“R&B Divas” recap (3.6): Dresses and Da Brat

The real bad times begin when all the divas (minus Angie, again) meet up for yet another sit-and-chat “rehearsal session,” during which Keke’s manager Tara comes in and shares the news that we all saw coming last week. Keke, Syleena, and Monifah are not, in fact, nominated for a Grammy. Only Faith Evans is, because she contributed 51% of the album. The rules have apparently been changed just this year on compilation album nominations, cutting the rest of the divas out.

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The divas are pissed, and for good reason, explaining that it’s incidences like this that screw women over in the industry and create division and animosity between themselves. They seem particularly peeved because Faith sits on the Grammy committee, and so must have known about all this, and they wonder why she didn’t communicate it better. Now, this situation is tough because Faith Evans never appears to share her own side. And just knowing what we know about Faith Evans, I don’t think anybody thinks she’s being purposely malicious. I don’t think anyone hates Faith Evans. I think they just hate the situation. Syleena especially has a right to be angry, being that she personally wrote one of the songs on the album. That goes even a little further than just contributing some vocals to a thing; the full breadth of your talent has contributed to the heart and soul of it.

But the divas deal with it pretty well, committing to stay unified, and to still have their One Night Only concert in LA during Grammy week. Because oh, you’re actually not going to nominate us for a Grammy? Tough shit; we’re gonna take over your town anyway. Hell to the yeah.

Later, Meelah brings Zac over to Keke’s house so that he can play with her ten thousand babies, and they chat about life and about Meelah’s benefit concert. While I think Keke’s kids and Zac playing together is perfect, and while it seems like Meelah and Keke actually have a lot of things in common—they talk about living with a partner that you’re no longer together with, as Keke did with her first husband for a while, and as Meelah is currently doing with Musiq Soulchild—this whole scene feels awkward. And I think it’s just because Keke seems a little off during it. She’s not being her crazy Keke self, and she’s not being a bitch, either, she’s just being a little quiet and subdued, tired, not herself. But hell, we’ve all had those moments. I have those moments every day.

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Meelah also asks if Keke will sing at the autism benefit concert, and Keke says sure, she’s down. If there’s a band. To which Meelah looks blank. A band? Oh yeah, maybe we need one of those? And you start to feel like maybe Meelah doesn’t completely know what she’s doing.

Syleena continues to bust her ass on her songs, which includes a studio session with Da Brat. DA BRAT! DA BRAT IS SO FINE.

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After Da Brat does her rapping thing on the microphone, she and Syleena have a little chat about the divas’ upcoming concert, and even though it appears that Da Brat is just stepping into this situation, she also immediately talks more sense about it than anyone else has all season. First of all, she says, they have to actually be rehearsing. (RIGHT?) Second of all, if LaTavia doesn’t have any songs and she’s not practicing, she can’t really call herself an R&B diva. (THANK YOU, DA BRAT.)

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