Debate: What is real R&B?

 
    • RnB_001 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 10:48

    Debate: What is real R&B?

    Hi guys!

    Here is our 1st debate for us to talk about. I'm trying to make this group alive. I'd like u all to participate. It would b great if we gave our viewpoints.

    What do u think of this new generation of R&B? The one that Chris Brown, Rihanna or Usher makes for example. Do u like it? What do u like exactly in this type of R&B?

    As for me, I'm not into this new kind of R&B. I think it's not like what it used to b. I prefer the "old-school" R&B, like the one Avant, Brian McKnight or Joe did or r still doing, for example.

    On one hand, I like R&B to stay the same, I hate this new type of R&B mixed with the dance music. Producers like David Guetta r killing the R&B with their sounds, because it's killing the essence of that music. Where have the melodies of the true R&B gone? Y do artists like to mix dance music with R&B? R they trying to appeal to new listeners?
    I don't understand them.

    On the other hand, I like the R&B mixed with pop. Even if sounds more like pop than R&B, I think it's those singer r trying to make the music they like. I agree that it's more difficult to classify them though.

    Alright then, I hope u guys will share ur viewpoint, because it could b very interesting!
    Ur turn now :-)

    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 11:31
    here's my two cents.

    IMO, there's no "real" or "fake" R&B. There are different kinds of R&B. That's all.
    - "old-school" is not 90s but more 70s/80s R&B. So i don't think that Joe, Brian McKnight and all these crooners are "old-school", they're just faithful to what "R&B" used to be (Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway remember?)
    - "contemporary" R&B from 90s to nowadays. With the "traditional" side (Joe, Kem, Jaheim, etc), the "neo-soul/R&B" part, soul-influenced music, etc.
    - new "hybrid" genre : overproduced beats, oversynthetized sounds and even mixed with dance/electro/pop style. It's still R&B but "new school" if you want.

    Now the REAL question that we should ask ourselves is : what kind of R&B you really like? These are all "R&B" but tend to differ as years pass. The differences are stronger year after year

    are you more into the "rhythm" side of R&B or its "blues" side? That's the main difference between "traditional" R&B and "new stuff" one.

    The R&B that I love is the R&B still based on what 60s/70s legends used to deliver : a nice mixture of lyrics, rhythm and beat. Not just visual and superficial R&B but the music that comes from an artist's soul. For me, "real R&B" is the R&B where singers are not just singers nor show off dancers, they are accomplished artists : composers/producers/arrangers/musicians. That's why I love the "traditional" side of R&B. It may be modern but still has a look at the legacy from the past.

    The only "advantage" I see in "new school" R&B is that it's so mainstream that I don't need to search far : i just listen to the radio and I hear it. I'm always aware of what the current trends are but I don't feel the need to buy these new school albums. And I'm fine with that. Radios are useful to hear what major labels are launching in the mainstream R&B, but that's all. If you want to go further, you have to search by yourself and try to find the under-the-radar artists that deserve to be mainstream... but unfortunately are not (and will probably never be!). It saddens me but it is what it is and as a music lover, i don't rely on radio to discover noteworthy R&B artists.

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 12:14
    i forgot to mention this one : as long as artists know what music they do, and listeners know what they're listening to, i'm okay with that.
    I mean, some artists make pop/R&B dance/electro/R&B or whatever hybrid genre with R&B-influenced beat and they still call it "R&B only". If it's pop/R&B then call it pop/R&B because that's what it is and not just "R&B".
    If you like electro/R&B then call it "electro/R&B" and not just "R&B".
    It's important to always specify that because R&B has so many sub-genres. As i said, there are a lot of R&B types, some are diluted, some are "traditional", it's still R&B. BUT, mixed with other genres, and it's important to specify that.

    Also, when i use "real R&B" in my tweets, it's "real R&B" to me! (80/90s/early00s). Again, it's all about what you listen to and what you like. Younger folks (less than 18 y.o) may have a different view and consider other younger artists as "real R&B" but it's normal, because most of them just listen to the radio, read mainstream websites, watch mainstream media. They think they're too young to look far in the past, and that's precisely what saddens me. Age should never be an excuse to ignore underrated artists just because you're too lazy to search them...

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
  • Waw very interesting! Well, first of all I agree with you, it's important to insist that R'n'B means "Rythm AND Blues" and in my opinion the Blues part is often forgotten, that's why I'm more touched by Soul music in which I can find what it is missed in the "new school" R&B, I mean GOOD LYRICS!!

    Fortunately, I can always listen to "real R&B" (as you said Mira12) : Faith Evans, Kelly Price, R. Kelly, Aaliyah, En Vogue, Dru Hill, MJB, SWV, etc...

    HOWEVER, there are lots of very good "young" artists as Jazmine Sullivan, Jennifer Hudson or Melanie Fiona which do their thing very well so R'n'B is not dead! :)
    And I believe in it even more when I listen to non-signed artists like TSoul, Ahmir or Jaiden for instance :)
    Thanks to Internet, we still have access to good music, you just need to search!

    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 15:16
    oh yessss @Soul_Loveuz :) GOOD LYRICS and real instruments with real musicians. I think that's why people want to come back to the roots of Soul music to find inspiration, and thank God there are still young talented artists who really want to do that (Melanie Fiona, Jaz Sullivan, Chrisette Michele, Musiq, to name a few). Some Soul/Neo-Soul artists are conscious that music is not only about money/sex/cars/bling/show off, and i'm optimistic that this trend will last :)

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
    • RnB_001 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 17:12
    Wow, thank u so much @Mira12 & @Soul_Loveuz for ur opinions.

    I totally agree with u girls, it is important to tell people that there r many sub-genres in that music, I think people tend to forget those sub-genres.

    What I meant by "real R&B" was Contemporary R&B, I forgot that genre when I was writing my post this morning. It's the type of R&B I like because it remains true to its roots, if I may say. I think the singers who sing Contemporary R&B r trying to make the same kind of music they listened to when they were younger. Does it make sense?

    When I'm listening to an R&B. I'm trying to find that "old-school" flavor, that's y I don't really like the R&B that the radios r playing. It's too mainstream. We can tell that they're appealed to these younger listeners.

    And @Soul_Loveuz, u said it well: not only does a song have to have a good melody to appeal to someone, but it also has to have good lyrics.
    Soul and neo-soul singers r here to make us melt with their deep lyrics.

    I c we tend to think the same thing about R&B/soul & new-soul music.
    I hope I didn't repeat what I wrote earlier on.

    Feel free to add ur arguments :-)

    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 18:06
    however, i'd like to precise that "contemporary R&B" is just a matter of chronology : it runs from mid-90s to nowadays while "old-school" stands before 90s :)

    so "contemporary R&B" is just the opposite of "old school R&B" BUT it includes all the sub-genres mentioned above : traditional R&B (Joe, Jaheim, Kem, they're all contemporary but they stay traditional), hybrid R&B/oversynthetized sound (Chris Brown and friends), pop/R&B (including black pop), new generation (Trey Songz, Jeremih), etc.

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
    • RnB_001 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 18:36
    Thanks for this information :-)
    What do u mean by "black pop"?

    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 19:30
    i heard this expression in a radio show a few years ago, and it's exactly what it is : pop/R&B sung by black/non-white female vocalists. Radio presenters used it to qualify Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Shontelle, PCD, Alesha Dixon, Jamelia, etc... all these young women who want to settle in mainstream pop radio stations but at the same time they remain R&B in some ways. Pop style sung by black voices :)

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
    • RnB_001 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 20:40
    Oh yeah, I c. Aren't they quite difficult to classify? I usually say they're pop artists more than R&B cuz I can't classify them? And I guess the same thing applies for guys as well, right?

    • mira12 ha detto...
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    • Apr 20 2011, 21:37
    that's why it's called black pop. Pop music sung by black/non-white singers. Their voices has a very little R&B vibe though.
    no it's not difficult to classify them. As long as they're not considered "R&B only", it's okay : pop/R&B, black pop, or simply pop, whatever you want to call them. Male or female vocalists, same story. I mentioned female singers because they're numerous and these names came to my mind first.

    "Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living? We know where we are going, we know where we are from." – Bob Marley
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