Usher talks the value of R&B

The ursh is not happy... | 'shopped by J ;P
Usher recently spoke out about how he feels about the R&B label being thrown and how he feels it impacts R&B as a whole. Usher can be a douche a lot of the time, and I can't help but feel there was some egotism in his words. But he spoke real talk on this issue...
There's a very fine line between what's R&B and Pop these days. Just because it's sung by a male minority doesn't mean you're urban or R&B. Those artists are pop. The true value of R&B has been brought down.
I co-sign this. So much of 'mainstream R&B' is barely R&B at all, but it gets classed as such. The ethnicity of the artist (and often the producer) tends to dictate whether a song gets labelled as R&B more than the actual music itself. I remember when folk were trying to file Santigold under R&B when her music is anything but. It's just easier to label her as such because she's black. On the flip side you also have artists such as Lady Gaga and even f**king Ke$ha who get roped into the R&B category. I damn near choked when I saw an R&B essentials CD in the shop and saw Ke$ha's "Tik tok" and Britney's "3" were on it. Them songs is as much R&B as Tiger Woods is faithful.

Initially I thought Usher was a pot calling the kettle an R&B ankle draggin' n***a. Especially in lieu of his song "OMG" being filed under R&B and being a huge hit - something I wonder if he'd have the same concerns about where the value of R&B is concerned. But he saved that ass by stating he is a "worldwide pop star". Mo' ego? Possibly. But again, it's real talk.

UK artists are bringing down the value of R&B @ Toya's world


  1. Usher's right. There is a fine line and we cross over it too many times that we can't call our music R&B. But, you're right, too, about Usher dictating about this topic coming out with his only number one on the POP charts this year!!!

    Plus, I checked out that link you had on the CD. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!! That is a spit in the eye of R&B everywhere. It's bad enough they put Pop princesses like Britney and Ke$ha, but why the hell are they putting Jason De-ruin-lo and I-sp-az on that list. They are about as R&B as Madonna, and I know I don't want to relive her R&B "transformation"!

  2. I actually agree with him saying that because a singer is black or white, they are not automatically thrown into the category of Pop or R&B. I had a hard time trying to convince people that there is Rap and R&B in Japan.

  3. @ Nait Phoenix
    I couldn't believe that CD myself when I first saw it. Ain't a DAMN thing R&B essential about that compilation. Ke$ha... I mean, REALLY!? And I LOVE Britney's "3", but c'mon now: that track is straight-up undiluted pop, no matter how hot that bassline knocks.

    @ Mister Dynamite
    But do you know what the most ironic thing is? Japan's R&B (to me) has been better than R&B in the West over the past couple of years. I've been trying to convince R&B fans to give Japan a chance, but I guess not everyone is able to get past the language barrier. Or possibly that Japanese people are doing "black music". *shrugs* Their loss. Crystal Kay's "I wanna be" shut down every other R&B track that released in 2007 as far as I'm concerned.

  4. Yo, I'm a straight advocate of J-R&B because of your efforts. I see and hear the truth in that shit, and feel like there's nothing going on in American R&B that compares. Hiromi did her thing. So did BENI. Kuri always does her thing, but she treads the lines a lot nowadays (it works for her, so why not?).

    All I have left for hope in R&B nowadays are sudden spurts of brilliance from Trey Songz, and demos from songwriters like Phillip Taj Jackson and Johnta Austin, to name a few. If female artists were as progressive as the J-R&B chicks, I'd be checking for them, but they're not, so I don't.


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