Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's On AB's iPod? : 90's R&B Mixtape.

Some of ya'll prolly think I'm one of those dudes who lives in the past, Al Bundy-style. If you've peeped previous episodes of WOAI, I could understand the sentiment. Reality is, while I really appreciate the music of the 80's and 90's, I don't spend all day sitting on my floor thumbing through mixtapes and LP's. It ain't that deep. I do listen to "modern" music, and I happen to like lots of it.

The notable exception is R&B music, which is just totally and completely devoid of creativity and originality nowadays. At least hip hop music has a thriving "underground" chitlin' circuit with lots of interesting and talented (albeit not commercially viable) artists. R&B? Not so much. Either it's not completely inbred with cRap music, or it's that milquetoast "Neo-Soul" crap, which is just as yawn inducing.

Sure, there are exceptions. I dig Dwele, who makes "man's man" style R&B music. Erykah Badu is still good for a solid album when she's not busy knocked up with some random rapper's baby. The new Jamie Foxx is okay because he takes lots of musical chances and no two of the songs sound alike. And then of course, there's the Foreign Exchange. Damnit, is it just me, or is that Phonte Coleman the most talented cat on the planet right now?!? It's a shame program directors can't ditch their paid-for playlists and recognize real talent.

But otherwise? R&B sucks. From Ne-Yo, to The Dream, to J. Holiday, to Trey Songz, it's just a relentless cavalcade of marginally talented cats who make songs that sound just alike and feature a guest Southern rapper on every track. Zzzzzz...

The 90's was prolly the last decade when R&B music mattered.[1] Sure, the whole New Jack Swing thing began the unholy alliance of R&B and Rap on the commercial airwaves, but otherwise some decent music was made. And listening to this pretty cool mixtape, DJ Skor: 90s Throwback R&B Thug Mix transports me back to those days at my HBCU Negro College in The Cafe with CJames, Inquisitive Mind and Co. when life was so much simpler and responsibilities were few.

You may not remember all the cuts in this 90 minute mix, but hell, it's free. Enjoy.

Question: Are there any "commercially viable" R&B artists that you like? Do you think the marriage of rap and R&B ruined the music?

DJ Skor: 90s Throwback R&B Thug Mix [KevNottingham]

[1] Cyber CapriSuns™ to the first person who can tell me which chain restaurant Devante Swing currently washes dishes for.

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