yeloson: (Default)
So. A big sample of R&B ballads from the 80's to early 90's. By no means complete.

It's worth noting that R&B would eventually break into several branches - "Adult contemporary" would later get relabeled "Soul" or rolled into "Soft Jazz", "New Jack Swing" would become the raunchy R&B of the 90's which inherited the "R&B" title today, and "R&B" as a general term would later relabel into simple pop music.

That last bit is pretty interesting, because what we clearly see as pop - say, Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul, at the time was labeled R&B as the shorthand for "black music", also keeping them from competing on the same charts as mainstream music and in some cases, limiting which stations would play them.

On the flipside, the white boy bands of the 90's who were all clearly modeled after The Boys, Gap Band, Guy, New Edition, or Boyz 2 Men were labeled pop, even though they were basically angling the same music direction.

While hiphop gets its props for influencing current music, it's really interesting to see how little the mainstream recognizes how much R&B had a hand in things. While hiphop wasn't getting direct radio play, R&B started opening the door by having songs with rappers getting a verse in on the side, and later, with folks like Mary J Blige, kicking open the door by tossing in a full hiphop beat to their R&B.


The further in the 90's you go, the less ballads show up. Part of it was the dominance of raunchy R&B as the sound of choice for men, and the R&B/hiphop mix for women, but I think the biggest impact was the combination of white boy bands and the reduction of black radio stations.

Since the internet wasn't a viable radio option at that point, radio play was key - instead of trying to compete on the ballad against a highly promoted boy band, most R&B instead went with the raunchy or dance beat cuts that would stand out and still get play on a mainstream station.
yeloson: (Default)
Ah youtube, always showing me stuff I didn't know about. Today it's artists doing covers.

yeloson: (Say What?)
It's not Friday yet, but I'm tired, and it's close enough. Mix of hiphop, soul, funk and ballads.

yeloson: (Look fool.)
I think this song will be my regular go-to re: racefailism. (This video, in particular, combines Skyward's "Sail above the Fail" with a musical message, rather like Delux's DMX Up in Here) Plus it's a damn good song.

yeloson: (Default)

And some high school jams:


yeloson: (Default)

November 2012



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