Updated June 30, 2006Over the past several weeks, an upstart, irreverent young singer by the name of Kevin Samples has caused a huge stir within the R&B community. Back in May, Samples, along with the infamous DJ Whoo Kid, released a mixtape called The Death of R&B. And on the mixtape, Samples and Whoo Kid figuratively slice and dice some of the biggest young names in contemporary R&B.
On one track, he remakes/parodies Ne-Yo's "So Sick," flipping the chorus to:
"If you're so sick of love songs, why don't you quit/writing so many songs about it?/'Cause I'm so sick of this song/Why won't it stop?/I might have to toss my radio."
Pretty bold for an unknown newcomer, right? But it doesn't end there. On "Only Tricks Love a Stripper," a parody of T-Pain's "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)," he sings:
I really hope you're playin' (you're playin')/Don't take me for a joke when I'm sayin',/(Only tricks love a stripper)/Everyone hit her, you tryin' to get her/ Man, stay out that club."
Samples also has harsh words for Ray J on a parody of the song "One Wish," saying Ray should just stick to just doing hooks because he can't sing.
Negative Backlash?Samples' chain-yanking mixtape is reminiscent of when in 1999, another hungry-but-unknown artist, a young, hungry New York lyricist called 50 Cent released a song called "How to Rob," where he rapped about victimizing every high-profile Hip-Hop artist in the game at the time. And as a result, 50 caught hell from some members of Hip-Hop's notoriously thin-skinned community. Other rappers verbally and physically threatened 50 after the song, and it took 50 years to recover (but recover he did, and in a big way.)
So what would posses Kev Samples to possibly invite the same kind of negative reaction from his peers that 50 received back in the day? Samples laughs at the idea.
"50 Cent was worried about rappers -- people who talk about shooting people in their songs. The guys I was talking about fall in love with strippers," Samples quipped.
'There's Absolutely No Fear'"I'm not to worried about guys comin' at me. I work out like an athlete," and in fact, during the time of this phone interview, Samples was outside an Orlando gym preparing for a workout. "There's absolutely no fear (of physical retaliation)," he said. "T-Pain? Please. I've got a couple of strippers I can put on him."
Such bravado and humor are typical of the 25-year-old Samples. But despite the plethora of disses he tossed out on record, he said he doesn't want things to escalate to a physical level.
I'm trying to keep it on wax," he said. In fact, he said he welcomes any of the artists dissed or parodied on The Death of R&B to respond with a song of their own. Samples said he's hoping that one person in particular responds.
"I want Jamie Foxx to do it. I feel he could do it best 'cause he's a comedian."
The Real T-PainTwo of the more memorable moments of the 12-track mixtape, however, weren't provided by Samples, but by DJ Whoo Kid, who's known for collaborating with rap artists on mixtapes, many of which have songs and skits dissing other Hip-Hop artists.
The skit making fun of the Jennifer Lopez/LL Cool J duet "All I Have," is hilarious due to its claim that Lopez can't sing and gets by only because of her healthy posterior.
But it doesn't compare to another skit -- one called "The Real T-Pain." On the 35-second skit, a T-Pain soundalike is being interviewed by a radio personality when he's asked to sing. The soundalike nervously obliges and gives a horribly off-key rendition of a few lines from T-Pain's "I'm N Luv."
But the funniest part? It's completely authentic. Whoo Kid managed to acquire the tape from one of his contacts and then put it on the Death of R&B, correctly figuring that it fit the mixtape's theme perfectly.
"That's real," he said emphatically. "That's the real T-Pain. It's legit."
Why?But the questions remains: why exactly did he feel compelled to lash out at so many popular artists?
"Everybody in the industry wants to know why," he said. "The mixtape is challenging the whole game of R&B. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with R&B, R&B just needs to do more." "Hip-Hop is really doin' it. The rappers are doing their thing. The rappers are doing more than just music Samples said. "They've got video games, they've got their own shoes." So basically, the idea behind the mixtape was to add a little excitement to the world of R&B, sample said.
"The idea came from my management and I thought it was a pretty good idea," He revealed. "It's something different for R&B. It's good, it's exciting, it's fun."