He Had That Masculine Thing DOWN: 8 Mannish R&B Singers

March 21, 2012  |  
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The assumption…or stereotype is that if you’re a male R&B singer, you’re bound to be a tad bit feminine.With the prevalence of Hip Hop and it’s strong machismo culture, R&B singers are often regarded as “sweet,” a little metrosexual even. Nothing wrong with that. If a majority of your audience is going to be female you better know what they want to hear and how they want to hear it. But just because you sing to the ladies doesn’t mean you have to fit this stereotype. In fact there are a few brothas who “sang” and are more mannish than a little bit. Who am I talking about? Check out the list below…

Source: stupiddope.com


With a name like Tank, it’s clear that this man, born Durrell Babbs, was trying to send a message. Really, what else can you expect from a multi-sport athlete? But the music called him. He ended up giving up an opportunity to play college football to sing back up for Ginuwine. Turned out to be a good decision. Plus football is so dangerous and we could not have anything happen to this beautiful man and his body. Just look at that smile! But I digress. Though Tank is always singing to us, you can still hear the ruggedness in his delivery. If you recall the end of the “Maybe I Deserve” video, you know what I’m talking about. We dig that.

Source: hifimagazine.net


I know ever since Whitney’s funeral, everybody associates Jaheim with that ridiculous purple suit. But let’s focus on his real career for a minute. It’s no surprise that Jaheim is a little hood considering he started his career as a rapper. Really, I’m glad he made the switch to R&B because his voice is a gift. If he had the proper material, I’m sure he’d be a bigger force in the R&B world. But just like Tank, maybe even a bit more so, he brings the street to those melodic notes of his. See what I mean:

If they gleam in the sun
while they spin and they fit on my truck then {I could remember}
And if it came in the sack
No stems no seeds in the bag girl {I could remember}

And if they drip from my wrist and they look like they shine like new then
{I could remember}
But Ohhh girl
I forgot to be your lover

Source: wksktheheat.com


Let’s pause for the cause as we reflect on the beauty that is Tyrese Gibson. The combination of that chocolate skin, those washboard abs and that Crest smile will have a sistah shouting, speaking in tongues and doing a quick Holy Ghost dance. God truly is good. The man is definitely model material. He becomes a double threat when he opens his mouth to sing, not talk. (Sometimes Tyrese will talk real reckless.) Either way, everything from his gruff voice, to the passion with which he sings his songs and even the movie roles he accepts all feed into his very masculine (very swexy) image. Plus he flat out told us he’s a rough sex type of dude:

How you gonna act like we don’t be makin’ love
You know we be tearin’ it up, breakin’ stuff, that ghetto love
How you gonna trip, how could you forget?
How you gonna act like that?

Source: rap-up.com

R. Kelly

Some of you don’t even like to speak R.Kelly’s name but the man is like a bad penny, he always shows up and no matter how tarnished, he still has worth. No shade Kelly, baby. I know you’re worth more than a penny. It’s just an analogy. I can’t pretend I don’t rock (hard) to his music, old and new. I won’t deny his talent. In fact, I had an R. Kelly jam session at work just last week and this recent re-exposure to some of his genius has reminded me that Kellz will never let you forget his manhood, sometimes in some very raunchy ways. True, a man who’s always throwing his sexuality in your face could be hiding something but with R.Kelly we tend to believe it.

You remind me of my jeep, I wanna ride it
Something like my sound, I wanna pump it
Girl you look just like my cars, I wanna wax it
And something like my bank account
I wanna spend it, baby

Source: fanpop.com


When K-Ci sings it’s almost like he’s in pain. You would never look at this skinny, scrawny man and think a voice that soulful, that rough and raspy would come out of him. But don’t be fooled, he’ll surprise you every time. We’re not going to get into it but from the interviews we’ve seen, perhaps K-Ci took his machismo a lot too far…

Source: free-press-release.com

Aaron Hall

Nothing says masculine like a crotch grab, right? Lol You’re probably wondering why Aaron Hall made it onto this list considering he’s been missing from the music scene for the past two decades. (The brotha is training dogs now…no lie.)  But for some reason my friends and I keep Aaron Hall’s name alive, so I had to include him. Like K-Ci, Aaron Hall is another one with a coarse voice. But unlike K-Ci, Aaron Hall can get real nasally with his. We love it. No matter how nasally though, when Aaron Hall is singing you always know you’re listening to a ma-ann-nah.

Source: Eurweb.com


D’Angelo is hands down my favorite man on this list. While D’Angelo could always croon us into the next millennium, we never forget that there’s that thuggish, ruggish bone in his body. What else can you say about a man who uses a love song as a double entendre to describe his affection for marijuana?  Brilliant. Then there was his song, “Sh!t, Damn, MotherF**ker.” That was a beautifully violent song straight from a bruised male ego. Then as if we needed our suspicions further confirmed, which we didn’t, Common spoke about D’Angelo’s duality in his memoir, One Day It’ll All Make Sense. He admired the fact that while D’Angelo had this high pitched, smooth voice he was not to be tested. He recalled how he once came into the studio with blood on him after getting into an altercation with someone out in the street. We’re not saying that fighting makes you a man but D’Angelo will never be mistaken as too feminine.

This certainly isn’t all of them… which R&B cats defy the stereotype?

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  • What about Lyfe Jennings? He a thug

  • Ddc12963

    Trey Songz…should have been on this list. But if we were to go old school, Al Greene, Teddy Pendergast and Marvin Gaye would have made this list. 

  • Caribbeanqueen

    where is d’angelo??? i had an illegal relationship with him in my mind! i was about 14… sigh… lolol…

  • You all have got to fix the ad situation. Seriously

  • @MsRedboneBrite

    Sooooo…. I’m the only one who noticed there was only 7 slides instead of 8?? Ok…

    LOL, but seriously, this list is the bomb! I believe everybody who saying “So and so shouldn’t be on here” don’t know nothing about real baby making R & B, because I KNOWWWWWWWWWWW that even though R. Kelly has had some real low moments, you can’t deny 12 Play, R. Kelly, R., hell, his ENTIRE discography was the truth!!
    K-Ci (wooooooooOOOYEAH!) is who everyone thinks of when Jodeci is mentioned because, well, he’s K-Ci!! (Although Devante & Dalvin’s fine self were my personal favs)

    D’Angelo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whooooooooooo, he gotta be my fav on the list! I still knock to VooDoo to this very day!!

    Great list, but give me a number 8 please! 

  • Stephaniesa

    Tank tries too hard to be s@xy. I used to like him back in the day but he seems so thirsty to me.

  • Amija James

    I liked some of Jaheim’s songs, but he was too hood for me.  The video where he put the engagement ring on the dogs killed it!  
    Tank is a MAN!  He’s the kind of man who will put you to sleep but in the morning he’ll fix stuff.  
    R. Kelly’s old stuff is still baby making music.  Your Body’s Calling is my isht!

  • Tisha

    Don’t forget the Very manly Peter Hadar (Independent) http://www.peterhadar.bandcamp.com/album/take-off-victoria


    If you never heard, now you do.  Support the Underground!!

  • Brie

    R-Kelly is a child molester and K-Ci and Aaron Hall like to beat on women. It’s amazing that women like to talk that yang about respecting themselves and being a *insert adjective here* black woman, then willingly swoon over men that victimize women just like them. I guess it’s ok ’cause he’s never done it to YOU. SMH…

  • christielove

    My personal faves are Barry White,Alexander O’Neal and Michael Jackson. Barry White had that deep,baby making voice !

    • Guest

      I love Michael Jackson but nothing about him screamed mannish!!!

  • guest

    What about CASE?

  • Guest

    Replacing R.-Kelly with Anthony Hamilton would have made this list perfect.

    • Queen B

      I AGREE!!!!!!!!!! I can’t respect a child molester!

      • guestyo

        Nice to know you don’t respect your dad.

        • MadameHYC

          Feel free to give him your child then B*tch

    • Od

       Epic fail! No one cares about Anthony Hamilton. He sucks!

  • FromUR2UB

    As great as I believe Jaheim’s voice is, he wouldn’t be a greater force in the industry with proper material, because the people who have those special voices today, just came along at the wrong time.  I’m not even sure I know what it means to have proper material anymore; many of the songs that get people noticed now, aren’t that good.  They’re written for people who can’t sing, and that seems to be what their public wants.

    With the exceptions of Jaheim and D’Angelo (I guess he’s still good. Haven’t heard from him in a while) this list is kind of weak. Oh, sorry, I forgot: this is about whether they’re “mannish” or not…not so much whether they’re good singers.

  • d’angelo

  • Jolie

    Jaheim should be banished from all lists until he get off that stuff!

    Is Usher not mannish?! Ya’ll know he’s my illegitimate babys fahva…don’t play him like that MN! Lmao

  • Guest

    Umm, I have to disagree with K-Ci. I don’t think of masculinity when I hear him with all of that screaming…I just think of rehab. Much needed rehab. 

  • Gimmeabreak78

    I could take or leave any of the brothers on this list as being especially mannish, but they came correct with D’Angelo.

  • IllyPhilly

    Why would one believe a R&B singer was a little feminine? I would have never believed that, back in the day. Now…

  • The Real Mrs. PR Nelson

    Sorry to tell all u ladies that along with Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson..Jaheim is NOT SINGING TO US~~ 🙂

    still love them all 

    • ThisGirl

      Wait…so he saying he playing with the other side?

    •  HA!!!! I remember hearing that he was messin with some known singer when he 1st surfaced in the industry…