Huh? What Do You Mean By ‘The Return of R&B,’ Mary?

As Mary J. Blige hyperbolically effused that the return of R&B is "the best thing to happen in the universe" in a recent interview for MTV, my interest was momentarily piqued. She cites Maxwell and Whitney as a few examples, which is fair enough, and clearly her inclusion in the list is implied. Then I got confused. Are these the people that have ushered in some kind of R&B renaissance? If so, where exactly did R&B go? If folks like Alicia Keys and Trey Songz are to be included (both were mentioned by the author of the article), even Mary herself, and they've been consistently releasing material for several years now, when did this return start? Who are the keepers of R&B? And is it really back? What say you, fellow Bouncers? Are we in the midst of an R&B comeback?

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12 Responses

  1. I think she means R&B/Pop.............Only Maxwell lived up to R&B the rest are simply just R&B artists doing pop music disguises as R&B. R&B still lives in the underground artists

  2. Agree w/ Soulzkidd.
    There's always been great r&b music being made...whether the radio plays it is another matter.

  3. Avatar

    As an aside, just wanted to say that there will be a Blige piece in NY magazine on Monday written.

  4. R&B/Soul hasn't gone anywhere.... to comeback from.. in my opinion. Of course the underground and fringe mainstream artists ALWAYS make great music.... so, as a fan of those kinds of artists... I can find quality music constantly.

  5. Well for the mainstream audience R/B is making a comeback of sorts. The underground flowing doesnt compare in number so I see what they are saying.


  7. I think real R&B died when Luther passed away. The stuff that artist are putting out now is just a travesty of the worst kind. Yeah there some sista's and brothers still making quality music but as a whole, as a generation, R&B as we know it today cant touch the R&B from say 25 to 30 years ago. I cant remember the last complete R&B album that I purchased, real R&B isnt about sex in the kitchen or licking some woman up and down till she says stop. ...Mary hasnt had a decent album since the Breakthough, so maybe thats what she means by the return:) I cant front, i'm checking for maybe 2 or 3 R&B cats and the same amount of sista's when it comes to R&B now. Like hip hop, R&B as I use to know it is dead.

  8. that's irony. her last 2 albums sucked.

  9. maybe im overly optimistic but I think R&B is experiencing a resurgence,particularly 09's had some quality records released from the likes of Melanie fiona, maxwell, chrissette michele, amerie,etc. I think this year looks like it will be a great year for R&B as well. I am checking for Tweet, erykah, corrinne, brandy, sade, jill scott, and many others.

  10. R & B according to 106 & Park watchers have been in tact but those of us who are slightly older and were blessed to have heard music of the past have been left hungry for quite some time now as it relates to mainstream artists.
    True Alicia has been making albums but in my opinion there is Nothing Soulful about her. She is more R&b/Pop than R&b/soul and let's be real, while R&B/Pop may sell, R&B/Soul is what actually moves you.
    I wouldn't even consider Whitney being responsible for bringing R&B back because I wasn't feeling her album at all. (I did like a few songs though).
    I think this article that you speak of is from a person trying to come across deeper than they really are. If they were a true fan of R&B/Soul they would know that R&B is just fine and that the problem is not a lack of music it's a lack of exposure for the music that we listen to everyday.

  11. I think she means returned to the main stream good R&B has always been here, but i think she may be speaking in the context of people actually noticing, or not trying to turn it into pop, i mean for most of the 2000's r&b singers were either singing hooks for rappers, are being labled as pop stars, i.e. beyonce, a keys, etc etc...which i kinda think they are pop stars and embrace it...but mjb, trey, keyshia, raheem those to me are more r&B...little more soul to their voices.


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