Thursday, May 19, 2016

When Did R&B Music Become So Foul-Mouthed?!?

[Editor's Note: Yeah, the blog's back. In a limited capacity, but back nonetheless.]

As a guy now firmly entrenched in his (early) 40's with a wife, 3 kids, a day job and a mortage, I find myself frequently revisiting my youth via the magic of Spotify. While I'm perfectly content listening to what passes for "hip hop" nowadays, I've got the illest 80's and 90's R&B playlists. Sorry, I just can't listen to today's R&B, and I'm not even sure if the genre, on which a rapper is featured more than the singer, even properly qualifies as R&B anymore.

Diet Drake ripoffs like Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanez are what pass for R&B today. Sure, there's still plenty of old man R&B being made that plays on the "grown and sexy" stations in most urban markets, but who wants to hear Keith Washington and Will Downing? Not even me, and I own albums those guys made. So yeah, I just stick with the older stuff, because the newer stuff sucks.

Case in point is many R&B artist's (new?) tendency to talk sh*t and curse. Not that this is anything new. As you purists will surely tell me, R&B singers like Millie Jackson and Clarence Carter have trafficked in low brow, crude content since the 60's. The difference is, those songs, and those artists were always seen as a novelty of sorts. A comical sideshow, not the norm.

Now, you can't listen to a song without being serenaded by curse words and called a "nigga". I just pulled up a random playlist on Spotify and played the first 10 or so songs. Rihanna ("Needed Me"), Tiller ("Exchange"), Tinashe ("Ride Of Your Life"), Chris Brown ("Back To Sleep"), Lanez ("Say It"), and Eric Bellinger ("Valet") all had the same recurring themes of sex, cheating, revenge and retaliation with enough curse words to make Samuel Jackson blush. If a generation of black kids are being raised on this sorta sh*t, what chance do we have to flourish as a people?


By comparison, a random song from my 90's playlist, Monifah's "I Miss You", sounds like a relic of another era. Which is sorta is. And I like that. A lot.

You youngsters can keep that ratchet sh*t. I'll stick with my oldies.

Question: Do I have any valid points about how awful today's R&B music is, or do I just sound like the suburban soccer dad I've morphed into?

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