If R&B were a classroom, multi-platinum selling artist Ne-Yo would be the quiet student who sits in the back of the class with the mystique and swag of a confident, but humble intellectual that everyone secretly aspires to be like. Ne-Yo wouldn’t answer every question because he’d find satisfaction in knowing that the quality of his work surpasses his flamboyant, attention-seeking classmates who use shallow themes to get by. Often when an artist seeks quality over what’s popping at the moment, he/she falls to the wayside or fades to black, especially with the media. But the three-time Grammy Award winning Ne-Yo doesn’t mind being, in his words, “underrated.” He’d rather move with quiet determination, stay on his Fugees shit, and softly kill the game.
Which is exactly what the self-proclaimed gentleman has been doing since arriving on the music scene nearly a decade ago. While many artists plea for attention with shenanigans such as taking flicks with other celebs, flooding strip clubs with dead presidents, beefing with other artists or following the current music industry fads, Ne-Yo is moved by quality, and he consistently holds down the Billboard charts, like a family man keeping his home filled with food, love and financial support.
Ne-Yo’s ability to pinpoint a feeling or certain moments speaks volumes about his refined thought process and songwriting skills. For instance, the lyrics, “You make the hairs on back of my neck stand up,” or “To the left, to the left/Everything you own in a box to the left,” are believable lyrics inspired by real-life experiences and not by a fantasy. Real-life is forever. Fantasies are temporary. And Ne-Yo’s a songwriting genius who’s mastered the perfect balance of imagination and simplicity.