Only a week ago we somewhat agreed with Bobby Valentino that R&B is dead. The points previously made still stand: many R&B artists have ventured away from the genre in hopes of gaining revenue in more lucrative genres. More and more, the bandwagon speeding away from R&B, flipping it the bird on their way toward other, maybe equally as boring and lifeless (here's looking at you, most rock derivatives) sonic horizons. Hilariously, Ben Westhoff at the Phoenix New Times declares "R&B Is 'Rap & Bulls--t'" and who can really blame him?
He makes many of the same points as we've made here
about the transformation of R&B as Hip Hop took over and the
effects of Neo-Soul as a genre, bemoaning the lack of the R&B icons
and sounds of yore. His (and others') frustration and indignation begs
the question of whether or not we should even be attempting to resuscitate R&B or if we should just allow the buzzards of
mainstream banality polish off its carcass. Has R&B in its purest
form become so boring that it should be left to exist on compilation
albums and in the memories of those who relish its glory days?
I have a vested interest in the perpetuation of R&B, partially
because I don't believe it's exhausted any more than many other genres
of music. But even though it's the bedrock on which many careers
continue to be built, and that there are still many artists still
exploring the genre further, should this make a difference? Should we
continue to fight the (arguably?) good fight for R&B?