Is Jhene Aiko Really The Next Sade? 10 Musical Comparisons Made That Don’t Make Sense
In today’s day and age, you can’t just be a talented musician without someone looking to compare your talents to someone else. That includes the legends, as well as today’s icons. But sometimes, even when people mean well, some reach quite far when comparing today’s artists to those of the past and present. Here are a few examples of musical comparisons gone left…
Jhene Aiko Being Compared To Sade
I’m a pretty huge Sade fan, and really, I don’t think there is anyone like her musically. This is not to say that she’s the greatest to ever do it, but she carved out her own lane and is one of the few performers who can go on long breaks and still be welcomed back with open arms (and #1 albums) when she returns. So when I heard the comparisons between Sade Adu and Jhene Aiko, I raised an eyebrow. Aiko said that at one point, people classified her and her music as a “younger Sade with urban stories.” And in VIBE she said it’s a comparison she embraces: “That’s great if people think that because she’s amazing. That’s someone I’d love to be in the same lane as.”
TI Being Called The New Tupac
Did anybody else laugh hysterically when they heard this comparison?
Well, as the story goes, TI’s first album after being incarcerated called No Mercy (formerly King Uncaged), according to Tip, was supposed to be the biggest thing since Pac’s All Eyez On Me. As he explained it:
“Just given the enormous success of that project, everyone’s expecting the same results. I just want to meet the expectations, if not surpass them.
This is the most significant return from incarceration that the game has had since then.”
In case you were wondering, the album did well sales wise (and spawned the singles “Get Back Up” with Chris Brown and “Got Your Back” with Keri Hilson), but got mixed reviews from critics, while All Eyez On Me was critically acclaimed and went 10 times platinum.
Ciara Is The Next Aaliyah
In a chat, Timbaland, who worked closely with Aaliyah at the peak of her career before her passing, actually said that Ci Ci is the next Aaliyah. Back in 2009 he made this claim because he felt that the former Princess of Crunk & B kept Aaliyah alive in a way.
“People would say ‘Oh Ciara is the next Aaliyah’ – yes she is. She keeps my girl alive, so when I hear Ciara a tear come out my eye, cause I’m like ‘wow, she ain’t forgotten’.”
Bruno Mars Is The Next Michael Jackson
No, seriously. This happened. The Metro in Canada broke down five reasons why Bruno Mars is the next Michael Jackson, citing their unique vocal capabilities, great songwriting skills and the fact that they came from large families as good enough reasons. Even Mars fans agreed (there are quite a few threads online with people asking, “Are People Still Denying That Bruno Mars Is The Next Michael Jackson?”). Well, even Mars knew that was a terrible comparison:
“It’s not true. It’s very flattering. But there’s only one Michael Jackson, and I’ll be the first one to say that. No one can take his place…I hope I’m the first Bruno Mars.”
Miguel Is The Next Prince
Since he first stepped on the scene dressed like a futuristic robot who later upgraded to a pompadour, folks have been comparing Miguel to Prince. Musically, they’re on two different wavelengths to me. Plus, Miguel even thinks it’s a reach to compare him to Prince, who he calls a major influence.
“It’s cool for people to pick parts of him that they see in me because he is one of my hugest influences. I think it’s cool that you see it if you do, but I would never compare myself to him.”
Leona Lewis Is The Next Mariah Carey
In 2008, Entertainment Weekly asked the question as the title of an article: “Leona Lewis: The Next Mariah Carey?” and Simon Cowell said she had the potential to be right up there with Carey after she won the UK’s “X Factor” in 2006.
”I’m aware that when you make a statement like that, you’ve got to deliver. But I believe in all my heart that she really is that good.”
Yeah, “Bleeding Love” was a mega-hit, but after that, Lewis’ career couldn’t seem to sustain the longevity that Carey’s was able to all these years.
Rick Ross Is The New Notorious BIG
He’s big and he raps. Clearly it didn’t take much for people to compare Rick Ross with Biggie when he first came out. But as time has passed, it’s clear that they have very little in common, aside from getting along well with Diddy. But you couldn’t tell VIBE or The Urban Daily or even Diddy (who called Ross the BIG of the South) that. Ross did admit to being flattered:
“That’s most definitely big, but I want New York City. I’ll never get it twisted, the magic that Notorious B.I.G. created could never be duplicated. That most definitely was my mentor, that’s who music I wrote to the most. Hearing that come from Diddy himself is big and it’s inspiration to keep making hot music.”
Justin Bieber Is The New Justin Timberlake
Early in Justin Bieber’s career, Usher and Justin Timberlake were battling to take the Biebs under their wing. Of course, Usher would win and become Bieber’s mentor, but for years now, people have said Bieber is the next Timberlake based on sales on the appreciation of pre-pubescent girls. The folks at MTV even went to quite a few critics to have them answer the question, “Is Justin Bieber The Next Justin Timberlake?” back in 2010. They asked again in 2012, and this time, Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, decided to respond. While he said it is an honor for Bieber to be compared to Timberlake, it’s too simple.
“A compliment of that nature is something that we embrace, but at the same time I think it’s the easy comparison. I like to say things no one else will say: They’re both white and both their names are Justin. That’s the thing that everyone thinks but they won’t say out loud. And I think the two of them feel that way.”
Rita Ora Is The New Rihanna
This really wouldn’t be that far off…if people actually knew Rita Ora for the few songs she has and not for the guys she dates or the fact that she steps out of the house in designer threads. Back in 2012 she told The Guardian that Jay Z wanted her to be the next Ri Ri:
“I don’t think there will be a next Rihanna. But I think [Jay Z] definitely sees me as someone who could be as big as Rihanna. She’s a superstar now but they first knew her as a small-island girl – and they want to repeat that success.”
But earlier this year, while talking to The Breakfast Club, she passed on such comparisons.
“I think she is dope. And all these kind of comparisons, it’s kind of pretty flattering … Good thing is, though, I’m doing my own thing, she’s doing her own thing. We don’t need to watch what each other is doing. We just do our own thing.”
“Beyonce Is No Ashanti”
Back in 2003, a writer for the New York Times boldly scoffed at the prospect of Beyoncé’s burgeoning solo career, saying that “She’s No Ashanti.” Yes, both women were hot at the time, but in that piece, the writer said that Ashanti was Bey’s only “mirror-image rival.” All these years later we know that Beyoncé’s career has had more ups than downs and earlier this year, Ashanti spoke about that particular article and past comparisons.
“I remember that [article]. I feel like ‘the critics’ and ‘the media,’ people always put us against each other, but we never had beef. It was always all love. ‘Hey!’ ‘What’s up!’ ‘I like your shoes!’ It was that kind of thing. I think we’re two very different artists. I think we bring our different music to the table and I think there’s room. Again, I didn’t like the fact that people always put us together, but it’s a competitive business. There’s only one number one spot. Both working very, very hard. I was extremely happy just being with Murder, Inc. We had an amazing wave and I loved the music we were doing and it just felt right.”