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


Last week on R&B Divas, Monifah and Terez settled on Hawaii for their wedding location; Keke, Syleena, and Mo celebrated their Grammy nomination; and Angie Stone had one hell of a birthday party. Fun times! Music! And there’s more of that this week: more wedding talk, more singing, yay! But as opposed to last week, so much of this episode just felt full of a whole lotta awkward.

We start with LaTavia meeting with a music producer she’s known forever, Jazze Pha. Since she has no new music to perform at the One Night Only divas event, I think maybe she’s expecting Jazze to magically give her a bunch of new songs. But when he asks if she’s been practicing or writing and she says no, he gives her a stop-with-the-bullshitting talk, which surprises her. She says she didn’t expect him to be so hard on her, but I think LaTavia needs some people to start being hard on her at this point.

3divas6screencap1“You need to actually decide what you want to do and then just do it.”

3divas6screencap2“THAT SOUNDS HARD. NO THANKS.”

Over at a different studio, though, with an artist who’s actually serious about her career, Syleena Johnson is meeting with Wayne Williams so he can listen to the tracks she’s been working so desperately on. We get to hear two, one a spare, haunting, vocal heavy track that really lets her husky, soulful talent shine. The other’s a totally different, totally badass, hip-hop-ish track with Da Brat that I could totally see pumped out of my radio all summer. This scene isn’t so much awkward as anxiety-inducing, as we wait with baited breath along with Syleena to see what Wayne will say.


And what he ends up saying is good! He hears some things that can be improved, but he’s happy. Syleena and Syleecia can breathe. But now there’s the next step—deciding which record label Syleena will actually want to go with. Wayne really, really wants her at his own label, but there are other options she could pursue, as well. Obviously, nothing is set in stone yet, but I just feel really happy for Syleena Johnson at this moment. She works hard, she’s talented, and she could do some really exciting stuff with the right label. Power on, woman.

We also get a brief but surprisingly emotional moment with Meelah and her son Zac as they go to Zac’s weekly therapy appointment, to work on his speech and motor skills. Zac is so happy when he walks in, cheekily greeting the two young therapists, but then they’re on the floor of the playroom and one of them asks what toy he wants. Zac bursts out, confidently: “I want—” and then stops for a prolonged period of silence that feels almost physically painful, his ability to verbalize what’s going on in his head suddenly cut short.

Meelah attempts to explain what living with this is like without breaking down. It’s hard having a 4½ year old who can’t express what he wants, always having to guess at his needs and desires. But even though it’s hard, the therapists assure her that Zac is making a lot of progress. Later, we’ll see Meelah chatting with her manager Cory about the new charity she’s started, entitled PROUD (Parents Reaching Out to Understand Developmental Delays). She wants to throw a concert to get the word out about the cause, and is hoping the divas will partake.


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