Cyriously: Are R&B's Baby Mamas Hurting the Game?



Each week Cyrus Kyle Langhorne weighs-in on hot button topics with his sharp commentary. This week’s subject: part-time mothers in R&B.

Yes, this is the day after Mother's Day but I have to set the record straight once and for all. Baby's mothers/mamas are hurting the R&B game. Stop, now think about it. Sure, I know long and gone after this posting goes up, there will likely be a grip of doubters too lazy/uninspired to leave a comment in here but will write me off like a tax form (corny, sorry) and feel as though I have not proven a good enough argument.

Pweease. Let me break things down quite simply for erryone. If you have a career on the come-up do you really want a baby? If you were lucky enough to reach success as a singer in R&B with a newborn, child, or teenager, why consider more offspring? Think about it, seriously. The artists still struggling to keep on the lights with their album sales? Christina Millian, Lil Mo, Lauryn Hill, etc. Sure some of these women have yet to even flirt with the idea of "an album allegedly being in the works," but still, I hold steady my stance on baby mothers --> mamas in R&B. Call me slightly bias, but I truly believe market value goes down when an artist bigs up the hype by having a lil' replication of themselves. Sure, he or she looks cute and fuzzy wuzzy, but at the end of the day, fans are not looking to hear mother-like records. Shucks, are you kidding me? Initially I wanted to merely reference mothers since Mother's Day just passed, however, the same rule could be applied to men. Usher's last two albums compared to Confessions?  See, in baseball there are these things called "Unwritten Rules" where of course it is not outlined and featured on page six of "How To Make It (In R&B)" but it is something we should take note of. If you have kids maybe keep it so on the down low to the point where co-workers could spend 45 minutes throughout the day pointing out the "facts" of why (s)he has a child or does not. No worries, this is not some anti-Christian perspective being presented to erryone, this is just a guy much like Robert De Niro from Casino (Sam 'Ace' Rothstein) who knows the numbers game better than his mother's birthday. Now granted, the music game seems like it is struggling more and more every day, but this still does not explain the success of Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, etc. Even with sales on the steady decline, you cannot snub the fact homegirls and fellas were able to push units with their latest projects with the numbers still growing today.

I think this is most evident with Beyoncé a month or so ago when the label actually had to release a statement saying no one was aware of Beyonce's child and not to take the rumors to heart. Even Alicia Keys has kept things gully dodging MILF status and since she has not had any kids, continues to push units. Sure, this posting could be looked at as mere speculation and/or just an overly opinionated perspective but I truly believe this holds true. Shucks, sorry Erykah Badu but without you showing us your (delicious) nude body from the "Window Seat" music video, do you think we all would have gone to the record shops to cop your latest album, New Amerykah: Part Two just off the strength you had some dope lyrics? Naaah man. Granted, I feel as though the nude video helped accomplish the biggest task any musician/artist hopes to achieve—gaining attention. Without the attention, your buzz is deaded, dun-dun. No excitement, no interest, nuffin'. So Badu strips down (and yes, she does have three children accounted for) and turns the internet up. Take into consideration her last two kids being born in mid-2004 or so, and 2008/2009 (I believe), then you can see why drastic measures were easily underlying necessities. See, I feel these are topics people really do not want to discuss. The "truth" is pretty hard to take, especially when it is coming from a guy with a blog --> space posting called "Cyriously" and with an addiction for ---> (arrows) and other inner writing signatures. #Sorry.

So we go back to women with kids in R&B, funk it, we go back to men, too, with kids. Granted, this may not always be the case because in the past year or so we have seen Sade and Whitney Houston smash the R&B charts with huge records. Although, their sales were likely ignited because of their buzz being billed as "comeback albums," in actuality, my point still holds true.

R&B, neo soul, etc., is still young and although artists grow in age, the next new wave in any genre of music will always come from a younger artist. This is the way it has always been, so whether you think Dave Matthews Band or Bono or Jay-Z or Madonna or Stevie Wonder or Cher or anyone will never go away really has no relevance when you consider the simple fact of generation after generation of artists will continue to evolve and grow. Therefore, I really believe this idea of artistic development and brand/image control really gets put down the drain when the powers like Twitter or simple media in general (i.e. Suite903 interviews asking Kelis about motherhood, etc.) continue to bring fans closer to an artist showing their age. I do not care if you have a young girl (Cassie's age, early 20s) who has a baby and will be putting out an album later in the year. The point is: aging gets completely tied in with artists and hurt sales. Why do people like Lady Gaga? Because she is different. Why do people like Beyoncé? Because she is iconic, independent (musically, at least).

However, when you factor a baby into the equation, things become a bit out of place. Sure, there are millions of mothers across the globe but when you have young fans making a connection to their favorite artists or even horny guys (like myself) who have grown attached to the sexiness which embodies an artist like Rihanna and then you find out their knocked up ---> expecting a baby, a certain, unknown disinterest begins to develop. A feeling of removal or even betrayal is subconsciously grown within our heads... just saying.

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Cyriously: Are R&B's Baby Mamas Hurting the Game?