A lifetime of loathing shitty R&B singers

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Few things conjure up my inner hater like the would-be, local R&B singer.

Not their music per se. No qualms with that, but I loathe their tactics and the absolute power they are able to derive from their voices alone. Trust, the jealousy emitting from my booming baritone is palpable.

As far back as elementary school, I can remember the kid who could sing being such a big deal.

Whether he was belting out the National Anthem before a Hornets game at Charlotte Coliseum or a rendition of Whitney Houston's “Greatest Love of All"  at D.A.R.E. graduation. He had all the girlies. It continued into middle school where talent shows and field trips were a chance for them to channel their inner Bobby Brown. A pelvic thrust might as well have been sex to a 6th grader back then.

Much to my advantage, these guys usually fizzled out by high school. They had either developed so much angst against their parents for making them sing that they didn’t anymore, picked up a box of Newports or simply had their voices change, whatever the case, they were no longer the objects of my jealousy.

Just when I thought I was in the clear, I got to college and things reverted back to old days. Now all the guys who had managed to dodge the “child star” pitfalls had nurtured their passion for music into an automatic panty-dropper, but they weren't great singers at all, they just harmonized.

They'd blossomed from being the kid with the coolest gumby in 3rd grade to now being the guy with dreads, doing “freaky” poems at open mics and to my dismay, that shit worked!

The most notable moment happened on campus, waiting in line for Pizza Hut. See, “the singing guy” at our school wasn’t about to spend any money on a girl for her birthday, no no, his voice was gift enough. It was about midway through him singing her happy birthday in front of everyone, not the bullshit Applebee’s way but like sensually, that the tears started running down her face and I made up in my mind that, “I hate that guy” (a thought which the thunderous applause following the song only intensified).

Why couldn’t I sing? I come from a musical family. I've had relatives write hit songs... damn you slightly above-average R&B singer-dude! You've made me question myself instead of hating you! I’d just watched a dude who, sans that overrated, underworked voice of his, I totally beat on paper, not only lock up some sure fire late-night action for that evening but most assuredly some new prospects for his roster too and all I could think was, if he really sang that well wouldn't he have been doing weddings? Trying to push a demo? Signed to some indie label? Whatever the case, the hate subsided but it's still unavoidable even in adulthood.

What's weird is I never question the pros. Every time I've seen grown women shriek like they just orgasmed when an artist hits a certain note in concert, I nod understandably and say, I totally get that. But when it's the guy who's voice cracked three times before that high note making women swoon, I can't accept it and I refuse to!

Go get a deal already and stop ruining my life! Well... maybe I'm just hating.

Support local music! Even the shitty R&B singer-dude that works at UPS or Lowe's but tears it down at church every Sunday.


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