Tag Archives: life

Exclusive: The Dream


As we gather in what is known as the JET War Room at the Johnson Publishing headquarters, The Dream exudes an aura of chill. He’s been traveling for the past few weeks and is quite tired, like anyone with a demanding schedule would be. Dressed in all black with a Contra hat tucked to the back, he casually takes a seat right in front of the JET archives. He seems ready. Ready for the “standard interview.” Ready for the gossip questions. Ready for whatever. Ready. After a few authentic exchanges of words, we get down the why we’re here. We talk about the evolution of The Dream. As an artist, as a producer, as a man. And what fans can expect from his sixth LP, “Crown and Jewel.”

SJ: It’s been a minute. What have you been up to?

The Dream: Just doing my same ole thing. You know writing. Producing. Sangin’.

SJ: So how does it feel to be in the JET/EBONY archives?

The Dream: It feels great. Feels like a lot of people got my back right now.

SJ: I ask that question because I feel like every black person has a memory of the publications. I can’t think of a time when I visited my grandmother and it wasn’t a copy of EBONY and/or JET on her coffee table.

The Dream: Yeah. Even when the JET had like dried up Jheri Curl juice on it back in the ’80s (laughs).

SJ: From Rihanna’s “Umbrella” to Justin Beiber’s “Baby,” you’ve pretty much had a hand in shaping not just the sound of R&B, but pop during the first quarter of the millennium. How did the dream become The Dream?

The Dream: I think it started somewhere around third or fourth grade when I first got into the band. And I know that kids now aren’t introduced to instruments like back in the day. You know they’ve taken instruments out of schools. So for me, I’d have to say that the journey started somewhere in the latter part of the ’80s. You know when I was able to just grab my instrument and just have music as my friend without it being any political gain or any business interests in the music business at all.

SJ: “Music as your friend.” That kind of sounds like you have more of an adult relationship with the craft. It isn’t as innocent. How has being in the industry shaped your perspective on what appears to be a passion of yours?

The Dream: I still put music first. I don’t sell out. I don’t try to change anything that I don’t love. I don’t chase records that don’t sound like me. Being from the South, the church has a lot to do with music period. You have the chittlin’ circuit that used to be like gospel singers that went over to R&B and started singing. Whether it’s Sam Cooke, Otis Redding…it’s like a southern thing to be a part of the church when you’re young and growing up so it’s like a backdrop. I think it was around ’89 or ’90 when we started to understand that [music] was a business other than just showing up on Sundays and being part of the choir. So in the ’90s, I kinda just used what was around me. Atlanta became Motown at that point in time. We were able to kind of be more authentic about the music business per say.

SJ: What do you mean by that?

The Dream: Just to have a hand in on the culture. I mean Atlanta was overlooked. It was New York with this hip-hop thing, it was LA, it was the Midwest because of Motown. The South was just the south nobody said, “Hey I’m from Atlanta. I do music.” But now, most of the writers and all of the trends especially from a hip-hop standpoint, come from Atlanta and in the ’90s you had L.A. Reid move there and then you had TLC that came after that. You had the Dungeon Family. You had all of these things that were going on while I was a teenager that made it authentic. We had real people who went and got Grammys from that stage that was from Atlanta during a time when it was just overlooked.

Read the rest at JET. 

Ask Shan Tellem: I’m in Love With My Boyfriend’s Cousin

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Dear Shan Tell’em,

Okay so here goes nothing. I’ve been with my boyfriend on and off for two years and we have our ups and downs but love each other. Before we got together, I dated his cousin for not even a month but that eventually fell off because he didn’t want anything serious. It was basically just sex, but I wanted more. Recently, his cousin confessed that he wants me back. He said that he never really gave me a chance and wants to see where things could go. My boyfriend knows that we went out a few times, but I never told him that we actually had sex. I don’t know what to do because I love both of them, but I really want his cousin. Help!


In Between Love

Dear In Between Love,

Okay. You’re definitely wrapped up in a hell of a situation. As a rule, I do not recommend dating family members or people that my friends have been involved with. It’s too much confusion, emotions and I just don’t like folks knowing what I have. With that being said, I do understand that things happen, especially if you told your boyfriend that things weren’t serious with his cousin. Lying to him about having sex with him is another story. Why did you feel the need to lie? Were you afraid that he wouldn’t want to date you? I understand that you may have felt that your interaction with his cousin was nothing at the time that you got together. But the omission robbed him of the chance to decide if he wanted to proceed with you knowing the full story.

Being honest about your feelings would’ve given your boyfriend the opportunity to either proceed with caution, or leave the situation alone. Now, he doesn’t have that chance. Not going to lie, it’s actually one big clusterf***. Also, the fact that after two years, his cousin can still come back into the picture and shake things up speaks volumes. It’s interesting that no matter how great your relationship is with your man, just a few words from his cousin has you confused. Just because he is ready doesn’t mean that you should go running to him. Two years is not an eternity to be with someone, but I’m guessing that you are known by your mate’s family, your boyfriend knows your family and bonds have been established. It would look pretty damn trifling if you rolled up to the next gathering on his cousin’s arm. I’m all about living live the way that you want to, but this is something to consider.

Personally, I think you should let your boyfriend go if you’re not in love with him. I just feel that life is wayyy too short to settle. You may love him, but clearly your heart lies with someone else. If you’re not going to let him go, at least be selfless enough to tell him what is going on. It sounds like you have sorted out your feelings, so he deserves to know. As for the cousin that you’re in love with, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. Some people want you back simply because they see you with someone else. I’d also question if my feelings for the cousin were real if I were you. How deep could it really be if you guys just dated for less than a month and it wasn’t serious? Was it really dating or was it just sex? Are you just curious about the possibilities? Does he even want to date you exclusively? “Seeing where things go” is very vague.

It’s a lot of potential for quite a few people to end up hurt, especially your boyfriend who is the most innocent one of all in the scenario. I highly suggest that you really take some time to think about what you really want and what is best for all parties involved. I will leave you with this to think about: would you want to be with someone who was in love with someone else? Consider that when thinking about your boyfriend.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Submit your inquiries to contact@shantelljamison.com


Why You Should Date Someone Who Scares the S*** Out of You, A List


download (10)People will say they want true love, stare it right in the face and run the other way. They don’t always run because they are on bulls***, but due to fear. The fear of ACTUALLY being loved the way they should be. The fear of getting what you hoped for and messing it all up. The fear of realizing that everything that you ever wanted in a mate requires one thing: for you to be vulnerable like you never have before.

Continue reading Why You Should Date Someone Who Scares the S*** Out of You, A List