“Real talk, I’ve been around the game since I was 4 years old, being with my uncle slash dad, Lynn Tolliver around the radio. I probably started doin’ radio when I was like 15, that was in ’86 around Cleveland. Then I started
doing Men At Large in 1990. So roughly, over 30 years.”
These are the words of Cleveland vocalist & native Dave Tolliver in this edition of the Industry Insider. As we get more in-depth, this is what he had to say about how the music game has changed since he started:
“Well I think back then it was pure, organic, a lot of hard work and it meant something to people. I think now, people just take it as this get rich quick thing, which is not always true. Everything in entertainment is really like a façade a lot of times. It’s definitely changed from the traditional way of shakin’ hands & kissin’ babies and meeting people and going to the radio station and all that different stuff and now you just push a button on the computer.
I think it’s gotten less personal and more general. It’s no personal attachment, nothing for the soul involved, it is what it is. I know back when I was a kid, the top athletes had letterman jackets. You knew when you saw somebody with a letterman’s jacket on that was somebody special, somebody unique, somebody different. Now they just lettin’ everybody wear’em. Like getting in the honor society, now everybody can get in. If you turn in some homework you’re in the honor society. (laughing) That’s how different it is now.”
When asked on where he would like to see the game go this is what he added: “I would like to see some laws passed. (laughing) Seriously, I would like to see music go back to where it used to be. I mean they probably still talked about the same things, they talked about getting’ high, they talk about sex, they talked about love, they talked about fightin’, they talked about everything. But they talked about it poetically though, you know what I’m sayin’, they talked about it metaphorically. You had to elude to basically, is that what they talkin’ about? Now they just say it straight out, it’s no four-play, no getting’ it wet, just drivin’ it straight in, no Vaseline. There’s no set up to the conclusion, it’s just a slam dunk period.
When asked about today’s R&B singers these were his feelings: “I feel like today’s R&B singers, they not really singin’. It’s a few cats out there singin’. Seems like a lot of the singers wanna’ be rappers, Trey Songz, Chris Brown. And all the rappers wanna’ be singers, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan.
R&B is not dead but it’s what you call hip-hop now. You listen to all these songs these cats are *sing-ing*, and it started back in the day with Ja-Rule, then 50 Cent, and then the auto-tune came in and it made it easy for the people to do anything. Life is one big crutch after another. I call technology tha’ thrilla’ and tha’ killa’ (laughing). On one hand technology has enhanced so many things, made it easy for people, enabled people to become millionaires in minutes, seconds, overnight. On the flipside it’s killin’ us, it’s killin’ the purity of the art a lot of times. It allows people to throw stuff together real quick and the people are just allowing it.
I think we’re a society today where we don’t fight. We don’t have the attitude where we get up and fight for what we believe in or fight for what we want. It seems like we’ve become a nation of people that just take what they give us and then boom that’s it! You know, we don’t write, we don’t vote, we don’t fight, we don’t march…only time we march is when they see some injustice on T.V and Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, or any of these cats say well we need to get together and do it, know what I mean?
So, I don’t man. I’m prayin’ for it. (laughing) I know as far as me, I’m never gonna’ change the way I do my music. I know how I was brought into this world and it’s the purest form of music I think is love, life and relationships. And that’s how I do my music, That’s how I write my music.
You can catch Dave Tolliver on his internet radio show “Full Belly Radio”. You can hear it on 3 different networks every Wed. from 1p-3p on WRNRADIO.US. From 7p-9p every Wed. you can hear it on thebeatdropsradio.com and Thurs. on the JKing network at blogtalkradio.com/j-king. You can also watch him on the new reality show “Beat the Streets” starring Big Meech from BMF’S wife on the beatdropsradio.com every Wed. also. For Full listings check out davetolliver.com for all shows.