For the third and final installment of Audacy's Black Music Month celebratory series highlighting artists who've contributed to the music industry in phenomenal ways, singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter and the self-proclaimed "King of R&B" Jacquees chop it up with Kenny Burns and DJ Greg Street in an exclusive chat and performance.
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Longtime friends, Jacquees and Greg Street had a fireside chat dishing about the crooner's contributions to R&B. He recently performed at the Black Music Month Honors where he paid tribute to Ginuwine. He also recalled the time where he ran into Keith Sweat during the early "King of R&B" declaration.
Street introduced Jacquees to Keith Sweat backstage at a V-103 concert. The "Make It Last" singer and Street are close personal friends, so when Jacquees made this proclamation, Keith hit his friend up to say, "what's up with Jacquees? I know you know him. What's up with him?" He replied, "Imma let y'all talk."
Jacquees admitted he didn't immediately recognize Sweat. "I couldn't see him," he stated. So, being on a high from his performance, the men get into a slight confrontation. The youngin stated, "this the king from back then. I’m the king for right now." It was Street who actually approached to reveal that he'd just gotten into it with Keith Sweat. So, all three of them go into the corner and are formally introduced. Sweat states, "man, I can tell you don't know who I am." From that day on, the singers have been very close. Once the chat wrapped, Jacquees took the stage to perform his hits, "B.E.D." and "Bed Friend."
Sevyn Streeter, then, joined Kenny Burns to discuss her latest single, "Guilty," her '90s R&B influences and more. "First of all, shoutout to the '90s and to the foundation that they laid. That y'all laid. Did that!," she exclaimed. "Guilty" samples James Brown's "The Payback," which was popularized in the 1995 smash hit, "Can't You See" from Total feat. The Notorious B.I.G..
Sevyn continued, "I'm such a huge fan of all the music that was created in that time. It was my first introduction to music videos, and to crazy a** harmonies, and cadences, and just honestly, Black excellence when it came to music. Y'all ran that. I've loved always flipping samples and beats from that time."
She revealed that the sample has "a real deeper meaning" for her. She reminisced on a home video of her grandfather dancing to "Big Payback," as she called it. She remembered how much he felt the song and got that same feeling after hearing Total's track. So, it was a no brainer to proceed with recording it.
The visual was also heavily influenced by the '90s with Sevyn channeling R&B icons, Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. She confirmed she pulled inspiration from Jackson's "If" video. She wanted the visual for the "sneaky link anthem" to feel both sexy and strong. While discussing how she tends to see colors in music, she's deep in her red season. "Red represents dominance, sex, a little bit of danger," she explained. Later on, the JET beauty took the stage to perform her hits, "Yearnin'," "Before I Do," "It Won't Stop," and "Guilty." Check out the full interview from both Jacquees and Sevyn, along with their performances above.