1990s R&B: Lament For A Genre Lost

I love 1990s R&B. I remember being ten years old and staying up late to watch Midnight Love–it was a show on BET. I grew up with  Tevin Campbell, En Vogue, Erykah Badu, Boys II Men and a whole bunch of other R&B acts that I couldn’t get enough of, until one day Midnight Love wasn’t on anymore, and Hip Hop became the only music on BET. R&B is still around, in one form or the next. And, as much as I appreciate Ne-yo and Robin Thicke for trying to resurrect 1990s R&B, it’s just not the same.

Sadly, they don’t make R&B music like this anymore: 

Mint Condition: What Kind Of Man Would I Be?
 

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About TCDH

Blogger with an opinion.
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One Response to 1990s R&B: Lament For A Genre Lost

  1. 90s R&B was the sound of my late teens and young adulthood, the sound of the first clubs I started going to. My favourite song at karaoke is still “End of the Road”, I still get excited when I hear “That's the Way Love Goes”, and still listen to Solo's “Blowing My Mind” constantly. Plenty of good stuff came out of that decade.
    That said, while I agree it was far better than most of what's being put out now, I nonetheless feel like R&B in the 90s was pretty disappointing overall. A bit too cheesy and melodramatic, and too samey. And while some acts used the growing influence of hip-hop to make great and interesting music (Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, Bell Biv Devoe), too many just took the dumber aspects of hip-hop (ego, posing, machismo and lack of melody) and contributed to the stupefying of soul music.
    That's why everyone got so excited when “neo-soul” acts like Erykah Badu, Maxwell and D'Angelo appeared, because it was a move away from the bullshit that was infecting R&B.
    I honestly don't think black music will ever again compare to the soul and funk of the 60s and 70s. That shit is timeless – there's a good reason why every 90s and 00s R&B/hip-hop act has sampled that era to death.

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