Remember when the term “baby-making music” seemed synonymous with the sweet rhythm and blues tunes that made lovers do all sorts of things ’til the cops came knocking? If this seems like a distant memory in the back of your mind, perhaps you too, have come to the realization that R & B music simply isn’t what it used to be.
In recent years, the genre which was once defined by romantic, sensual song lyrics such as those performed by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Boyz II Men and even Maxwell, has taken a turn for the worse. Too often, tender lyrics are replaced with various monikers being shouted out by mediocre rappers whose verses neither make sense nor belong anywhere on an R & B album. Although this is not to imply that the two genres of music must never co-exist on the same record, there often isn’t any need to interrupt a song to which one wants to get their groove on with the term “Gucci” popping up every five seconds. Who wants to hear that in the middle of a hot-and-heavy sexual healing session?
Unlike the R & B records that were in heavy rotation back in the early-to-mid- 90s , much of today’s tracks (or at least the ones that get any airplay), lack the idea of having genuine, monogamous feelings and relationships. Unfortunately for many performers such as Anthony Hamilton, Angie Stone, India Arie and other artists whose music is reminiscent of the classic R & B style, popular culture has virtually cast them off as lacking the commercial appeal that seems necessary for mainstream “success”.
With a lot of R & B music having lost some of its old-school appeal, one can only hope that radio stations will not merely feature an artist who is the flavour of the week, but will also give truly talented performers the chance to shine as well.
Yes, there are indeed talented R & B artists whose records are getting frequent spins on the radio, but the question here isn’t about their level of talent. Rather, the issue revolves around the fact that it would be delightful to see some of these artists simply getting back to basics.
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