In the past couple of years, the phrase ‘R&B is dead’ has been used more and more. At first I did not accept this, as I thought some artist would probably come out with a proper R&B track sooner or later. Many years have passed since I thought that and, in my opinion, there hasn’t been a proper R&B track. This has caused me to reluctantly accept the fact that R&B might actually be dead.
I used to take R&B music for granted, as it was always played on the radio; it was the genre of music I had grown up listening to. In fact, it was played so much that I actually sometimes found it annoying; which I tend to still find nowadays with some pop songs. But I had the thought that music will probably always sound like this, because it was pop and the majority of people like it.
I was wrong and nowadays, pop music is leaning towards EDM and it seems like the days of R&B are over. This isn’t a particularly terrible thing in my opinion, as EDM is actually my favourite genre of music, but now R&B has been taken away from me, I want it back. I look at the music from some of the major R&B artists and my favourite songs from them tend to be from the ‘noughties’. For example, my favourite album from Rihanna is Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) and from Ne-Yo is Year of the Gentleman (2008); just to name a few. Some R&B artists have even seem to have disappeared such as R Kelly and TLC, even though they are still active and producing music, but their popularity has dramatically decreased when compared to about a decade ago. And although artists such as Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown are still proving to be popular, their music no longer has the ‘slow and chilled vibes’ from the previous decade.
The same can be said for dance music or EDM as older dance music seem to have earned itself its own genre, sometimes referred to as ‘club classics’. I also like this genre very much, but I like its modern day equivalent just as much. They are noticeably different, but I like how dance music has evolved over the past two decades (I do not like dance music before the 90s as much).
Of course, music is constantly changing and even genres will evolve or be replaced. I am sometimes told by older people that when they were younger, music was much better than it is nowadays. I used to just think that they were accustomed to listening to music in their time and did not accept the evolution of it, however I think I now understand how they feel; even though I do not like admitting it as it makes me think I am getting old. Although I am slightly sad that R&B might be dead, I know the future will provide me with more music that I will love, and there are emerging artists who seem very exciting in terms of the new types of music they are producing, such as Clean Bandit. On a positive note, now R&B music is played so rarely, I have learnt to appreciate it and hearing it on the radio actually brightens up my day.