Ne-Yo has contributed his fair share of love songs to the R&B game throughout the course of his nearly 25-year career, writing and producing for both himself and a number of other notable artists, and it’s his expert opinion that the current state of the genre isn’t helping Black love flourish in the way that it once did.
The “Miss Independent” singer, who has penned hits for the likes of Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, and more, expressed his opinion on the correlation between the rocky romantic road that many are traveling with the pointedly different “harsher” evolution that R&B has gone through.
“I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody that R&B music definitely has gone through an era that is much harsher than we all remember,” the three-time Grammy Award-winning artist told Page Six when asked about his feelings on the current state of R&B and love as a whole. “I love you’ became ‘you my b***h’ or something like that. OK, we’re going to move with the times but at the same time, love is not a trend or a fad. It’s not something that is supposed to go out of style. It’s like saying water is out of style. No, you need it to live.”
The talented multi-hyphenate learned his own lesson on valuing love when he and his wife Crystal Smith worked their way back together from the brink of divorce during the pandemic. “We were talking full-on divorce,” explained Neyo during an October appearance on “Good Morning Britain.” “It forced us to sit down and talk about our problems and re-connect with our kids.”
Ne-Yo explained to Page Six that he “definitely” thinks there’s a connection between “the way that love has been approached as of late” and “why relationships are not lasting as long as they once did.”
“People ain’t looking at it the right way. I feel like everyone’s love got some conditions on it,” he said. “If he ain’t got this much money; if she ain’t got that much booty, or whatever, whatever. And that is always going to be an issue for genuine love; genuine true love.”
“I feel like people need to turn their eyes and ears off for a second and turn they hearts on and just realize what it is to genuinely love somebody outside of what you can see, taste, touch, smell,” he continued. “It runs deeper than that. I feel like once we get back to that then it will come back in the music and then everything will be all right.”
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