R&B/Soul
1:05 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Anthony Hamilton's Got Something To Prove

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 10:43 am

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. R&B singer Anthony Hamilton is one artist that slipped under our noses; we just missed his album Back To Love, which came out earlier this month. Hamilton's been in the music business for two decades, during which he's had a mostly black audience. Now, with Back To Love, he's gaining even wider appeal.

Hamilton often sings about love's imperfections. In the song "Mad", he focuses on the complications of staying in love after years together.

"It's this grumpy man who's in a relationship," Hamilton says. "They've settled in. He loves her, but he wishes she would go to the store or go to her mom's house or whatever it may be."

Hamilton's characters also face temptation; many succumb to it. He says he likes to remind his listeners how close we often get to making choices with damaging consequences, as do the characters in his song, "Woo."

"There's a lot of people that have weaknesses to sex and booze or whatever it may be," Hamilton explains. "I'm not one that's too far from having any of those problems myself. I think we are all one decision away from messing ourself up."

Hamilton may best be known for his R&B songs, but the song "Sucka for You" shows off his poppier side.

"'Sucka for You' was a way of letting people know — 'You know what? I know you heard me on the R&B ballads and all these songs but this is a part of my personality [too]. I ain't too proud to beg. I ain't too tired to stay up all night. I got something to prove.'"

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All through 2011, we've worked to bring you the latest music on the air and online. And now, as this year ends, we'll catch up on some music we missed, including R&B singer Anthony Hamilton. His album "Back to Love" came out earlier this month.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAD")

ANTHONY HAMILTON: (Singing) I'm mad at the way she loves me. And I'm mad at the way she cares.

INSKEEP: This song is called "Mad," and it explores the complications of staying in love.

HAMILTON: It's this grumpy man who's, you know, in a relationship. They've settled in. You know, he loves her, but he wishes she would go to the store or go to her mom's house, or whatever it may be.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "MAD")

HAMILTON: (Singing) I'd be lying if I said I didn't love her. I'm still here.

INSKEEP: Anthony Hamilton is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he sang in the church choir as a kid. As an adult, he often sings of characters who face temptation.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "WOO")

HAMILTON: (Singing) I was, like, minding my business, wasn't thinking about striking up no conversation.

There's a lot of people that have weaknesses to sex and booze, or whatever it may be. And I'm not one that's too far from having any of those problems myself. I think we are all one decision away from messing ourselves up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "WOO")

HAMILTON: (Singing) It was critical, even biblical. Just liked Delilah said.

INSKEEP: Amid his R&B songs, which have made him famous in many quarters, Anthony Hamilton also dropped a pop tune on this latest album. It's called "Sucka for You."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "SUCKA FOR YOU")

HAMILTON: (Singing) I saw you out on the town, looking real nice, had to come talk to you.

"Sucka for You" was a way of letting people know, like, I know you heard me on the R&B ballads, but this is a part of my personality. I ain't too proud to beg. I ain't too tired to stay up all night. I got something to prove.

STEVER INSKEEP, HOST:

Singer Anthony Hamilton. You can hear songs from his album "Back to Love" at our website: nprmusic.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUCKA FOR YOU")

HAMILTON: (Singing) I ain't too proud to beg. I ain't too proud to beg all night. I've got something to prove, something to do, I'm a sucka for you. I'm a sucka for you. I ain't too proud to beg. Ain't too proud to beg all night. You got me breaking the rules...

INSKEEP: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.