Recently, the BET Awards gave an award to Sam Smith for Best New Artist which spark a conversation that led to this blog. In 2015, R&B always gets overshadowed by Rap and Hip-Hop. Can you remember when you just had an R&B song that shined on it's own. Sure, we have Janet Jackson back with a new single, Tinashe, Jhene Aiko, Tyrese,Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and many other artists. I mean there are some artists & groups but for the most part is it's mostly a collaboration between the three aforementioned genres.
Back in the 90's and earlier decades, R&B was not so sexual. Yes, the sex was there but the artists & groups also talked about love. We had hits like Jodeci- Feenin, 112- Cupid, SWV- Love Is Right Here, Jon B, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, the Levert's, and many other artists that put out great songs. Older R&B also focused on live instrumentation and it had no digital sound to rely on. You couldn't make beats on your laptop. Time in the studio and talent was needed for both instruments, singing, harmony, and lyrics. Now everything can be made on a laptop. Artists do not have to necessarily be in the same studio to collaborate as songs can be emailed and the other artist can go to their own studio and record their half and send it back for the completion of the song. There was more focus on quality. And concentration on making classics. Today's R&B is straight gimmicky.
R&B didn't just focus on love and sex. You had resonant songs like Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" and even though music does consider Michael Jackson "The King of Pop" that you had songs like "Off the Wall" and "They Don't Really Care about Us". Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that the record labels had to change R&B music to become more sexual because sex, drugs, & violence sells so instead of talking about love; it's a microwave generation (they want it right now) that sex had to become the main focus with songs such as Bando Jones "Sex You", Pretty Ricky, & several other songs.
If we are bring back 90's haircuts then let's bring back 90's music!