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By Kevin L. Clark


      The R&B scene has experienced a resurgence it cultivating original material as of lately. Not necessarily gone are the rap-R&B hybrid tracks, but the artist – both young and veteran – are settling for that good ole soulful sound. One in particular is singer-songwriter, Joe. The Georgia born crooner was raised under the watchful eye of two preacher parents.

      But as the former Gospel singer turned R&B heartthrob, Joe became a chart topping success. With songs like “The Love Scene,” “Don’t Wanna Be A Playa,” and “I Wanna Know,” Joe Louis Thomas became a household name. Even though the saying is, “What goes up, must come down,” the proverbial powerhouse grinds hard through low sales to drop the aptly titled Ain’t Nothin’ Like Me (Sony/Jive).

      Joe continues to make the ladies swoon and Crackspace sits down with him as he talks about his worst relationship ever, the new album and what he would if he was the true man for another woman.


HHC: The response about the new album has been really good. Do you that people are still receptive to good R&B?


Joe: Yeah, I hope that that’s what that means. I definitely like to look at it that way. It’s a lot of hard work. Especially when you got hip-hop doing so incredibly and you have all the young people doing the Michael Jackson thing…


HHC: Michael Jackson thing?


Joe: You know everyone is back to singing and dancing. But I’m not hating, I think that it’s cool to see people doing that.


HHC: For a long time, it seemed that people were only going to be fed that hybrid of rap infused R&B tracks. Are the male R&B singers ushering in a renaissance of great R&B songs?


Joe: Yeah, if you want to put me in that category, then yeah. I’m trying to be one of those guys that is coming out and making great songs. I’m trying to represent a whole different kind of thing. It [my music] grabs the old school, it holds the young school. It crushes all boundaries.


HHC: You’ve always had a way with the ladies in your songs. Has you ever not been able to swoon a lady?


Joe: [Laughs] Yeah. The one’s that’s already taken, I can’t get them. 


HHC: “If I Was Your Man” is a track that hits me close to home. If a woman was to already have a man, but you know in your heart of hearts that that’s the one you’re supposed to be with – what do you do?


Joe: [Laughs] Ah, man, I’m going to have to talk to her. I got to try to make her see the light! She needs to leave the dude [laughs]. I’m just kidding… I don’t know what I would do. That’s crazy. I don’t know if I would pursue it, but if it was meant to be it’ll come to me. We, as men, always got to look at it like a tables turning type of thing. If I was really happy with this girl and another guy came in that’d mess up your whole life. Where’d you come up with such a crazy question like that?


HHC: [Laughs] It is something personal… But if “Love Is Just A Game” – what sport would you compare love to?


Joe: It would have to be something somewhat competitive. It would probably be something like basketball or tennis.


HHC: What was your worst relationship that you’ve ever been in?


Joe: Let’s see… I was in one for a long time where I lost everything I had. That was a long time ago. I just walked away from it. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was just because I was young dude and I felt like I had to move on.


HHC: My Name Is Joe was your highest selling project to date, right?


Joe: Yeah, it was…


HHC: How do you think your fans have grown while listening to your music?


Joe: I think they’ve seen me go through the up and down thing as far as record sales go. The true fans never really looked at the decreasing sales. They just see me continue to move forward with my career. That would be a disappointing thing to watch the charts while your career is going up and down. I try not to focus on Billboard or any of the number charts. That could be a let down for you. One album could do well, one could do great and one could do horrible.


HHC: If you could create the perfect love scene for a lady that you care about – what would it be?


Joe: The perfect love scene… To me that’s really, hmm… There’s a few ways that you could do that. That love scene would start off in the Jacuzzi; you know that bubble bath type of thing. I’d light the whole room up with candles. I’d probably serve some white wine or that red wine and pour it for her. I’ve probably jump the gun and got right to romantic part. [Laughs] I didn’t do any type of set-up…


HHC: The new album is high on the charts and you really felt confident about this album going in. What has changed in your life that has influenced some of the material that you’re coming out with on this album?


Joe: I wouldn’t say that a whole lot has changed. I was in a relationship during a 3-4 year period and it dissolved on the part to where I was more hurt in the end than she was. I kind of wrote through all of that right there. That was a big focus in the back of my mind. That experience semi-affected my writing and the songs that was on my mind. The last song on the record was really autobiographical about my relationship.


HHC: When it’s all said and done – what do you want your fans to know about Joe?


Joe: That’s a good ass question, Kev. What would I want them to know that they don’t know about me? Hmm, let’s see… I don’t know if I have an answer for that. I try to stay focused; I live my life as an open book. I want people to know that the person who I am looks at the end picture. I look at myself living really well; not just in the sense of good with my own finances. I want to make a way out for a lot of people. I want to be the next Barack Obama in this joint. Ultimately, I want to change the world in some kind of way. If I can do that through music, then that’s how I can do it.


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