All in the Family BRUTHA
R&B needs Brutha right now. The Los Angeles quintet blends classic Motown flavor and modern “swagga” into a sound that’s simultaneously sexy and soulful. On their eponymous Island/Def Jam debut, these five young brothers revive soul with a smile. Their record, which came out on December 21st, has got feel to spare, and it’s the end result of a long hard road. Their journey from the streets to the stage is chronicled weekly on the hit BET show Brothers to Brutha. However, all of this recent time in the limelight hasn’t gotten to them.
Sitting in the Def Jam conference room, Brutha — Jake, Jared, Grady, Papa and Anthony — are some of the most genuine and funny cats you could come across. It doesn’t even feel like a label office when they’re there. It’s like a family gathering. That family chemistry is all over the record too. “As brothers, our bond is so crazy that it separates us,” explains Anthony. “I’m not saying it in a cocky way, but it’s a bond that I know the people in the crowd feel. It’s just a brotherly link. There’s that feeling that it’s this big family affair.” Everyone is also welcome in the Brutha family, and this is music that anyone can vibe with. Grady continues, “Our lyrics are very positive.
They’re real. There’s nothing falsely contrived. We got the chance to co-write our first single, and we worked with a lot of really talented writers on the album including Ne-Yo, The Corner Boys, R.L. from Next and Daron Jones from 112. We bring across real issues that people can relate to.” The show has become a success because people can relate to them as well. Jake states, “I think people are connected to the show because Of its honesty. Right before the cameras came, we were concerned about how we were going to be portrayed. We didn’t know if we should lay back on this or that. You know what? At the end of the day, we’ve got problems, we’re a family and we love each other. Why not show the world our problems and the way we solve our problems?
We are who we are when the cameras are rolling.” Jake shows that even though some of the songs are about being brokenhearted, their respect for the ladies remains in tact. “We try not to belittle or disrespect women, and we don’t use any curse words. We stay positive lyrically. In music today, there’s so much negativity. I’m not saying all rap music is negative, because it’s not.
There’s positive rap, but rap rules the airwaves right now. There’s not a lot of positive R&B, and that’s why we want to bring that back.” They’re bringing it back full force on tracks like the first single, “I Can Hear the Music” and “She’s Gone.” Both songs pack a classic sense of suave and a 21st century wallop. Papa shows the most important aspect of the group’s music though. “People go through a lot these days. I always saw music as my escape. I always wanted our music to be that escape for somebody when they’re going through something.
They put our record on to get through their situations.” Ultimately, Jared puts it best, “You’ve always got to put on some R&B to get through what you’re going through. R&B does touch the soul.” With that, they serenaded this writer a Capella, and backed up every word they said in the course of our time together. They’re the real deal, and I truly felt part of the family.