Is contemporary R&B stagnant right now?

Discussion in 'The R&B Haven' started by Ignorant, Jan 29, 2007.

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  1. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    It seems like over the last 15-20 years, it's only been following the innovations of hip hop. Neo-soul was an attempt to reclaim the glory of the past, but it quickly became cliche... and it borrowed heavily from hip hop's sound, as well. Where else can R&B go as we enter the last three years of the first decade of the new millenium?
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  2. That Nigga

    That Nigga aka Hot Shyt

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    Amerie and Beyonce are trying to bringing that go-go style r&b to the game. I dont really see how r&b is stagnant though.
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  3. HavecX

    HavecX New Member

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    ^ I agree its harder to find but its out there. Its like other music forms that go commercial. Its a new generational so they were affected by hip hop, you have to have an open mind too.
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  4. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    I'm not saying it hasn't been good. There has been some great R&B music to drop in the last 15-20 years. I'm just wondering if it's running out of creative ideas.

    The merger with hip hop started in the late '80s with New Jack Swing, then it kinda morphed into Hip Hop Soul around the early '90s. The mid '90s saw the birth of Neo Soul. Now the current millenium age has Crunk N' B and the sort. These have all been variations of the hip hop marriage. I feel like it has pretty much exhausted the possibilities with hip hop. Some of it is still good... but a lot of it is corny, overproduced, and showcases too many mediocre singers and writing.

    What else can R&B do? What's the next innovation, so to speak? Where will R&B be in the next 20 years?

    I still think the '70s was the Golden Age for R&B, where it saw its most creativity and merged strongly with Soul, which was still a distinct genre apart from R&B then. The early to mid '80s wasn't nearly as memorable, but it had some good stuff, too. There was a lot of disco and pop during that time, muddled with the soul music.

    Everything usually goes in cycles. Neo-Soul was sorta a return to past glory, but it kinda fizzled out. It never really took over the mainstream like it should have. (payola to blame?) D'Angelo and Erykah Badu were like the only big names from that sub-genre. Maybe Bilal and Corrine Bailey Rae can raise the standards again? At least, I hope.
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  5. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    I think a return to live instrumentation, acoustics and more experimentation is what R&B needs more of.

    R&B as a whole is stagnant, but there's hope.
    Musiq, Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius, Erro, Darien Brockington, Jazmine Sullivan, India Arie, Bilal, Corinne Bailey Rae...There's definitely hope.

    Ten years ago artists were re-exploring traditional 70's soul.
    The new trend is the resurgent sound of 80's R&B.
    I like it...when it's done correctly. Omarion is leading that charge.

    I think there's more room for artists like John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae who are pushing traditional R&B boundaries.

    Have you ever heard Eric Roberson?
    This kid is as bright a vocal producer and songwriter as Ne-Yo.
    He's just a lot less famous.
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  6. The Jeus

    The Jeus _________

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    roberson is occasionally uninspired. don't get me wrong, i like 'the vault 1.5', but a few of the songs are either too long or too simplistic. lyrically, the kid has game though; he just needs a little work on overall production value.

    like you say though, ix, live instrumentation is the wave of the future, which is why i keep pushing van hunt, anthony david and robin thicke, who got a lot more notoriety on his 2nd album than his first as he was touring with john legend.
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  7. HavecX

    HavecX New Member

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  8. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    Van Hunt is that dude.
    I rock "Down Here In Hell" (With You) like it just came out.
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  9. UnKnownLogic

    UnKnownLogic New Member

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    RnB needs to stop blending with hip-hop. I love hip-hop, I love RnB (jazz is the only music I've been listening to longer), but, with the exception of the whole alternative/jazz rap niche, they don't need to mix. I have no problem with synths and loops, but nothing will ever match Bootsy Collins' bass or the [motherfuckin] Tower of Power. We need to bring back the sounds of Earth Wind and Fire, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.

    *cries at the current state of RnB*
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  10. R-Tistic

    R-Tistic Your favorite DJ

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    I agree, Hip Hop and R&B need to seperate more. R. Kelly has wasted most of his talent trying to appeal to the masses, and most masses nowadays look for the same elements in R&B as they do in Hip Hop....catchy hooks, simple melodies with no ••••••••••, and controversial lyrics.

    Everytime I play Luther, Stevie, and even some old MJ, it's like damm....what the hell is this R&B that everybody seems to like nowadays? I almost feel out of touch, because I rarely like any of the R&B singles that come out on the radio. I do think it needs to return to live instrumentation, at least occasionally...but I guess it's a whole lot easier to just have one dude make the beats than it is to get all of the instruments together and pay a band or whatev.
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  11. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    ^They need to get rid of the mediocre singers and bad writing, first of all... live instruments would be cool... the sound would become more "organic,"... but the singing is where it's at... they need to return to the SOUL... which is why I can dig Keyshia Cole, no matter how limited her range is... shorty got maaad SOUL. Too many cats are copying cheap style and minimalist vocal techniques with no substance and no soul. And the writing has no poetry anymore. Shit needs an overhaul.
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  12. UnKnownLogic

    UnKnownLogic New Member

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    I don't necessarily think that a piece has to be "complex" to sound good, ie: Punk rock. When it started, punk rock was simple, 4 chord shit, no solos, so bloatedness, just hardcore rock. Then some moron decided to add complex solos, time signature changes, all that, and we ended up with that shit we call "metalcore" Catchy is catchy, no doubt about it.

    So what I'm saying is that complicatedness =/= greatness. Shit, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay is like... 3 or 4 chords.

    But RnB doesn't need hip-hop.
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  13. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    ^I agree, simple isn't always a vice... "Stand By Me" is simple as fuck and it's recognized as one of the greatest pop/R&B songs of all time.
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  14. That Nigga

    That Nigga aka Hot Shyt

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    Lloyd's and Musiq's albums just leaked, they're both pretty good.
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  15. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    No more double-time vocal phrasing. That shit is played the fuck out!!!
    The whole "I'm going to fit a bunch of words into a bar" stuff is overdone.

    There are plenty of quality R&B producers, but the actual musical stylings from a vocalist standpoint are all the same.
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  16. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    ^Exactly... it's bad singing, straight-up... I blame R. Kelly for sparking that trend... ever since the "Down Low" remix.

    I think back at some of the highly-synthesized production of the '80s with the simple melodies and fixed drumbeats... a lot of that music is dated as hell, but what makes some of it memorable is the SINGING... they were still singers back then, like Stephanie Mills. She didn't have a whole lot of classics or mainstream hits, but her voice carried her.
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  17. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    R. Kelly was a pioneer of that vocal style so I pick no bones with him.

    I just hate that so many artists have latched onto his idiosyncrasies that they have no identity of their own.

    That's why I love Jazmine Sullivan so much.
    Her voice is an instrument.

    Singers lack depth. That's why I've lost so much respect for Beyonce.
    She relies only on vocal ability and can't do much with all that vocal talent.
    She sings virtually everything the same way.

    That's the problem with R&B vocalists today.
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  18. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

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    I think part of the blame lies in the production... they have to sing in those short, staccatto phrases in order to fit the rhythm of the hip hop tracks.

    Beyonce was never that dynamic of a singer... her voice is sugary sweet, though... kinda like Janet Jackson's, but with more volume... I thought it was atrocious the way she and J. Hudson were trying to outsiren each other at the Oscars... they became little girls in the backyard with hairbrushes in their hands... horrible, horrible display.
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  19. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    I think to some degree you're right...

    It's just so overdone. Even when the track lends itself to something other than that kind of phrasing artists can't abstain.
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