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Keith Sweat

Keith Sweat has done more than just stand the test of time. No other contemporary R&B singer has reigned with such consistency, delivering in searing, soul-drenching tones, an aural history of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the urban male.

His brooding, almost panther-like mystique has served him well over seven enduring albums, a thoughtful and compelling counterpart to the din of disposable wannabes who claim the throne and then abdicate between album cycles. Keith, now 15 years in the game, has always relied on one thing to carry the musical day: his razor-sharp instincts.

To put it another way from his incredible 1987 era-changing debut, Make it Last Forever, (which helped launch new jack swing)to 2000's sleeper classic Didn't See Me Coming (you know you're still jamming to cuts like "Real Man," and the gritty "Don't Have Me" Sweat has subscribed to one notion above all others: Let Keith Be Keith. Sexy, brash, sometimes pensive always provocative, he holds a Sinatra-esque respect for both his fans and his material that keeps us 'coming' back for more, again and again. "They know me and I know them," he says proudly. "I'm street. Born and raised in Harlem. That's all you got to know about me. I know what I got to do on a Keith Sweat song."

And now, on his eighth album, the soon-to-be-classic Rebirth, Keith purposefully captures both the past and the future, unleashing a masterpiece of slowjams and uptempo numbers that recall not only his roots, but also the incredible journey that has brought him to this moment. Whether it's the sizzling "What Is It?" or the sensuous "One On One," featuring Lola Troy and Lade Blac, or the defiant, in-your-face "100% All Man," Keith runs the table on this one, stoking the kind of un-tempered passion not heard since, well, you know when. "I wanted to grab some of the feeling I had on my very first album on Rebirth," he says. "Fans come up to me every day and tell me how much Make It Last Forever meant to them. I want this to be a symbolic rebirth for them and me."

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