The R&B Music Genre Crisis

The R&B Music Genre Crisis

If you were born in or before the 90s you probably listened to the likes of Westlife, Aaaliyah, Ashanti, Destiny’s Child and Brandy just to name a few. These musicians gave us music that stirred feelings in our hearts and gave us all kinds of feels. The R&B scene in these times are considered to have reached its peak in terms of standard and quality of music. It is not rare to log on to social media, Twitter for instance, and find someone wishing they could get the 1990s, or before, R&B, the crying-in-the-middle-of-the-road in the rain kind of music. If we are being honest with ourselves, that music was all kinds of good.

What really happened to the R&B music industry? Where did all these artists go? This is a question that is quite difficult to answer as some of the musicians that gave us this music are still very much actively involved in the music, churning hit after hit, but why is it not the same as the earlier days R&B?

Early R&B artist Erykah Badu questioned the kind of music artists from the genre were releasing in 2010 calling that style of music pop techno with the boom bip and the hump for the payday. Critics of the genre say most artists in the industry are losing the initial style of the music in the process of reinventing themselves. In the process of everyone trying to stand out with a different sound, they are ending up with absolutely different styles of music.

Other than the sound and beat, today’s R&B has become unrelatable for lack of a better word. Artists are no longer singing about what they’d do for love, or apologies or just serenading their lovers. Instead, there is a lot more music about sex, one-night stands, parties and expensive drinks on the radio today.

While there is nothing wrong with singing about sex, the difference is in how it is being done today. One cannot compare Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On to some of the songs about sex on the radio today without being grossed out. The message no longer has an actual, heartfelt message, it’s more superficial and meaningless. This makes it hard to connect to.  John Blake in an article for CNN commented that there is no longer tenderness or seduction in R&B music, which is sort of true.

In addition, as alluded to by Ms. Erykah Badu, artists are chasing the dollar with their music by choosing to produce club banging hits as opposed to the deep soulful music that was a characteristic of earlier days R&B. This literally leaves the music to all kinds of party themed lyrics while that doesn’t have to be the case. Whitney Houston is an example of an artist whose music topped charts with meaningful lyrics proving that it can actually be done.

The need to progress and grow in whatever genre of music cannot be understated. However, in all the change, if the message remained constant, maybe, just maybe we’d still have quality songs about love or any other emotion. It is also important to know that there some artists that have remained in the initial school of R&B showing that there is still hope.

Exploring different genres of music

Exploring different genres of music

Nothing in the world is as comforting as listening to your favorite music or to sing along your favorite song accompanied with a guitar. Once you get to know your favorite genre, you are good to go. However, usually, after people discover one particular genre that they like, they immediately start ignoring the other wonderful areas of music. Whether it is EDM, pop, Classical, Rock, Blues, or Country music, once we become used to what we like the most, it is natural to ignore the rest.

However, this approach to music often limits a budding artist or a musician. This is because exposure to different genres of music usually helps a budding musician in developing his/her own unique style. Moreover, it also allows young learning artists to widen their horizons and to figure out what genre works the best for them. Even as a listener, you could be missing out on a lot of great music without having any idea about it.

Classical Music

It would not be wrong to say that classical music is a direct and straightforward application of western music theory. Hence, anyone having a taste for classical music would have a sound knowledge of western music fundamentals which not only make music a bliss for the listener but also helps budding artists. In fact, a number of legendary musicians such as Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead received classical training in music.

Jazz

Jazz music contains quite a lot of technicalities to it. The essence of jazz music is improvisation, which comes off due to rigorous practice and the application of the fundamental jazz techniques/theory. You will often find Jazz players going off the script live so as to produce something more powerful on the go. Being able to improvise happens to be one of the major beneficial traits that jazz music players carry as it is a skill that they just develop over time.

Rock

Rock music requires a lot of power and precise timing. Hence, generally speaking, rock music performers carry a lot of energy and accuracy since this is exactly what this particular genre is built upon. Though, rock is a vast genre that consists of various sub-styles and tone. Ranging from the fast guitar shredding in a hard rock song to soft emotional licks in an acoustic rock ballad, rock offers a lot of variety to listeners and performers.

Blues

While blues music does not require as much rigorous training as jazz music does, and neither it is as intense as rock music, it is certainly tough to master. The origin of blues can be traced back to African American roots in the southern states. Blues music heavily relies on rhythm and distinct blues scales that give it is particular feel. Hence, blues musicians happen to have a great command of rhythm that could easily separate them from the rest.

Reggae

Reggae music is based upon the off-beat playing. Accents in Reggae music follow the downbeat and the 2nd and 4th notes instead of 1st and 3rd notes. This results in a syncopated sound which is the essence of this particular genre. Reggae music carries inspiration from various other genres especially blues and jazz.

Kathy Griffin Unveils Impersonation of Kellyanne Conway

Kathy Griffin the female comedian that faced outrage over her posing with a headless Donald Trump returned to television on Comedy Central for the special, Make America Great-a-Thon on Tuesday night.

Griffin unveiled a comedic impersonation of Kellyanne Conway. She was introduced by Anthony Atamanuik, a Trump impersonator in a spoof to raise funds in a telethon-like skit. It went on to see Griffin doing an act on histories worse people. She then glided on stage wearing a costume that was indicative of the red Gucci coat word by Conway at Trump’s inauguration and claimed to have been consuming blood to remain young.

The Make America Great night also saw acts that included a Christian evangelical contortionist, a Republican congresswoman with the skill to swallow any and everything and an industrial worker who Trump paid to do whatever the man wanted.

First U.S Tour Announced by Griffin Since Photo

The show marked the first time Griffin has appeared since that famous photo stonewalled her career. The act got underway with Griffin, acting as Conway defending Madoff and his Ponzi scheme saying “Did Bernie Madoff’s investors go bankrupt? Yeah. But I find it interesting that the media used the words ‘pyramid scheme.” Griffin continued her antics and routine by adding,

“Frankly, that’s anti-Semitic, when you consider the terrible suffering of the Jewish people in Egypt at the time of the pharaoh. So this so-called ‘bankruptcy’ is also a moral one on your part, Wolf.” Griffin appeared to assume she was talking to CNN’s The Situation Room host, Wolf Blitzer.”

Griffin then went onto Jeffrey Dahmer joking that all people need food to survive and if the store is closed, why not head over to the bus stop. She joked that Dahmer was a foodie, called Charles Manson was a family man, and the O.J Simpson was a lady killer. When asked to defend Hilary, Griffin lambasted Atamanuik saying you offend my morals.

Griffin continued with her act entering into a feud with Mike Pence impersonator Peter Grosz that saw Atamanuik enjoying the comedic tired in which Griffin replied to Grosz, “Have I made you uncomfortable, being a woman who is not your wife?” Thereafter, Griffin joked to Atamanuik that he should blame a few victims but advised against talking about Robert Mueller, the investigator investigating the meddling of the 2016 election by Russia.

The show’s concept was to poke fun at the funding methods for The President Show’s for Trump to use to fund projects congress would not pay for such as the Mexico wall. The impressions from Griffin come as she announced her first tour since falling out of grace in the public’s eye. The news of her tour came with criticism but considering the current politic climate that criticism seems to be dying down as her tour nears.