His name is Jaheim and if that sounds familiar it's probably because last year's airwaves were bangin' nonstop with an instantly distinctive sound that put this New Jersey native on the map with three consecutive hit singles, the smash "Could It Be," and the follow-ups, "Just In Case" and "Anything," all from his double-platinum Divine Mill/Warner Bros. Records debut, Ghetto Love.
And, if you've picked up on an album title trend, that's no surprise either. First, last and forever, Jaheim is all about the streets, an authentic ghetto sensibility that comes through in each note and every word he sings. Maybe you're wondering whether this twenty-three year old phenomenon was able to hang onto his roots after the electrifying out of the box success that earned him accolades from England to Japan and across America. The answer comes across loud and clear with sixteen scintillating tracks of Still Ghetto, featuring the aptly titled debut single, "Fabulous." Simply put, you can take Jaheim out of the ghetto, but you can never take the ghetto out of Jaheim.
"My music is all about my life," he asserts. "I take my stories straight out of the inner city and my sound is about what¹s happening on the street. It's nothing but what I've lived through and my survival has only made me stronger."
It's a strength tempered by the trials of a life with more than its share of troubles and tribulations. A child of the projects, born and raised on the mean streets of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jaheim Hoagland early on faced long odds when, at the tender age of two, his father died, leaving his mother to raise three her young sons alone. Yet even though the inevitable struggles that followed, Jaheim was guided by two potent principles the love of his mother and his own love for music. "Singing was my way out," he explains. "No matter how hard life got, I could always make myself and my Mom feel better with a song. It was our salvation."