with him to get our 'grub on'. In between bites, The Flow had an opportunity to speak with him.
TFM: How you doing, Jah?
JAH: Wassup man? I'm in The Flow, you know?
TFM: What'cha eating, right now dogg?
JAH: Got a bunch of soul food, swordfish, greens, rice and cornbread.
TFM: This is like the meal you have before you go on stage?
JAH: Yeah, Something like that.
TFM: Your new album "Still Ghetto" is coming out on (November) the 5th. Give us a brief background on what you're trying to put out there this time.
JAH: Basically, every album is about a balance. Basically, what you're trying to get your point across about. This is album right here is again based upon my life. For the people who still want to know where Jaheim was born and, how I grew up. And, what was it like and this and that, etcetera. They're gonna get a lot of that in "Still Ghetto" And for the people that knew me I'm just letting them know that I 'm still true to the game. None of the money and none of the fame will ever change me from who I was 10 years ago.
TFM: Everyone thinks that once you get money it changes things. Is that true or are you the same person you were before but, you just have more money?
JAH: That's true! You get money, things do change. But, when you come from a home that I come from? You get wiser. And, you work harder.
TFM: Your background is well documented with the fact that most of your family member that was close to you has passed. How did you keep yourself going when times were seeming were looking kind of bleak for you?
JAH: Just praying and hoping. Like when I was coming up as a kid and all the wrong things were happening to me, as I prayed better things happened. So, that just let me know that was inner-spirit above to help me and guide me though tough temptations and that's all you can do is pray and ask God to give you the light; to show you that vision.
TFM: You're in an R&B field that dominated by high tenors. How do you feel about the other guys you're up against right now? You got Dave Hollister, yourself and, K-Ci.
JAH: You just said it best, Dave Hollister, myself and , K-Ci. I feel like, they're musical icon themselves and they're young cats too but, I looked up to the great singers like Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass. I don't thing a lot of people studied that soulful sound. The church thing is always gonna come from the soul but I concentrate a lot on my sound. And if my sound ain't feeling right, then I'm not feeling right at the end of the day. That's what I thrive for.
TFM: Tone is very important to how you sound because your tone has a certain pitch to it. And it has to sound a certain way. Am I correct?
JAH: I do a lot of runs but it ain't the fact of doing a lot of runs. I do the RIGHT runs. Too much is too much. That's like reaching for too much you know what I'm saying ? You don't want to reach for too much. You put a little bit in, get a little bit out. and that's how the fans like it like it. You give it to them in a show however it is. If it's raw, you give it to them raw. But, on the record you don't put too much in the cake.
TFM: When I met you at the BET Awards earlier this year briefly, you was just walking around singing. It seems like you just walk around just singing for yourself. Is that something that you normally do or is that something that you do to keep your pipes going right?
JAH: That's a part of my dream. I've been dreaming from day one and I'm just as hungry as I was when I came in the door. I gain wiser and hungrier. .My thirsts get bigger and, I want more.
TFM: That food looks hell of good, man!!
JAH: Man, there's some fish up there if you want, you can check it out.
And, YOU KNOW I DID!!
((( Audio Interview Below )))