Suite903: R&B, Rejected and Betrayed

usher

When we look back at junior high school, we remember the shock and awe of seeing artists switch genres. Does anyone remember this time? When Fred Durst ruled the world and the word mash-up was unheard of. When hearing that a rapper and a rock star even partied in the same club caused people eyes to roll like a slot machine landing on “FREAK OUT”. Everyone stayed in their lane and played their positions and then people were like “You know how we can make people shit their pants??!  Fred Durst and Method Man on a song together!” Some of you may be lost because you grew up after this era but trust us: if Travis Barker made a cameo in a Bad Boy video circa ’98 we would’ve faked the flu to see it premiere “Spanking New” on MTV. Suddenly it was a trend and then a standard. Now there really are no genre boundaries in music. Sure we still side eye anybody stepping into a lane where they clearly don’t belong but then those people go platinum (cough Weezy cough) repeatedly. The problem is shit gets lost in that gumbo mash and things get left behind.

It’s evolution and survival of the fittest, etcetera etcetera, but if we had an endangered music list now the bald eagle on it would be R&B. Long ago every song on the radio was not Young Money but rather a different kind of smooth falsetto, bass bumping, we finna go half on a baby gloria to all things sexy. It was back in the days when SWV ran the earth, Aaliyah was princess and R. Kelly could do no wrong except engage in questionable marriage practices. Allegedly! Teddy Riley remembers these glory days well . It was high time for R&B and nothing seemed to be able to ever break that. Rappers in the 90s could not have a radio hit without the audience being able to dance to it and back then nobody danced to hip hop. When you went out the DJ might break into some hip hop so numbers and zodiac signs could be exchanged but we all knew what the they were going to play for 2/3rds of the party. The trick was to add some R&B / old soul to the beat and then even though you were rapping some woman would be able to grind herself into her next morning mistake. Take Biggie’s “One More Chance”, “Big Poppa”, “Juicy” and “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems”. All were easily 4 of his biggest hits and they all featured either a hook with female vocals or or a sample that could’ve had Coko of SWV saaaangin her heart out on it. What about Fabolous? Almost every song of his that has ever had popular radio success has been with an R&B singer (see: Make Me Better, So Into You and Can’t Let You Go). Still don’t believe me? The entire idea of the remix was created to infuse hip hop and R&;B.  Missy Elliot dropping a verse on anything coming through the airwaves? Mary J Blige would flip the verses onto a hip hop sample and call Puffy for anybody on his roster who was running shit. The champion of this movement: Mariah Carey. To this day ODB and Mariah may still be the best and most random hip hop collaboration of all time and no matter where you play that song if the people are over 20 years old the entire crowd will yell ” ME AND MARIAH GO BACK LIKE BABIES WITH PACIFIERS”. ODB wasn’t just touching on his relationship with Mariah or his fantasy of one but also the truth of their positions— R&B and Hip Hop were the best of step siblings.

These days if you step into a club, not only are you of questionable morals, but there’s no guarantee you won’t get drunk and think you’re in Europe. Everything is euro-pop. Never mind that autotune makes everything sound like techno, everyone is obsessed with dance music. Granted this is expected from the starlets and body rolling Disney teens aching to show you how MUCH OLDER OR MORE SEXED UP THEY ARE but even veterans are turning to the strobe lights. The worst part it’s so obviously contrived. The most obvious example of this is the great Usher. Remember when that dude was like 13 and everything he sang made girls cry and tons of dudes totally profited off of it? Remember the Confessions Album when he literally almost made panties extinct? We do and we’ll just say Venus was in no goddamn way that. Sure we’ve been caught vogue-ing to OMG until we sprained an ankle and did a black out death drop but we haven’t body rolled like we did to Yeah in ages. Everyone in the club right now got locked in their room some night that their father heard “Bump n Grind” on his way home from work; so where is all the smooth shit? Does anybody even remember the blues?

Now you might say but The-Dream is still doing it for R&B. We’re and yes he is killing it. We don’t even want to think about how many dudes are paying child support because of “I Luv Your Girl”. But can one man hold an entire genre on his back? His polished tunes are smooth and oh so sexy but sometimes we want that old thing back. There are upcoming artists who are doing it for us, though, like Miguel, who, ironically enough wrote songs on Usher’s past two albums. His Salaam Remi produced debut single “All I Want is You” is the best example of what R&B has been missing. If Salaam doesn’t sound familiar to you maybe his former cohorts do: Lauryn maybe; Amy Winehouse possibly. The minute the drum beat drops we hit the I’m-too-damn-cute-for-life two-step we did in front of the mirror the day we got our swoop bang in 10th grade. We haven’t heard this much funk and soul on the radio since before R. Kelly missed the toilet seat in the worst way. Our friends have described Miguel as the new “bedroom bully” and truth be told our last bully Mr. Raymond hasn’t dropped our panties since Chili had a man. We wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that dude can actually sing and play instruments. For a while dance music was an escape for singers who needed to blend that autotune in and whisper over heavy synth, but now even the most legitimate crooners want to give us their best Ibiza music. We don’t summer anywhere but Coney Island beach, dude. Keep it gritty!

Protect the good shit. How can everyone turn their back on the one thing that made them so cool?! We hate to put pressure on Miguel but we’re counting on him to drop from the sky like Black Baby Jesus and just save the whole thing! Okay, maybe just be successful and then give some other kid the confidence to totally swoop in with honey vocals, prompting all the ladies to start throwing panties at the stage again. We promise to leave the finger waves and brown lip liner in the past but we cannot make any guarantees on the swoop bang except that we’re rocking it….right now. DON’T BE A HATER!

POSTED January 14, 2011 3:30PM IN SUITE903 Comments (27) TAGS: , ,

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COMMENTS

  1. mattmattmattymatt says:

    omg you’re so old and boring, have some henny and goose and stfu lolz

  2. Brenmar says:

    YE$!

  3. @deepyellow says:

    I’ve written many R&B songs and I constantly see the market shrinking. I miss the days when you could blast some Boyz II Men and R. Kelly without being ridiculed for listening to “Baby-Making Music” alone in the daytime.

  4. MaryJEveryday says:

    “She (Mary) also shared a 1995 Billboard Music award win for ‘Top Dance Music Maxi- Single Sales’ for her featured role on the Grammy Award winning Method Man “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By”, Becoming the FIRST Male Rapper/Female single to win a Grammy. with physical single sales reaching 1.5 million in the United States and over 2 million worldwide the song received a platinum certification, it reached top 10 in the US on the Pop, R&B, & #1 on the US rap charts. The single reached top 10 in the UK also & became the first number one rap song to reach the number one (five weeks) position on the Canadian Hot 100. All of this resulted in what we hear today, thug-loved duets, male/female duets.”

  5. Darius Kyle says:

    How the hell is Mariah the champion of hip hop soul?? Mary J Blige created this sound in 1992 nobody before her had every sang so soulfully over a hip hop beat like The Queen of Hip Hop Soul. Next time you write an article do your research.

  6. Scooter says:

    The writer never said Mariah was the first to collaborate in this way, just that she had the best and most random collaboration, and probably the one that people remember the most. Also, Mary wasn’t even the first to collaborate in this way, and even if she was, she didn’t do any writing or production on her first album, so I doubt it was in any way her idea. Probably more Puffy’s idea.

  7. Grim Reaper says:

    Bought article, nothing but complete bogus here. No boundaries in music? Give me a break! The scam industry is so racist black musicians aren’t allowed to do anything else.

    This is hyping up the fake fraud version of actual Rap and Hip Hop music, motivated by nothing else than cheap money. This is where it went wrong, this is why we have crap like Bieber and Soulja Boy, with everyone else selling out. The genre it talks about is Hip Pop. Soulless R&B, Pop music shallowness, BS Rap, and a tuneless background. A five-year-old can produce it.

  8. Money God says:

    This is the stuff that ruined music, this is the stuff that betrayed R&B, Hip Hop and Pop. Every true artist and music lover from then on was denied for by these incompetent money hungry frauds, with the black race being victimized for their sins. Music was no longer played, replaced by filth, leading people solely to annoyance and depression. Fabricating and forcing these unholy sounds on air meant selling their souls to the Devil. It’s about time they meet with their faith.

  9. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX says:

    Completely agreed here. Not only did it ruin music, it also ruined the business. Sales are down more than 50% throughout the last decade. They constantly attempt to hype it up, but nobody really wants it. And it’s not hard to understand why. They don’t for a moment like to listen to their own “booty shake – fart-fart-fart” crap either. No matter how many times they tell you they love it. It is what it is.

  10. Mr. V says:

    Tra$h article.

  11. FRAUD says:

    Crap.

  12. Big Pig says:

    Right on the money. A disease of unwanted scam products hidden behind a false race card, ruining the economy, and promoting war with hatred and depression.

  13. Pied Piper says:

    So very true. Even ‘Kells is trying out dance tracks far too frequently. Miguel has to be careful though, that 4th track “Pay Me,” is the weakest song on the album and dangerously strays into the dreaded club/dance realm.

  14. Hitman says:

    Well, then there’s at least some kind of melody, aka music relation, as opposed to the tuneless nonsense this article attempts to hype up. Hip Pop = lowest form of atrocious sound. All fraud, no music. An absolute zero.

  15. Hip Pop stinks says:

    A disease of unwanted scam products hidden behind a false race card, ruining the economy, and promoting war with hatred and depression.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A bunch of swines trying to sell their crap, while posing as the “black race”. That’s what they are.

  16. Pingback: Mariah Carey in Best-Of 2010 Lists - Mariah Carey Connection

  17. FRAUD says:

    Yeah, you like to sell this nonsense, while hiding behind these two genres.

    This is where it went wrong. The mixture of so called R&B with so called Hip Hop means taking the soul out of R&B, and erases the lyrical contribution from Hip Hop. Shallow in message, tuneless in music, aka what’s left is bogus. -Hip Pop-. The thing these people were good for was when they actually took some arts of the two aforementioned genres, yet this article focuses on sell out trash. The article is a complete joke.

  18. Pingback: Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album Goes Gold! |

  19. John says:

    I’m sorry but dance music didn’t kill r&b, hip hop did. I like that r&b has gotten out of the threshold of rap music and is moving into a more danceable direction. Diana Ross and Donna Summer were making r&b/dance music long before any of todays stars were born. I love r&b from the 50′s to the 90′s. Be it Northern soul, Motown, disco, the Minneapolis sound, new jack swing, etc, it’s all good. But in the past ten years you can’t even have an uptempo r&b record without a rapper on it… some people don’t like rap, I’m one of them. R&B has been trying to resist dance music for so long because of the whole “this is gay” mentality that I’m glad to see it turn around a bit and realize that r&b and dance music are not antonyms… dance music and techno were originally black genres, and it’s nice to see them returning to that instead of every freaking r&b singer having to do the hip hop thing.

  20. John says:

    Regarding the last post. Look at the list of artists that hit #1 on the disco/dance chart in the 70′s and 80′s. With a few exceptions like The Bee Gees, Blondie, ABBA and the sort, you didn’t start seeing more non-r&b acts topping that chart until the mid-1980′s. For almost ten years the chart was largely r&b dominated, but because of the homophobic machismo of hip hop music, so many r&b singers have been afraid to make danceable records in the early/mid 00′s because of the whole “dance music is big with gays” stereotype. I find it refreshing that hip hop is taking a backseat to electronic dance music in terms of r&b artists. Sometimes r&b fans can be the most closedminded fans around, Kelis’ last album was amazing and the first album of hers I liked from start to finish.

  21. Valhalla says:

    I agree with that. Of course the problem is not so much closed-mindedness as a business fraud. The past years have been about the most easy to fabricate nonsense ever. A kid on a home computer can create it, and so they did. It’s the producers of these products that say anything to keep it going, including placing these articles. Whether it be homophobic, racist or any other hate-spreading, they use it. They’re not real musicians, so once the actual concept returns they would be lost. I say good: incompetent people, or has-beens who lost it that tend to fraud around have no place in this business. You can either redeem yourself, or if you can’t encourage/manage those with actual talent. Otherwise leave.

    For the rest of it Dance music has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It’s just cool and melodic music. Look at the tuneless sounds of Soulja Boy or the BEP for example. These whiny voices, the moaning, the stupid moves. That would fit their very own description of “gay” sounds, which is just plain awful right there.

  22. c says:

    what the hell is going on with these comments u fucking internet sociopaths calm down

  23. Z says:

    Seems like you got yourself some honesty, people who clearly don’t approve of your little scheme here. Consider it a little taste of your own medicine. Ordering bogus articles, and then placing approving comments underneath them… TSSSSSSSSSSS.

  24. Kid B says:

    Genius article. Nodding along to almost every line of this article.
    Gold Star for you Judnick Mayard!

  25. “i would start with little wait you dont need much if you have never weight trained.”

  26. WHY DOES EVERYONE FORGET MARIAH CAREY’S RAP ON ‘PRISONER OF YOUR LOVE’?!

    That song is on her ORIGINAL debut album in 1990!! It’s the original version, not some afterthought released a year after the first album like Mary’s. It will always be a shame that Mariah’s vocal talent will always overshadow her musical craft and her influence on todays industry.

    Yeah the last couple years of commercial/chart R&B have been sh!te. I think it was Timberland’s fault :( , which is a shame. He found a winning formula but has milked it dry. It’s become so over-mimic’d, so overused and so watered down that it has just become Euro House music. (( House music = good. Euro House music = bad. )). then Kanye (champion!) went & did his vocoder thing on Love Lockdown (fantastic tune), but then everyone’s started following with the auto-tune thing….guess it’s T-Pains fault too. And a bit of Ne-Yo’s for the excellent Closer, which everyone’s tried to nick the tempo from (although what sort of cack tune is Beautiful Monster!?)

    There’s really not much of the past couple years chart R&B music that I can call R&B. There’s nothing wrong with House music, and R&B singers singing House music. But call it HOUSE MUSIC, not R&B. — I’m going to mention my UK boys JLS, because I think their tune Beat Again was the last R&B tune we got in the UK. Their latest tune is an R&B groove too, Love You More, but all their other stuff has been Euro House far as I’m concerned. Just cos your black doesn’t mean your tunes must be called R&B.

    The above article went from being bout [the Mariah Carey initiated] Rap/R&B, to being all about slow jams. You rightfully mention The Dream, but the Love King cd is a tragedy. I’m sorry but it gets pretty perverse just going on and on about sex all the time. Especially when it’s not about sex but is just about fcuking. the album’s cold. Love Vs Money is the best male R&B album I own, and has one of THE most sexiest song out there: Sweat It Out. but on Love vs Money, Dream actually sang hard about respecting a woman and relationships. On Love King he’s completely reversed to just looking at woman as objects :( ( ‘head down, ass up, you know how we do it’ ) – disgusting.

    Apart from the Love King abomination, The Dream is one of the only R&B dudes to be interested in today. The other R&B dudes who are making REAL R&B and putting their own stamp on it are Robin Thicke and Jaheim.

  27. HA HA ha HA ha I just heard Chris Browns new song ‘Yeah 3x’!! What an embarresment LOL – so this is what chart R&B has come to? HAAaaaaaaaaaaah! That is complete euro-trash

    I’m so glad I dont own any Chris Brown music because if I did I would have thrown them all out the window when I heard that song!!! And looking at how serious he is in the music video just makes it all the more hilarious.

    At least he has got a decent tune out there. his duet with Chipmunk (from the UK) called ‘Champion’ . Yep, I’d take these Mariah Carey innitiated singer/rapper collaborations any day.