LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 07: Recording artist/producer Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds perfoms onstage during the Soul Train Weekend Concert 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images)
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Everlasting Whip Appeal: Babyface Talks New Music, Songwriting And Adele vs Jazmine Sullivan

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Edmonds.

Every love song ever played at a family barbecue made in the late 80s, and 90s that makes  your aunties say "You don't know nothin' bout this here!" was written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

The man behind classics such as Tevin Campbell's "Can We Talk" Toni Braxton's "Love Should've Brought You Home" and Whitney Houston's "Exhale" (Shoop Shoop) are just a fraction of the 11-time Grammy-award winner, singer-songwriter and producer's expansive yet undeniably relatable catalogue.

The recipient of the 2015 Soul Train's Legend Award proved his worth in melodies and lyrics when R&B's greats, old and new, paid tribute to the man who's ability to pen classic love songs is as natural as our necessity to breathe. After an eight year break, thankfully, Babyface got an itch and decided to return to music with the release of his forthcoming album Return of The Tender Lover. With the lead single “We’ve Got Love,” Babyface serves up a classic love song for the romantics in the world.

Just days ahead of his album release, Babyface spoke with VIBE about the importance of melody and honesty in a song,  the real meaning behind Rolling Stone's famous "Brown Sugar" and weighed in on those Adele and Jazmine Sullivan comparisons that's been floating around.

Peep what Babyface...excuse me, Mr. Edmonds, had to say about it all.

VIBE: What was the first song you wrote before you became famous?
Babyface: The first song I wrote was called “Here I Go Falling In Love” I wrote it in the sixth grade.

Who were you in love with in the sixth grade?
Rhonda Newbalt.

Whoa! You remember her name?
Yeah (Laughs)

Does she know you wrote a song about her in the sixth grade?
I don’t know if she knows that, but I think she knows I had a crush on her.

The lyrical landscape for music has changed. In 2000, Jagged Edge’s most popular song was “Let’s Get Married” then in 2014 “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal” became a hit. How do you think your song “We’ve Got Love” will fare with the masses?
It will fare with those that still believe love is a positive as a opposed to a negative. The truth is “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal” I think the song is kind of catchy, but it’s not completely about always what it says, as opposed to how it feels.

Do you believe the lyrics are important, or the vocalist conveying those lyrics are more important?
Lyrics can be important, but ultimately what pulls people in on a song is melody and the tracks, and the way music feels. You know Rolling Stones song "Brown Sugar?"

Well, I haven’t heard that song.
Yeah, you’ve heard it before. People love to sing along with it. It’s one of their classics. But most people think they’re singing about a fine black girl.

I've never heard that song, please don’t judge me Mr. Edmonds.
(laughs) It’s one of their most famous song that both black and white people love and they sing along with. Most people think it’s just about fine black girls. But let me just read you the lyrics, which is…one second…

Gold coast slave ship, bound for cotton fields.
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Skydog slaver knows he’s doing alright
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Wait, that’s about slavery.
Yes. This is a very famous song and a song that everybody sings along with, black and white and they don’t know that that’s what its about, and why is that? Because it feels so good. It sounds so good. The melody is so nice that you don’t even really pay attention to that part of it, and you love the artist. So when you think about how records are done, and those records that become popular, sometimes it’s about the melody and it’s about having the right chorus and it hits you right. Just because you sing along with it doesn’t mean you agree with the politics of it.

So Mr. Edmonds, what is needed to write a love song, and what's needed to write a break up song because you’ve done both.
In anything, it’s all about honesty. Is it coming from an honest place? Is it believable coming from whoever’s voice is saying it? Do I believe you? Do I believe that you felt that? That you’ve gone through it? Can you make me believe it? Once you’ve connected in that way, then you’re that much closer to selling the song and it becoming a hit song because of that.

For your song “We’ve Got Love” It’s about a couple who has weathered many storms. Is that coming from an honest place for you?
I think it goes beyond the couple. We’ve all gone through things. The truth is, we’ve all gone through something in this country, everywhere. We’ve been struggling for a long time, but the one thing that seems to cool us out a bit, or get us through tough times is love. That’s the things that seems to make anything better. So I think it’s a bigger story than just a couple, and more than anything.

You have 26 number one hits, you've had 125 top 10 R&B hits, you know what you’re doing. Have you ever encountered writer’s block?
Of course!

How do you counter it?
You just don’t do anything (laughs) You wait it out. If you can’t come up with anything, you just stop writing for that moment. The good news is even with having writer's block, today there are so many things to write about, to get inspired from by having conversation with people, especially when you're dealing with things that are as universal as love. The trick is, are you going to find the right melody and hit the right keys to make it special?

Last question, there are a lot of people who believe Adele, despite her talent, and many accolades, a part of her success has a lot to do with her skin color and then you have Jazmine Sullivan who's equally as talented and can hit just as many notes but isn't as successful. What's your take on that?
I think it's unfair to compare Jazmine Sullivan to Adele. I think they're two different kinds of artist. Let's take color out of it. Do you like Adele's songs? Do you like what she sings about? Adele ultimately did well in such a large way because she effects everybody, and the way that she writes seems to be popular music, not because of her skin color but because she writes great music and it's popular in that way. Now, when you add all that on and the skin color you say 'Oh, that's unique, I didn't know it was this girl.' No different then when Elvis Presley started singing and we found out he was a white man, so it certainly made for an interesting story. When Adele gets a hold of something it turns into something else, but the reality is, it's about her music, her emotion and her pain. I think Jazmine Sullivan is amazing and I think she sounds great, whether I can say Jazmine Sullivan has written the Adele songs? I don't know if I can say that. Whether at this point she has written copyrights like Adele has written, I can't really say that. Or if Adele had of done one of Jazmine Sullivan's songs that it would've taken off. I think that with Adele, and that's why I wouldn't compare because Adele really writes from personal experience and all that stuff, and her pain and all of that goes into her records, and that's what makes her stuff real. What did I start the whole conversation off with? Honesty Really honest, and you feel it.

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Report: Travis Scott Spoke With Colin Kaepernick Ahead Of Super Bowl

Travis Scott landed in the center of controversy after he announced that he would be performing during the Super Bowl halftime show in Feb. 2019. The outrage mostly stemmed from the split views regarding the NFL and its treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had been blackballed from the league for silently protesting social injustice during the national anthem. Despite fan opinions however, a new report claims Trav consulted with Kaep before the big performance, and their chat went rather well, according to Variety.

According to the new report, Travis and Kaepernick had at least one phone conversation earlier this year. While it's unclear what the two spoke about, a source close to Trav admitted that the two did not agree on everything that was talked about, but emerged from the discussion with "mutual respect and understanding."

As previously reported, Scott recently announced that he only agreed to perform during the halftime show as long as the NFL donated to Van Jones' social justice organization, Dream Corps. "I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in," he said in his announcement. "I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change."

According to the insider, Travis reiterated to Kaepernick that he would only confirm his performance after the donation was secured.

The two may have reached an understanding, but fans are still trying to persuade the rapper to make a statement during the halftime stage. A petition has been launched, requesting that Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi take a knee during their performances. It has already garnered more than 85,000 signatures. "It appears these artists aren’t backing out at this point. So now what?,” the petition description reads. "There’s one way they can still redeem their reputation with their fans. Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi: take a knee during your set."

The Super Bowl will kick off on Feb. 3.

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Lee Daniels Finds Viral Star For Gay Superhero Film

Nearly a decade ago, Lee Daniels revealed that he dreamed of creating a superhero film starring a gay protagonist. It's been a long time in the making, but apparently his dream is on the verge of coming true. Daniels recently took to Instagram on Tuesday (Jan. 15), and announced that he will be making a gay superhero flick, and he's found the perfect lead.

Daniels is reportedly teaming up with viral star, SuperB***h for the new movie. "Y'all remember maybe 10, 12 years ago I said my dream was to make a gay superhero film?" he said in a video message on IG. "Dreams do come true. And I found my superhero. America, world, get ready."


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Dreams really do come true!! I had the pleasure of meeting the one and only @theoriginalbigdaddy. You’re an amazing man filled with great ideas. I can wait to work with you!. ❤️❤️🌈🌈

A post shared by Super B*tch 💞🤸‍♀️🦸🏾‍♂️ (@hesosoutheast) on Jan 15, 2019 at 10:15am PST

SuperB***h also commented on the news in the caption of the video. "You’re an amazing man filled with great ideas," he wrote. "I can wait to work with you!"

For those who aren't up to speed, SuperB***h is both an actor and comedian from Southeast, D.C., who rose to Internet stardom for his social media videos that feature him twirling, flipping, and protecting the world from homophobic trolls, horrible ex-boyfriends, and other villains.

Daniels has not leaked any details regarding the film at this time. Check out the video message above and below.


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A post shared by Super B*tch 💞🤸‍♀️🦸🏾‍♂️ (@hesosoutheast) on Jan 6, 2019 at 10:07am PST

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Rihanna Is Suing Her Father

Rihanna has had enough. Riri is reportedly suing her dad, Ronald Fenty, for using the Fenty brand to launch a talent agency and solicit money without her permission, TMZ reports.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the ANTI singer claims her father launched a talent development company in 2017 called Fenty Entertainment. The problem – Rih trademarked "Fenty" years ago so that she could use it for her blossoming businesses.

The lawsuit claims Ronald is profiting from the reputation that was already created with Fenty Beauty and her apparel lines. Additionally, the docs allege that her dad falsely advertised themselves as her reps to solicit millions from fans.

The entrepreneur claims that her dad made $15 million in false bookings for shows throughout Latin America and attempted to trademark "Fenty" to use with resort boutique hotels.

While it may seem extreme to file a lawsuit against her own bloodline, Rih reportedly sent multiple cease and desist letters to him before she was forced to take full legal action.

Rihanna is asking a judge to place an injunction on Ronald using the name Fenty and to compensate her for the damages.

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