Rhythmic Blues

 

mary-j-blige.jpg

While Hip Hop’s death may have received the most press, it is not the only genre deserving of a funeral dirge. While perusing the homie Jamz spot the other day, I was treated to his Soundnexx Forgotten Artists Remix- an hour of solid R&B music, I couldn’t help but wondering: where have all the R&B artist gone?

Before the new millennium saw R&B become the bastard step child of rap, R&B was he coolest kid on the musical block. R&B artist and groups were the glamorous players that everyone wanted to chill with. Rappers wanted R&B cats on their hooks, ladies of all ages were buying up CDs and learning words and dances to every hit song, even fellas weren’t afraid to publicly admit they listened to it.

In the 90s, R&B was cool, sexy, fun, smart, sassy, seductive, freaky, and heartfelt and when I was really done right, it could even be a religious experience. Songs like Twisted, Motownphilly, No Diggity, Understanding, Brown Sugar, and On & On were more than just ditties you hummed along with on the radio. Artists like Silk, En Vogue, Rome, Aaliyah, Montel Jordan, H-Town, Zhane and a pre-pee R. Kelly sang the soundtracks to our formative years. Uptown and MCA records were the shit that all us teenage aspiring A&R rep were dying to one day work for. R&B was earnest, had staying power, and 7-8 times out of 10—it was actually sung by someone talented. Well over a decade later, when the first few notes of SWV’s Weak comes on the radio damn near every woman over the age of 25, tosses their heads back, closes their eyes, throws their hands up and sangs “I don’t know what it is that you’ve one to meeeEEEEEEEEEE….”

Comparatively, today’s, R&B top acts are Akon, T-Pain and Rhianna.

I know- kill yourself now. Or at least stab yourself in the ear with a sharp pencil.

Somewhere along the lines R&B artists lost their rhythm, blues and sold their soul to their friend Hip Hop. Dudes all want to be rappers, trying to sweet talk and harmonize word that rhyme with thugs. Every female is little more than a glorified video ho who spent a few more hours in the studio in front of more than one type of mic.

But as in anything, the pendulum swing and there are some artists emerging that have the vocal chops to once again bring R&B to the forefront. Until then, at least we still have Mary J. and our old CDs and cassettes to get our R&B fix.

 

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38 Responses to “Rhythmic Blues”

  1. Mr.O Says:

    Am I first? Possibly, well R&B died with romance in my opinion. Also do not forget I always tell this to people you’re older now. Our parents did not really like Jodeci at first but they got use to it. They opined the same rant, what happened to Sam Cooke, Donnie Hathaway Otis Redding?? Did you consider that teens love Akon, Rihanna and Trey Songz? This is their R&B they do not care about MJB they have Keyshia Cole!!

    Feel Old?/

  2. Mr.O Says:

    You know whats crazy im at work. I have been here since 9 A.M. A few people at my job were arrested for inside training so many of our computers had to be checked and many of us had to stay in the building.

    Good News I guess I might get my bosses office >> Bad News People realizing that I look at Porn, Blogs and pay my bills at work. Oh well

    I’m out.

  3. EnglandRepresent Says:

    Great post Green beans. Man I remember my Moms used to bump that En Vogue joint all fuckin day, ‘Whats it gonna beeee cos I can’t rememeeeeeeeeember, don’t you wanna beeeeeee moooooooore than frieeeeends….’ Montel Jordan was my shit back in the day, R Kelly ‘Bump N Grind’ was the joint I used to dry hump bitches to back at high school at the school dances. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit I miss decent r’n’b. I mean, this is a no homo comment but I thought Ne-Yo might be alright at first (nhoc) but dude follows the same formula as every other r’n’b artist. I’m goin to see Lionel Ritchie in December, he ain’t no Marvin Gaye but the nigga could do his thing back in the day. ‘Allllllllll niiiiiiiiiiiiight loooooooooooong’……

  4. The-XFacta Says:

    Today’s R&B sucks!!! Well except for the neo-soul artist it’s a joke!! Though I will admit I like Ne-yo’s music (nhjic)

  5. G14-7 Says:

    R&B is retarted these days. No comparison to the 90’s. Theres only a few in R&B that shine, but the most are garbage. Cookie cutting has seeped out of hip hop and into R&B. Shit’s sad.

  6. crazy88since88 Says:

    mary ja…so what’cha say, what’cha say!

  7. Big Homie Says:

    Oh man…yes..R&B definitely lost it as well. Nothing was more better than the music back in the 90s. Im a throwback feen when it comes to R&B and Hip Hop. Im working on a post soon with some throwback and rare R&B tracks.

  8. crazy88since88 Says:

    ^^
    lol.

  9. Phuque Says:

    Damn greenie….you hopped in the Delorian for this one…

    I miss 90’s R & B…back when girls could actually sang. To this day, ain’t nobody touchin’ Cocoa….hell….nowadays ain’t nobody even touchin’ the chicks from Brownstone…

  10. Big Homie Says:

    Cece Peniston could sing her ass off too

  11. candyraindrops Says:

    Great post Green beans. Man I remember my Moms used to bump that En Vogue joint all fuckin day, ‘Whats it gonna beeee cos I can’t rememeeeeeeeeember, don’t you wanna beeeeeee moooooooore than frieeeeends….’

    ^^^LOVES that song from En VOgue also England..and the video was neat also…good post green(aside from the SP stuff,lol)…RnB def. aint what it used to be. I agree with Mr O., the Rihanna’s , Neyo and whoeva else are the youngins type of RNB, and Kelly Price or Mary J. to them are grandma’s. DAMn….. KELLY PRICE needs to release another rnb cd..

  12. nation Says:

    http://www.blackweblogawards.com/

    27. Best Writing in a Blog

    This category is for blogs which have exceptional writing. This category is judged not on a single post basis, but on the overall posts of the blog.

  13. nation Says:

    http://www.blackweblogawards.com/

    27. Best Writing in a Blog

    This category is for blogs which have exceptional writing. This category is judged not on a single post basis, but on the overall posts of the blog.

  14. EnglandRepresent Says:

    I voted for you in the ‘Best Writing in a Blog’ catgory Greenie. I even dropped ‘wmdeez’ in some of my nominations too nation.

  15. green eyes Says:

    wow nation- i am truly flattered you think so highly of my work, however, as much as i adore my grandmother and the bit of Egyptian blood her history contributes to my overall makeup, i think the melanin deficient contribution’s of the rest of my family tree deem me ineligible for this particular recognition

    or in this case.. whitey lost. ;P

  16. Phuque Says:

    greenie:

    >>or in this case.. whitey lost. ;P

    ^^Just send ’em a picture of a random “Shaniqua” off of Myspace…not to ghetto though, you gotta make it believable…lol…

    I’m votin’ anyway dammit….

  17. Rey aka Kany-Emo West Says:

    Somethin’ bout the way you do the things you do-oo-oo…

    Props, Greenie. 90s R&B ruled.

  18. Big Homie Says:

    Has anybody seen Green Eyes?

  19. candyraindrops Says:

    u got my vote green for blog awards.

  20. I Jamz Says:

    *Hands Greena two late passes*

    I’ve been crazy busy, but…

    I agree with you (I guess u knew that already tho), but R&B gone from Rhythm & Blues to Rhymes & Bullshyt in most cases. Maybe, things will eventually turn around for the better in a few years. Real R&B has unfortunately been forced into the underground music scene….

    Thanks for the shoutout too!

  21. lo k Says:

    >>Every female is little more than a glorified video ho who spent a few more hours in the studio in front of more than one type of mic.

    ^^Funny you should mention that… I told my ex one time that she really knew how to “rock the mic”… maybe that’s her ticket in…

  22. lo k Says:

    it’s funny, because I was actually thinking about that very same phenomena the other day… it almost seems like ‘neo-soul’ has become what all of the independent rap is – underground… which is unfortunate because I think this world would be a better place if people that truly had talent were in the limelight… but like the title of the new Public Enemy album says, How Do You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?

  23. lo k Says:

    EngRep sed:

    I thought Ne-Yo might be alright at first (nhoc) but dude follows the same formula as every other r’n’b artist.

    ^^This is true but only it’s more like all the other artists follow his formula since he writes most of the songs that become hits for other artists… he’s been gettin’ big $ as a songwriter for years before he blew up I believe…

  24. EnglandRepresent Says:

    No doubt Lo. Good point well made.

    Where you at Greenie? The fridge door’s been open in SoCo for a coupla days now, the milk’s gone off and the beer is warm (which I don’t mind), where you at baby girl?

  25. cMac Says:

    sorry for not reading lately. But apparently I’ve been missin out on that good.

    I’m sending your RSS to the phone…..NOW

  26. Phuque Says:

    New post woman….lol….

  27. green eyes Says:

    my bad fellas.. been outta town. working on a new post as we speak

  28. spanish jay Says:

    sexiest blogger alive

  29. green eyes Says:

    ^ m okay with that moniker

  30. spanish jay Says:

    so whats a girl like u doing in a place like this

  31. green eyes Says:

    i like places like this

  32. spanish jay Says:

    u wouldnt happen to have a program evaluation of title II part c of the no child left behind legislation just laying around that u can “zshare” with me?

  33. green eyes Says:

    if i had it id share, but i opnt think ive got what you are looking for

  34. spanish jay Says:

    u used to be cool, what happened

  35. lo k Says:

    new post…

  36. Big Homie Says:

    Greenie is on vacation??

  37. G42 divided by 6 Says:

    r&b crickets

  38. thoreauly77 Says:

    bilal, that’s really all i gotta say, but i’ll say a bit more. come on now. hell i think john legend is a talented guy. as far as i can tell, r&b just has less of a middle ground as it used to. there are mature, thoughtful artists and then there’s, well, thumbelina pain. now, i don’t care for the R as a person, but as an artist he pretty much has every corner of teh R&B market held down: fun/party; balladry; thoughtful; bat-shit insane.

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