top of page
  • Writer's pictureRenese

R&B Is Not Dead...It's Been Passed to The Wights

Ok, so...This will cause some bloods to boil. Heads to roll. Or mouths to rupture.

But it's true - R&B is not dead.

Technically - it's not dead, Right? Because you have folks like Sza. H.E.R. Kehlani. Chris Brown. and Brent Faiyaz.

These particular contemporary artists are categorized as R&B, so no, R&B is not dead-dead. But you know what has been buried six feet under?

S O U L.

Who knew that R&B could live without soul? Well, it can. Like a zombie. Just straight body movement with no one manning the steering wheel except for an involuntary synapses firing.

Like Esau and Jacob, our Black artists, traded soul for a bowl of stew. And the beneficiaries of that impatient wait were the wights.

Like Daley.


Sam Smith.


Mac Ayres.

and Snoh Aalegra.

As Issa's big head sneaky link said on "Insecure" when they were watching "The O.C." - "White people are really doing their thing."

Think about it - if you wanted to hear a contemporary love song about a man yearning for the love of his woman, who would you immediately think of?

...yeah, that's what I thought.

For me, I immediately thought of a wight - specifically, Daley's "Distance." Listen to this...

"I want you in this life,

I want to know what it feels like,

We've come too far to give up,

I want to go the distance."

Oh, there's more:

"What if we could grow old together

mold together?

Stay bold together, through whatever?

That would be so sweet."

So many of these contemporary R&B white artists are mimicking what our beloved artists used to do back in the day - Offer love, forgiveness, tenderness, begging episodes or lovely side chick serenades. This is what I mean by soul.

Keith Sweat, Gerald Levert, SWV, Total, Jodeci, anyone?

Keep in mind I'm talking about contemporary R&B. Right now. Currently. Presently.

And let's add to that - The chirren are not in church. Gen Xers and older millennials, who are grown af now do not - did not - expose them to sangin', which is why the octave levels on these artists are so limited. It's giving...Ashanti...for most of them.

Wait - I just had a revelation!

Ya know what? Maybe they do have soul. It's just that their soul is more passionate about toxic relationships, getting your shit off, double dipping and cussing someone out.

And maybe that's all they can muster to be soulful about.

In a 2 or 3 octave range.

So, again, R&B isn't dead. And not all the soul was transferred to the Wights - just the good kind.

18 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page