Jaquees set social media on fire this weekend when he declared himself King of R&B. To his defense he did state of his generation. The only cats who sing besides him are 6black, Khalid, Brent Faiyaz and Daniel Caesar. What he should’ve said is; for his age group, because he’s always given props to Trey Songz and Chris Brown. These are men that he’s collaborated with in the past and they are his elders.
21 Savage was right about one thing, all the elders have something negative to say as usual. Brown was just thankful for all the accolades he’s receiving which are way overdue. Which brings me to my next point there’s no unity in the genre any more. In fact, it was almost taken over by white people. When you look at an Apple music or Spotify playlist the main artists you see are black women or artists from a different ethnicity. Most black men were either rappers or pop stars.
In order to find out who’s popping today we must discuss who laid the ground work for the R&B cats today. I’m only going to do with what I grew up listening to back. Since I’m a product of the eighties these are the artist, I can say who laid the groundwork for my generation. New Edition, Keith Sweat, Gerald Levert, Brian Mcknight,112, Case, Donell Jones, Blackstreet, Boys II Men, Dru Hill, Johnny Gill, Jodeci, R. Kelly, Avant, Usher, Ginuwine, Lloyd. There are plenty more who were hot back then, yet the gentlemen mentioned above, while in their prime, you couldn’t turn on the radio or tv without hearing them.
This weekend on social media was nothing but a pissing contest of who’s better? Instead of it being about honoring our legends while they’re alive. It’s always when an artist dies then people pour their love out. It’s plenty of talent out here but people need to eat some humble pie. There are some other singers who weren’t even mentioned like Miguel, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, and Neyo.
To be crowned R&B king your music would have to transcend generations, sales would be a factor, overall talent. There are a limited few who could come close to R. Kelly. Those individuals are Bruno Mars, Usher, Chris Brown. Say what you will about Kelly, scandals aside, the hits this man has in his catalog ae staggering! Not to mention he wrote one of Whitney Houston’s and Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. Houston’s “I Look To You” and Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” are two songs that provoke emotions in people, not just because of the artists who sing them. Then the penmanship that’s behind the songs, well that’s royalty. It’s going to be awhile before we see an artist reach that type of stardom.