Jaheim is clearly one of R&B’s underrated musicians. The man can sing (understatement), sounding like a mix between Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross. Throughout his underrated career, Jaheim has played a balancing act between playing to the streets and to the grown and sexy/adult R&B crowd. While that’s a “thin line” to balance, overall, Ja has been successful. Here is one favorite song from each of his six studio albums. BTW, make sure to check out Ja’s soulful 2015 single, “Back In My Arms.”
1) “Could It Be” (Ghetto Love, 2001)
This was a no-brainer. This was Ja’s breakout hit. No more explanation need – “Could It Be” that any other song was selected from Ghetto Love. No, though “Just in Case” was considered but ultimately no competition.
2) “Diamond In Da Ruff” (Still Ghetto, 2002)
Still Ghetto was a great album – better than Ghetto Love. This could’ve easily been the uplifting “Fabulous” or another underrated gem, “Backtight.” Ultimately, the pick is the soulfully contemporary “Diamond In Da Ruff,” which finds Ja in good voice as always.
3) “The Chosen One” (Ghetto Classics, 2006)
Has “I Choose You” ever been sampled better? Well that arguable considering it’s an oft-sampled soul classic, but Jaheim does work with the sample, which fuels “The Chosen One.” As he has throughout his career, Ja balances the past and the present well.
4) “Everytime I Think About You” (Ghetto Classics, 2006)
Okay, okay, so the song picked from Ghetto Classics ended up being a tie. Basically, “The Chosen One” and “Everytime I Think About You” are so similar that it’s hard to pick against the other. This is Jaheim firmly planted in his lane, talking some trash while keeping it vintage. “EITAY” is one of his best songs easily.
5) “She Ain’t You” (The Makings Of A Man, 2007)
What? He chose WHAT song from The Makings Of A Man? Yes, the pick is “She Ain’t You.” Let’s just say that at the time Jaheim’s fourth album arrived, this particular song made yours truly think about a girl… Just saying. This could’ve been “Life Of A Thug” or “Never” – probably should’ve been “Never” – but it is what its. The power of love…
6) “Ain’t Leaving Without You” (Another Round, 2010)
This, like “Could It Be” was a no-brainer. This was the best and sole hit from Another Round. Don’t get it twisted – Another Round was another terrific album from Ja – but “Ain’t Leaving Without You” actually had a bit of radio success. Old school was still alive and well on this jam and there’s nothing wrong with that!
7) “Florida” (Appreciation Day, 2013)
Another left of center pick. Yes, there was “Age Ain’t A Factor,” but “Florida” trumps it. This is a socially conscious record and unlike anything else Jaheim has released in his career.