Everyone has something to say about R&B. From saying the genre is dead to throwing singers to the side, it seems naysayers always have something to say about the music category that has produced greats like Anita Baker, Pattie LaBelle, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé to name a few.
Since what was labeled as the "golden era of R&B" in the 90's, it seems Rhythm and Blues as a genre has had to prove itself again and again.
The most influential R&B artists have been relabeled as "Pop artists," like Usher, Beyoncé and Adele, but those three styles are rooted in soul and rhythm & blues. However, R&B just doesn't get the credit.
Check out what some people think about the genre.
No One Respects Real R&B
A lot of listeners get in the habit of thinking that if it’s not played on the radio it’s not real music. U.K. artists Emile Sande and Daley and U.S. Artists Ledisi and Eric Roberson are perfect examples of artists that you don't hear as much on the radio, who are killing it. Singersroom is constantly discovering new music from artists that aren't very well-known. Whether its distance or lack of knowledge, R&B needs support from the listeners.
R&B Music is a Joke
R&B isn't all about bare-chested guys with oiled abs on fur rugs! There are a few though, but look at the full spectrum to discover a well-rounded selection of artists like Eric Roberson, BJ the Chicago Kid, Jhene Aiko and John Legend, who all prove singers can be vulnerable and still have their stability. While some love the depth and sincerity. It’s all a matter of people’s taste.
R&B Music Has Lost its Soul
No two artists are the same, but one thing for certain; we all love the passion and humanity that is R&B music. It's about the feeling of connection that you get. Fantasia's "Lose to Win" hits home for many, whether you are enduring a loss or really being happy. Another example is Toni Braxton and Babyface's "Hurt You," which takes you somewhere below the belt. R&B Artists continue to show us different ways to get to that feeling.
R&B Singers Got Way Too Much Drama
I can hear the police sirens now! Most listeners don't even look up from their smart phones when they hear about hip-hop artists' drama but R&B is a whole different thing. It's hard for us to imagine our favorite leading ladies and men catching a case; it makes them look a little less desirable. That's when you have to remember that we are all human and make mistakes. Where do we draw the line on our judgment?
R&B Singers Always Trying to Rap
It's not uncommon now-a-days to see R&B singers spit a verse. By all means be creative, but all I'm saying is if your gonna rock it, OWN IT! Tyrese, Chris Brown, Drake and Trey Songz have all tried it, and there are plenty of talented artists out there who can walk that fine line and offer something worth your money.
R&B Is Not Original Everybody Sounds Like Somebody
Inspiration usually comes from others, but that does not mean it is an imitation. Yes, Sevyn Streeter will draw a close comparison to the late Aaliyah, with her smooth alto tone on club beats or Glen Lewis may take plenty of vocal cues from the legendary Stevie wonders' riffs, but all artists have formalized their own creative identity. It is easy to make comparisons, but listen a little closer to see the differentiation between singers before you make a snap judgment comparison.
R&B Music Is Not Relevant
“R&B is not relevant? Ha-ha. What artist literally shut down the internet and made people run home to watch music videos? Beyoncé. If that does not prove relevance I guess next time, she should run for president without announcing her nomination in 2016. It's not just the Ms. Carter; one of the hottest rappers (Drake) wouldn't be in a top slot without testing his vocals. Please update your perspective.
R&B is Turning into Pop Music
Artist like Chris Brown, Miguel and newcomer August Alsina, are just a few of the artists from the next generation that are bringing R&B into the club scene and adding a touch of pop to it. R&B is constantly evolving, and there is nothing wrong with throwing in a touch of ratchet so people who may not have listened can get their groove on one time.
R&B Does Not Keep It Real
Many people think as R&B comes of age it's losing some of its honesty. R&B music has always said the things we were afraid to say. RaVaughn's single "Best Friend," a song about a girl who's tired of being in the "friend zone," and Raheem DeVaughn's "Final Call," is a song that shed light on the foibles of society. It does not get any realer than that!
R&B is Whiners Music
Word on the street is that R&B is strictly "whiner's music", and true some artists who make use of that falsetto could give that impression. But some of our favorites like Joe's "Love of my own" and Jaheim's "Age ain't a factor", aren't afraid to tell us the truth about love without the soft pitch.