THOSE EVER LOVIN’ FUNKIN’ “REALITY” SHOWS/ R&B DIVAS

THOSE EVER LOVIN’ FUNKIN’ “REALITY” SHOWS/ R&B DIVAS

At this point it appears there’s no end to the inception of another “Reality Show.”  I put the term in quotation marks, because by now even those who are not media savvy, have come to realize that there’s a lot of scenarios and drama created amidst the actual ‘reality’ on these shows.  There’s a new show depicting aspects of reality, centered around a circle of sisters.

“R&B Divas” is headed by Faith Evans, who’s joined by Syleena Johnson, Keke Wyatt, Monifah, and Nicci Gilbert formerly of the trio Brownstone.  Airing on TV One, I’m curious as to how this one will play out.  What do I mean?  It’s being promoted as a show to bring sisters together, but the shows in television that rein supreme tend to be about ensuing cat fights and creating conflict.  Controversy is the essence and life blood of the ‘reality’ show genre.  Perhaps TV One has chosen to work with producers that can find the conflict with aspects of the lives of the various participants, so that when they come together, it’s all about the love.  We’ll have to wait and see.

The foundation of my work in entertainment is in music.  That being the case, I have had the fortune to meet all the ladies featured in this new show, and interviewed all but one.  Although she was born in Florida, Faith and I were both brought up in New Jersey.  I was telling my wife the other day, that when you’re from Jersey, you develop an instinctual shield.  Unless you’re overly sensitive, you build up a natural tolerance for scrutiny, because you stand to be categorized or associated with a plethora of stereotypes.  Folks from Jersey have a hard shell and many layers, so there’s an unspoken kinship when most folk from Jersey meet in various lands and other realms.  Such was the case when I spoke to Faith for the first time, when she was promoting her second album “Keep the Faith.”  Syleena Johnson is the daughter of the legendary Syl Johnson.  We had a great exchange and even went to a screening together.  I want to say we saw “Brown Sugar,” Syleena expressed in our interview that she loved going to “the show,” and there was a preview of the movie that same evening.  An incredible talent, I’ve interviewed her on at least two occasions.  I spoke with Keke when she was making the rounds for her first album “Soul Sista.”  Wyatt is more noted for her duets with former label mate Avant.  They did a cover of Rene and Angela’s hit “My First Love” and sang together on the song “Nothing in This World.”  Monifah and I were like old friends after our chat.  A talent that I have thought has been under rated, I’m glad she’s part of this group.  Lastly, but by no means least, is Nicci.  I’m still re-visiting her work when she was with the group Brownstone ala the songs “Grapevyne” and “Say It.”  One I’m pretty certain I’ve met, Gilbert is the one among them I have not sat down with.  The ladies have even recorded the show’s theme song called “Lovin’ Me.”

Five very dynamic and diverse women all brought together for a new show called “R&B Divas.”  While I’m really hoping for a set that’s a circle of sisters working together, I gotta admit I’m wondering about the controversy, but at the same time not hoping for it.  Reality shows are often noted as a “guilty pleasure” by most of the folks I roll with.  A “guilty pleasure” because we all agree that it’s far too stupid to take seriously and be an integral part of our life.  My wife and I watch “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  What’s NeNe gonna talk about or do next keeps us tuning in every season.  My son loves “Love and Hip-Hop” and “Basketball Wives.”  My mother-in-law always wants to talk to my wife about “Big Ang,” but my wife could care less — she’s got enough reality on her plate with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” as we’re off season with ‘Housewives.’

So why do we love ’em?  It’s a release, it’s still TV, only now it seems that it’s an “idiot box” in more ways than one.  Although ‘Reality Shows’ may depict some of the worse behavior of American culture, at the same time it actually provides an avenue where someone of little fortune, can go to considerable fortune in what seems like no time.  The truth of the matter is we love watching people willingly make fools of themselves on television.  Sly Stone put out into the universe that “Everybody is A Star” and millions of people on American soil hold that ideal to be true.  People are obsessed with being famous.  And that’s my position, more power to those who choose to put their life on display for the sake of entertaining millions while garnering a check.

According to UrbanBridgez.com:  In support of the show Faith is releasing an album titled “R&B Divas” inspired by the series.  The first single “Tears of Joy” will be serviced to radio shortly.  Cast members appear on the album as well as some other “R&B Divas” like Fantasia and Kelly Price.  Claude Kelly, Shep Crawford and Gordon Chambers are some of the producers on the set.  Some of the tracks include “True Colors” recorded by Faith, Kelly Price & Fantasia, “She Is Me” recorded by Monifah, “Mr. Superfly” recorded by Keke Wyatt, “Lovin Me” and “Sister Friend” recorded by the cast of ‘R&B Divas’ and an acoustic version of one of Faith‘s biggest hits “Soon As I Get Home.”  The album will hit stores on October 2nd via eOne and a tour is planned in support of the album and series the same month.

“R&B Divas” premieres tonight on TV One at 10:00 pm Eastern – I’ll be watching.

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