Jazmine Sullivan: There’s Injustice for Black Soul Artists

Photograph: Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP

Jazmine Sullivan recently sat down with the Associated Press to discuss her return to the music game and Grammy nominations. The talented songstress has received 11 nominations since her 2008 debut, but has yet to win an award. It has yet to unfold if she will receive any awards this year, but I’m rooting for her!

Anyways, during her conversation with the AP, Jazmine talked about her success compared to the soulful singer Adele. “I guess I’m glad that people are recognizing me in some way, and kind of see there’s a little injustice in how black soul artists are received,” said Jazmine. And while the amount of people who listen to her “… May not be as many people (who) listen to Adele. There are people who are listening. There are people who appreciate me. There are people who love my music.”

Now, let me chime in and say Jazmine is completely right in saying there is an injustice. It is clear as day. Any person with a “trained ear” can easily inform you that while Adele is a vocal beast in her own right, she could not take Jazmine Sullivan in a battle. Unfortunately, everyone is not agreeing with her statement, but she’s not the first to make this argument.

[Tyrese Is Igniting An Important Conversation]

Tyrese was making this argument in 2015 while promoting his album Black Rose: “When great artist like, Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and Justin Timeberlake ( who I’m a huge fan of and know 2 of the 3 personally ) come out with song(s) that specifically sound like R&B Soul…. They’re songs and music (are) played on ALL formats of radio… Top 40, Mainstream, Rhythmic stations AND we love it as far as URBAN radio and we play their music…. Why wouldn’t we it’s amazing…. All I’m saying is THAT The love doesn’t come back…..”

Tyrese’s word ring true for Black female R&B artists as well. It’s not about having a great team to promote you. Black artists just don’t break that barrier without crossover music. Female artists like Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Keke Wyatt, Tamar Braxton, and Fantasia are just a few to name that would easily compete with Adele if afforded the opportunity.

The nitty-gritty truth is that race is apart of the equation. Adele is extremely talented. She deserves every bit of her shine. She sings! But there are many girls singing in the church house right now that will never have the opportunity she has because of the politics of America.

Keep shining Jazmine! It’s hard to stay strong in the face of adversity, but your talent is insurmountable. Jazmine has been running circles around Adele since she was 11 singing in school plays or on the Apollo. Support both ladies because they deserve it, but don’t play what Jazmine is saying. One day her mechanics and natural raw ability will be studied.

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Bryant Smith

Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.

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