Disclaimer: If you’re a fan of today’s music and you’re not interested in a subjective opinion about what music used to sound like, then don’t read any further.
I went on a mini road trip this past weekend and I had some time to think about a few things. Whenever I travel I must have a lot of fruit, plenty of water, and a smooth playlist to take my mind off of how crappy the drive is (I hate driving longer than 4 hours). My playlist typically consists of R&B and Hip Hop music, but mostly R&B because I love to hear good singing. On my way back from my destination I happened to turn my Pandora station to Next and that’s when it happened. The stars aligned in my favor and I was blessed to hear a genre of music that I don’t get to hear on a regular basis, 90s R&B.
I’m an 80s baby (1987), so I don’t condescend like I know what it was like growing up and listening to classic Rhythm and Blues from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. But 90s R&B can compete with the classics from that time period.
Oh, you don’t think so?
Now, if you didn’t bob your head to at least 3 of those songs then just leave. Bye!
I could look at videos like those all day and not get tired of them. 90s R&B music was a monolithic genre within a genre that mastered the art of storytelling through song. Point blank, it was just an epic time period for Rhythm and Blues. But it’s sad that R&B music since then hasn’t progressed, it’s just disappeared/dissolved into pop music. I’m not a musician but I am a fan of music that has substance, honesty, and credibility; traits that used to define this genre, but not anymore. I’m confused at how songs about love, happiness, and heartbreak got replaced with songs about drugs, superficiality, and having adult relations in the back seat of a car that you don’t own. Seriously, can someone explain the reasoning behind that? I can barely think of a handful of singers who’ve come out within the past 5 years that make music the way that artists back in the “good ole days” made music. But it’s not the artists’ fault, the medium has just changed (another reason why I lost respect for the industry). I just wonder if that style of music will ever come back again?
I miss seeing R&B music videos that told stories about men falling in love with women with natural body parts and women loving those men who had no money, flaws and all. That’s what’s missing. This ongoing narrative about “hoes not being loyal” or how trifling men are for having “side pieces,” aren’t doing anything but adding more layers of distrust between men and women. But so many people will cry about there not being any suitable mates, even though we’re inadvertently being trained to not like each other. Maybe if there were more positive messages regarding relationships in mainstream media then we wouldn’t have all of these problems.
So, to the Powers-That-Be, please bring R&B music back to the forefront. If you don’t believe me when I tell you that it’s a genre that’s deeply missed, then just go to the comment section of the videos that I posted and you’ll see what I mean.
Until next time…