The R&B genre is at a serious turning point right now, where the genre can either go back to how it was in the 90s/early 2000 era or continue to go downward. With the fact so many R&B acts are more concerned with crossing over than recording quality, timeless soul music. In the last year I have to give credit and say some artists now have seem to have gotten the memo, realizing that era is when R&B was last at it’s greatest.
New artists like Eric Bellinger and Sevyn Streeter (signed to Chris’CBE) are doing their part. Not to mention Tyrese, Syleena Johnson and Jazmine Sullivan all delivered amazing R&B masterpieces this year. However we know something is wrong with our genre when Jazmine Sullivan can release such a great album and get snubbed from being nominated for any Soul Train Awards this year. It’s been announced this week that regardless of not receiving some well deserved nods this year, she will be performing at the event which tapes this Friday (November 6), what’s wrong with this picture?
As for Chris, he’s at such a turning point in his musical career that this album could really be the body of work that for once will finally bring all of the attention back to his music instead of the headlines, which of course started with that unfortunate incident in 2009.
Chris has always put out great music from the door, his RCA debut released 10 years ago gave us our first glimpse at what the kid had to bring. The hits released from the album (Run It, Yo (Excuse Me Miss), Gimme That, Poppin and Say Goodbye) showed he was an in demand talent, but some of the unreleased album songs like Ain’t No Way (You Won’t Love Me) & Ya Man Ain’t Me showed he was a real vocalist and artist.
Why is “Royalty” important for the future direction of R&B? Chris Brown is at the head of the line as being one of the the most talented, sought after, hit-making recording artists of today. Say what you want, but Chris always pours his heart and soul out in his music. At this turning point in R&B as well, it’s important for the leaders of the pack to continue to push the genre back to it’s original elements that we all love. No gimmicks, no rapper featured on every single, no hip-hop beats under R&B vocals and more importantly than it all, no media headlines to distract away from the music. Of course the artists can’t control that last one.
Chris Brown & Tyga put out one of the best urban albums this year with Fan of A Fan. Songs like Better, Remember Me and I Bet featuring 50 Cent had hit written all over them. However with all of the bad press with the two around the time of release it was severely slept on. We need to get past headlines and rumors regarding these entertainers and stay focused on why we even care about them in the first place, their talent!
With the release of “Royalty” later this month (Nov. 27), my hope is it will be the masterpiece that Chris has promised and we all know he can deliver. Moving forward the success of true R&B is up to artists like Chris Brown who has a mainstream appeal and if he can continue to record great music that stays true to the gene, that will only make people start paying attention once again to non-mainstream R&B artists that are making just as good music.
Let’s hope for the best!
Chris Brown “Royalty” Publicity Images Credit: Francesco Carrozzini