Grammy-nominated R&B artist Case wants to revisit a time when artists spoke truth in their music.
Known for a string of Platinum and Gold hits from the mid ’90s through the early 2000s such as “Touch Me, Tease Me”, “Happily Every After”, “Faded Pictures”, “Think Of You” and more, Case was in the wedding when hip-hop officially married R&B and helped to pioneer the sound at the height of the genre’s success. His musical contributions to that specific time period can’t be denied.
But now in 2015 when strip club music dominates the R&B charts and the traditional sound of the genre is overshadowed by a song’s twerk potential, Case is looking to help the genre regain sight of its musical mission.
Ro recently sat down with Case to talk ’90’s R&B, his latest album, Heaven’s Door, and what he loves about Chicago.
What do you enjoy most about Chicago?
Michigan Avenue has always been a favorite of mine. I love just walking up and down it. Back in the day when I first started coming here regularly, I used to sneak out at the crack of dawn to check it out on my own. Always a must-do when I touch down in the Chi.
Why do you think ’90’s R&B is considered something of a golden era for the genre?
I think it has a lot to do with what’s out today. People have sorta romanticized it. It’s like not missing what you have until it’s gone. I remember back then we used to feel like we didn’t have the full attention of the fans. It felt like all they wanted was hip-hop. But with the climate of music today, it’s like now they want it and miss it.
What can you tell us about your latest album, Heaven’s Door?
I’m really proud of this album. It came out at the end of March. I worked with some amazing people like Issac Hayes III and Travis Cherry, to name a few. Musically, I’m just going with the times but also giving my fans that classic Case sound.
With all the recent incidents involving police and people of color being mistreated, what’s your take on it? Do you think it’s a crazy rash of events or are we just more aware because of technology?
Nothing has really changed in the way authorities treat people of color since slavery–even through present day. It’s the same as it ever was. The same as it was in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, all the way up to today. The only difference is now we have all this technology that people can use to document it better and get the word out to the world.
What’s next for Case?
I’m heading out on tour. Looks like I’ll be touring with Jodeci in October. Fans can find out all tour dates and info on iamcase.com.
Catch Case as he co-headlines the 4th annual Westside Music Festival with BBD this Saturday, August 15from 12 to 8 p.m. at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento (Corner of Ogden and Sacramento Avenue) in Chicago.
For more information on the event, visit www.chicagowestsidemusicfestival.com