After a hiatus from the industry, Lyfe Jennings is back on the right track as he reemerges onto the scene performing shows across the country. When his concert series hit Cincinnati, Lyfe took to the stage of Bogart’s and reiterated through his performance that he is not your typical R&B Artist. Masked behind the gritty soulful sounds of his voice, Lyfe Jennings is a man of soul, depth, and experience. He is not one to only sing tales of love and lust. His lyrics are laced with life lessons, being both socially conscious and empowering. Lyfe’s songs preach values and speak to your emotions as his lustful harmonies simultaneously mesmerize you away.
And, mesmerize, is just what Lyfe did to his fans in Cincinnati. Performing some of the crowd’s favorites like ‘Let’s Stay Together’, ‘Statistic’, and ‘The River’, Lyfe kept the crowd hanging onto every word. As a man who has faced his own trials and tribulations, the experiences that Jennings has endured have helped him to construct the context of his lyrics in a manner that translates fluently to an ageless audience. Rendering a performance that was soaked in his passion for the lyrics he sang.
In his version of the song ‘The River’ he echoes the pain he felt as a child from not knowing nor feeling love from his mother. In this song he reminisces with lyrics that cry out,
“I was born by the river
That my momma cried when my daddy died
Maybe that was the reason I didn’t get the attention
That I was needing to touch cuz
I reminded her of him too much
Couldn’t understand what she felt so I hated her, yeah
Til I was old enough to hate myself…………
She didn’t even have the time to spend loving herself
Let alone, someone else
So I hated her, yea
Cuz I loved her, yea
And I cried, yea……”
The poetic agony of those lyrics almost rationalize the troubles of Lyfe’s past. His troubled past includes him going through two stints in jail, but now, Lyfe is back to the stage and hopefully living a life of testimony. During his performance he iterated that if he can make it, we all can, stating, “This is what you can do if you just put your mind to it. I don’t care what nobody said.. what you used to be.. what you gonna be……” Jennings’ own life is a testimony to these words.
As I watched Lyfe perform beyond the lessons that he conveyed, and above the talents of his never ending notes, what was most clear was the strength in his love of God. Through his voice I felt that he’s experienced the redemption that comes from that love. During his last song he shouted to the crowd, “If God has ever done anything for you then you should be signing along to this.” The end of his performance had me thinking I was at a Gospel Concert as he fed our souls with a voice filled with the vibratos of a broken man rebirth with the love of Christ.
In my opinion Lyfe is so much more than your typical R&B Artist. Lyfe Jennings is a man groomed with touches of the hood, defined with the depths of his struggles, then coated with the love of GOD. His lyrics depict his life and I can’t wait to hear what he shares with us next.
Check out photos and videos from the concert below, including photos of the opening acts Nautica and Ingrid Rachel.