Ne-Yo Barks Back At Claims He Has “Gone Pop” / That Grape Juice Weighs In

Published: Friday 3rd Aug 2012 by Sam
neyo r.e.d

We’re in the era of Dance Pop. Factually speaking.

Hailed by some for the musical experimenting it encourages, it has been critiqued in earnest. Indeed, for many, the popularity of  and conformity  to the”generic genre” has swallowed the commercial relevancy of R&B whole.

For R&B singer Ne-Yo, it’s an issue that has plagued him in recent years; years which have seen him embrace a Pop-ier sound.

Presently on the promotional trail for new album ‘R.E.D’ (due September 18th), the singer-songwriter used a spot on Angie Martinez‘s Hot 97 radio show to address those who charge that he “abandoned” R&B.

His words after the jump…

Via RU:


Having heard ‘R.E.D’ (click here to read our EXCLUSIVE preview), we can vouch for Mr Ne-Yo’s declaration that the LP boasts an equal mix of R&B and Pop.

For us, though, the issue stretches beyond just the Ne-Yo’s and Usher‘s. For, it’s a given that the popularity of every music genre has peaks and troughs. Yet, it’s the pronounced lack of variety on the charts that is the most disheartening.

The 90’s are often hailed as a great period for music – and with good reason. Yes, it birthed hits that will go down in history, yet it also served up trash and lots of it. Yet, the main difference between then and now  is that tracks from a variety of genres had a legit chance of making a major splash on the collective tally vs today when the top 10 of many a chart sound like the same song with different lyrics.

Put simply, for the pervasiveness of Dance Pop to not go down negatively in the history books, those who govern the music industry must steer it back to a place where “difference” is celebrated not shunned.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Honestly Speaking August 3, 2012

    How has he “gone Pop” when his music hasn’t been popular since 2007? everything he has released since Year of The Gentleman has sounded dated and uninspired and his new album is shaping up to be no exception.

    • Honestly? August 3, 2012

      if I remember correctly one of the biggest hits last year worldwide featured Neyo (give me everything by Pitbul) and this year (Think like a man, title track to the movie), Yes he made a flop with Libra Scale but can we move on from that already! Year of the gentleman is great album btw!

      • Honestly Speaking August 3, 2012

        “Year of The Gentleman” is a great album. However, “Give Me Everything” was not his single. He was just a featured artist. And if I remember correctly the title track to that movie never really went anywhere. It may have performed well on the R&B charts (I haven’t checked so I don’t know) but I know that it didn’t have much of an impact (if any at all) on the Hot 100.

      • AmbeRussell November 4, 2012

        but ne-yo did co write give me everything, so…

  2. flawda August 3, 2012

    Artist are going to go where the money and sales are, if ya’ll want more traditional r and b, then stop being cheap and go support artist when they give you r and b. If you’re illegally downloading and not doing your part as a fan, then you’re just as bad as the artist you complain about. I also don’t think there is nothing wrong with pop as long as it’s well done, pop is only short for popular.

  3. That B*tch August 3, 2012

    Well he DID go pop and frankly I’m not interested in it. I’ve heard enough of it on the radio.

  4. MISHKA August 3, 2012

    To be honest, Ne-Yo was never traditional R&B anyway.

    I must say that “Let me Love You” which he wrote made Ne-Yo the pioneer of the mid-2000’s Contemporary R’n’B. He is the first one who started working with Stargate. Usher, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara and Chris Brown kind of followed him in this new form of R’n’B at the time.

    R’n’B simply needs to be reinvented like Ne-Yo and Stargate did in 2006. I have to agree with Drake, guys ripping their shirt off won’t resurresct R’n’B. This intricate R’n’B out there right now, brought by the likes of Franck Ocean, The Weeknd and especially Miguel is definitely the way to go.

  5. CzarM August 3, 2012

    F*** all that. No one wants an album of “an equal mix of R&B and Pop” from an R&B artist. Ne-Yo’s real fans want “So Sick” and “S*** Love” from him. Just like Usher’s real fans want “Confessions” and “You Make Me Wanna”. Just look at Usher, he called himself trying to be slick by coming out with an album that was 50% R&B and 50% Pop, and no one bought it.

    The bottom line is this:
    Once you forsake your ***core*** fan base in an attempt to crossover, or to “go where the money is,” your career is a ticking time bomb. Ne-Yo may score a few throwaway pop hits that’ll casually play on top 40 radio in between “Call Me Maybe” and “Wake Awake,” but he won’t be making any new fans with them. Pop music fans may like the SONGS enough to casually buy them, but they’re not going to suddenly become Neyo fans. They’re not gonna buy his CDs, see him in concert, buy any of his other merchandise or chase after him. They’re only there for the songs that they casually like.

    That’s what he needs to keep in mind.

    And in the meantime, Neyo’s actual fans will look at him and think “what is this b******* he’s doing?” and abandon him. I don’t wanna have to sit through 5 Closer’s in order to get 1 or 2 Miss Independent’s. I’ll just look to another artist to give me what he used to satisfy.

    Then when dance-pop FINALLY dies, where will his career be? The pop fans that liked “Give Me Everything” were never devoted to him and will have moved on to the next fad…and his one-time hardcore fans will have jumped ship on him after he decided he wanted to appeal to the Katy Perry crowd, and won’t turn back.


    • sammi August 3, 2012

      You completed hit the nail on the head. Ne-yo went from s*** songs like “Mirror” and “Because of you” to working with Pitbull who is so wack might I add. Im not feeling the new pop Ne-Yo. He can talk all he wants about how he didnt abandon anything, oh yes he did! I did like “What have I done” off of Libra Scale and I will support him with his strictly r&b cuts before I settle for some Jersey Shore pop house music. Im tired of my r&b males jumping ship to pop, its foul and it alienates the ppl who supported them since day one. I was so dissapointed in Ushers album and I vowed to never buy another full Usher album again. Hopefully Miguel can revive r&b cause gosh knows Chris, Ursh, and Ne-yo r not.

    • Eric August 4, 2012

      @CzarM: Well said!! Ne-Yo can say what he wants about equal parts pop and r&b, but he doesn’t keep it 50/50 when he gets on stage. His biggest and most critical performances (like GMA) are always pop. I loved this guy when I saw him on tour with Alicia Keys, but I’m questioning whether I would want to see him again.

  6. JJFan1814 August 3, 2012

    Sam there’s a difference between a degree in journalism & music.

    I’m sure if you were a label exec, you’d file bankruptcy before your first artist put out there first music video.

  7. Not Impressed August 3, 2012

    I love it when black acts sell out to white/pop and then get defensive when someone mentions it. I’d have a guilty conscience too if people weren’t blind to my being a fake.

  8. Dejae August 3, 2012

    Broad fan base?! Talk about delusions of grandeur. Ne-Yo’s fans are, and have always been, primarily R&B music lovers. “Everybody can come to the same damn concert.” Acting like he’s Michael Jackson or somebody. N**** please. In concert as soon as your Calvin Harris crap starts to play, everybody is going to the bathroom.

    • Benron (I sold Bey Her Reborn Doll) August 3, 2012


  9. QueenSize August 3, 2012

    SHe-yo just admit it and move on. Don’t get mad when your fans and critics call u out on your b*******.

  10. FAF August 3, 2012

    So I guess think like a man / Lazy Love = pop, huh? You guys are really delusional

    • Benron (I sold Bey Her Reborn Doll) August 3, 2012

      Half the album is pop.

      • FAF August 5, 2012

        but anything popular is pop.. pop is not a sound

  11. the real xoxo August 3, 2012

    9 times out of 10, if you even have to question if your music is r&b, then it isnt.

  12. JER August 3, 2012

    Ummmmm Ne-yo has always had pop songs and R&B songs out. That’s such b*******

  13. Legendtina August 3, 2012

    I find it intresting that when an R&B act does generic dance music Sam agrees that they are a sellout but when his fav “rapper” makes generic pop tracks he calls it expirementing and not being trapped in a box

    • Cassie August 3, 2012


      • FAF August 5, 2012

        Who’s his favorite rapper? Nicki’s album is still mostly RAP so i’m failing to see a point.. don’t be mad b/c your fave can’t be on top, too.. *xtina weeps*

  14. Selenator August 3, 2012

    Heres a thought for you die hard R&B fans: Your fave wouldnt be running to Dr.Luke for hits if you guys supported their R&B tracks. Beautiful Monster outperformed One in a Million and Champagne Life even though those songs are better. You guys have no one to blame but yourselves.

    • Biting Truth August 4, 2012

      Don’t put this all off on the fans; there’s only so much a fan base can do if the record label and radio programmers aren’t on board, eager to promote. If OIAM and CL had gotten fair airplay, then they would have gotten more exposure, and perhaps more people would have bought them.

      The bottom line is that R&B music is being either rejected at a corporate level…or…released with little-to-no promotion. A fan base can only do so much.

      • NaQu August 4, 2012

        Thank you. The people who make the argument that “if people want R&B back so bad, then they should support it” can kiss my ass, because I do (and I can’t begin to describe how annoyed I feel buying an R&B song from iTunes, knowing full well that it’s not going to make any difference for the song on the radio or charts.) Plenty of people do, I’m sure, but it’ll have little effect if the machine isn’t behind it.

        What people like to overlook is the fact that the music business is controlled by corporate. There’s a machine in place to support the success of pop music. When Katy Perry releases a new single, radio immediately puts it in heavy rotation before anyone requests it. When an artist records some dumb teeny poppy electro dance song and the record label feels that it can be a hit, they pull out all the stops to ensure that it does. If a song is being promoted and played to hell and back, then the public becomes brainwashed into liking it and thus, it gets sales. It’s like a runner being allowed to go before the gun shoots, while the other racers are forced to run in cheap, uncomfortable shoes en route of mud puddles.

        But whatever. We’re in dance/pop hell right now. Record labels and station managers have successfully convinced dorky teenagers to eat up this turn-off-your-brains pop crap up like Puppy Chow – but I promise you that when this crap finally does go out of style, and people realize how ridiculously silly it all was, the backlash against it will be huge. David Guetta, Calvin Harris, RedOne, Gaga, Katy, Rihanna, etc. are going to become commercial pariahs once the tide turns. And so will Ne-Yo.

    • FAF August 5, 2012

      Exactly. Got ppl asking for R&b but noone’s buying it.. b.s

  15. number1k9 August 4, 2012

    Wait one minute!

    I could have sworne, right before, during or after “Give Me Everything,” by Pitbull came out, Ne-Yo said in some interview that he was DONE with Pop/Dance music. He said something like, the only reason why he did “Give Me Everything,” a Pop/Dance/Hip Hop song, was because it was out of respect for Pitbull.

    Also bet his statements were in some response to the poor performance of ‘Libra Scale’ but we will leave that for another day and time.

    If I am not mixing up stories and quotes of his, why in the hell is he reverting back to doing at the very minimum SOME Pop/Dance tracks at all. Sorta thought the same thing when I heard him on Calvin Harris’s “Lets Go.” Now I just heard his new single “Let Me Love You (Till You’ve Learned To Love Yourself)” on the radio, and that song is a Pop song, in the vein of his “Closer.”

    In short, I am very confused by Ne-Yo’s personal comments.

    But it is clear, he is going where the money is, or, WELL trying to! It is sorta sad, because whether his first two records had Pop hits/songs on it. NONE of the singles released were straight up Pop or Dance songs. All released were Contemporary R&B songs.

  16. truth tea August 4, 2012

    im tired of urban acts selling out and getting so angry over it. just admit you want to cater to a larger audience and get it over with.
    an album which is 50 % pop is not r&b overall.

    • JER August 4, 2012

      this. It’s cowardice really. To put out obvious pop records and then “OH OHH NO I DON’T DO POP MUSIC, THIS IS R&B POP FUSION” 😐 I’m talking about Miss Ursha with her album Searching For MoreSales

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