Sign up with your email address to stay on top of all this CIVIL and be the first to know about new projects and news..

Click here to sign up now and to start your journey of living civil

Rest In Peace To R&B: Is It Dead Or Idle? [Videos]

By Posted on 4 3 m read

R&B was once known as the soul of the hip-hop community.  Today, to say the least, it just isn’t what it used to be.

Reminiscing about what used to be of R&B leaves me with one feeling: an old Rose watching her blue heart-shaped diamond necklace fall back into the depths of the ocean. Only this time, there is no Rose, because there appears to be no survivors.

What happened to our r&b music?  From Jazz to the Blues, Blues to Soul, and Soul to R&B/Neo-Soul– was the next lineage in line, rap-singing?

The most devastating thing about the disappearance of r&b is that there’s nothing around to balance rap.  Rap has, however, morphed into a fusion of r&b, pop, and rap– with auto-tune. And even more, what used to be r&b/rap collaborations are mostly rappers singing their own hooks, except much less harmonious than Bone Thugs N Harmony, and far more disconnected from a perfect pitch than Krayzie Bone.

I never realized how drastic the crumble of R&B has graved until I stumbled upon one nostalgic video and got lost in a world of them for hours, at high volumes. While rap appears to be evolving into a plethora of different sounds– sub-cultures, themes, ideologies– and is literally able to cater to any kind of rap fan who seeks, there is no substitute for r&b.

The content on mainstream radio is not diverse. However, the problem is not this transformation of hip-hop, but what appears to be the lack of motivation for the resurgance of R&B.  Is it dead?  Will there be no new generation of r&b singers to take over and reclaim a piece of the pie as it once was?

Considering the latest fiasco by Brian McKnight, now known as his attempt at a “parody,” I’d say he was dead on.  “Show Me How Your Pussy Works,” was the most ridiculous scenario of an R&B song that you could ever find… from Brian McKnight.  But if you actually take a listen to our modern-day portraits of rhythm and blues artists, worst have been said in a more clever and catchy way. So at my 22-23 years of age, I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t help but feel like an old head when it comes to these new standards of lyrics and subject matter.  Am I the only one?

After reliving and reinvigorating my soul with a plethora of 90s r&b, I present to you the question and the answer:

What Has Been Missing in R&B today?

1. Duets

Usher/Monica – “Slow Dance”

Faith/Carl Thomas – “Emotional”

R.Kelly/Sparkle – “Be Careful”


2. Dance Songs Not Catered To Strip Clubs

Lucy Pearl – “Dance Tonight”

Jennifer Lopez – “If You Had My Love”

En Vogue – “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”

3. Songs with Story Lines

Dru Hill – “In My Bed”

Mya – “Movin’ On” feat Silkk the Shocker

Case – “Happily Ever After”


4. Heartfelt Ballads

Mariah Carey – “My All”

Xscape – “Who Can I Run To”

Brandy – “Have You Ever”


5. Sexy Seductive

Aaliyah – “One in a Million”

TLC – “Red Light Special”

Toni Braxton – “You’re making me High”

6. Songs About Broken Hearts

Tyrese – “How You Gon’ Act Like That”

Faith Evans – “You Used to Love Me”

Avant – “Separated”

And there’s much more where that came from


Live Civil [Twitter, Facebook]


Share this article