Essence.com: We are all excited for this new album, —all pay homage to the hood in title and content. Is this first single “Never” straight from your heart? Essence.com: You probably get requests all the time. Teddy Pendergrass is one of the greatest vocalists in the world, so I didn’t get upset. Essence.com: So is it a struggle to live up to this image that people have imposed upon you?
Ever since being hailed Generation Next’s Teddy Pendegrass, the velvet-voiced balladeer has given voice to those tongue-tied men who need a good song to express their deep feelings.
We are losing the great entertainers to stress: Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Luther Vandross—all of them.
Essence.com: Well, your fans love you, so keep putting it down. I was at a studio practicing for a production I was in and one of my friends said, ‘Jaheim, Luther is downstairs.’ I thought he was playing but he wasn’t. I said, ‘I am somebody now, cause Luther knows me.’ That was the greatest moment I ever had inside of this business so far.
Many people were in support of Ocean, seeing him for the artist that he is and not his sexual preference, and some saw it as a marketing ploy.
Either way, he had a slew of celebs and fans behind him, and sold a great deal of albums in the process.
I was going through so much and when Luther ignored me, it just took everything away. I was walking away and this girl looked at me and screamed, ‘Jaheim! I said, ‘Man you just don’t know what you did for me.’ I actually had an opportunity to see his mother last night. I’m going to get me something and cherish my moment with Luther.