Jon B. Leaving Solo R&B Spotlight For "Soul/Hip-Hop" Band

Singer/songwriter/producer Jon B. plans to say farewell to the silky smooth R&B foundation he laid with his "Cool Relax" album in favor of what he calls a "classic soul, hip-hop" sound.

The artist formerly known as Jon B. has formed a group called Jack Herrera with members of the band he recently toured with. According to Jon, the band already has 14 songs done, and hopes to have an album out within two months. He also said that the band will film its first video, for the track "I Get High On You," within the coming weeks.

"Most of the album's done. Right now we're just waiting on collaborations," Jon told MTV News. "We already did some stuff with Tariq, Black Thought from the Roots... We're doing collaborations with Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest hopefully, Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest is doing a track, and we're trying to get with Dre from Outkast." [28.8


He had carved out a high profile spot for himself both as a songwriter (on Tupac's "Are U Still Down"), and as a solo R&B artist (with his single "Cool Relax"). However, he told MTV News that he decided on this change of pace at least in part "to take a step back from where my direction was going as far as the way the record company was marketing me."

"It's a very, very kind of classic soul, hip-hop, more earthy type vibes rather than being commercialized R&B type vibes, which is more or less what I think the Jon B. project was putting out was more commercial type music, which is cool too, but that's only one half of what I do," Jon said of the reasons behind his project. "Lyrically I like to get deeper and musically I like to show different sides.

"It gives me a chance to just kick back and do what's most natural," he added.