Rolling R&B Thread 2018

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Enjoying this:

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 10:48 (two months ago) Permalink

Jorja Smith crushes this ballad

Evan R, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:20 (two months ago) Permalink

I like the Justine Skye album. Nice vibe.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 21 January 2018 21:16 (two months ago) Permalink

The Chris Dave and the Drumhedz record has a lot of sweet tracks on it. The Bilal/Tweet duet! The Stokley track!

maura, Friday, 26 January 2018 14:52 (one month ago) Permalink

^^^ this record is very enjoyable

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 26 January 2018 18:30 (one month ago) Permalink

just in case anyone is unfamiliar chris dave is responsible for the drumming on meshell ndegeocello's comfort woman and maxwell's BLACKsummers'night so i basically think he's the best drummer in the world

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 26 January 2018 18:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Did anyone try the young millennial SoundCloud Kylie dean I posted upthread

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Friday, 26 January 2018 18:34 (one month ago) Permalink

i'm checking it out now. "young millennial soundcloud kiley dean" is... exactly right? i like it

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 26 January 2018 18:37 (one month ago) Permalink

"house in the hills" bangs a lot

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 26 January 2018 18:47 (one month ago) Permalink

essence fest lineup

maura, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 19:52 (one month ago) Permalink

(it’s good)

maura, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 19:54 (one month ago) Permalink

every time i look at that lineup i immediately black out

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 19:59 (one month ago) Permalink


Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 20:05 (one month ago) Permalink


husked, tonal wails (irrational), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 20:06 (one month ago) Permalink

it doesn't seem real

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 30 January 2018 20:22 (one month ago) Permalink

is this where we discuss the SiR album? cause it's nice

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Thursday, 1 February 2018 18:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Essence Fest lineups have always been great.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 1 February 2018 18:39 (one month ago) Permalink

i like the SiR album

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Thursday, 1 February 2018 20:00 (one month ago) Permalink

The sample's gonna put a lot of people off, but the new Ne-Yo song is so wonderful and light on its toes. I really wanna believe he has another great album in him

Evan R, Thursday, 8 February 2018 17:33 (one month ago) Permalink

rayvn lenae (featured on noname's telefone tape) has a new EP with production assistance from steve lacy and it's v nice

monotony, Friday, 9 February 2018 05:53 (one month ago) Permalink

that's ravyn*, rather than rayvn, my apologies

monotony, Friday, 9 February 2018 06:01 (one month ago) Permalink

I nominated "Sticky" for the 2017 poll, and I'll probably nominate it again in 2018 since it will be re-eligible. :)

Johnny Fever, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Also, it's got a video now

Johnny Fever, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:10 (one month ago) Permalink

Lost a lot of time thinking about this lately, but what was the last significant hit slow jam? I'm trying to think of the last one that got regular airplay on rap/R&B stations, not just adult R&B stations. ("Redbone" doesn't count.)

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Does "Permission" count?

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I dunno tbh; I totally forgot about it. I guess there were those Bryson Tiller songs, too, if those count, and "Slow Motion" was around for a while. But all that just seems like background noise compared to, like, when "Miss Independent" was everywhere

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:40 (one month ago) Permalink

heard b.e.d. remix a lot later last yr idk if that counts

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:47 (one month ago) Permalink

"Miss Independent" was on pop radio here last night. Made everything around it sound even more lifeless.

maura, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:49 (one month ago) Permalink

But I think "Get You" counts? The kids love Daniel Caesar.

maura, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:50 (one month ago) Permalink

oh man "Get You" is so great. Not sure how much airplay it gets though. Wikipedia says it only peaked at 43 on the hip-hop/R&B chart, but that could be wrong

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:54 (one month ago) Permalink

I guess I'm trying to figure out if there's been a format shift that's restricting airplay for this kind of R&B, of if the public just sort of gradually lost interest in it.

It's funny, the '90s R&B is so lionized right now, but looking back the Ne-Yo/Mario/Lloyd/Omarion/etc. boom of the '00s that lots of people took for granted at the time really feels special

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 15:56 (one month ago) Permalink


J0rdan S., Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:15 (one month ago) Permalink

i guess that's not slow jam in the way you mean it... party next door "come & see me" got a lot of radio play

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:17 (one month ago) Permalink

oh yeah "come & see me" was everywhere. His performance on that is so noncommital it sometimes barely scans as an R&B song to me, but I guess it's pretty representative of where the genre's commercial energy is right now. It'll probably be remembered as an era-defining song, as weird as that is to think about

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:26 (one month ago) Permalink

curious to see what Daniel Caesar does this year. He's consciously not signed with a label. His last album was a quantum leap ahead from his prior one. I got high hopes.

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 18:09 (one month ago) Permalink

that Vulture article is bittersweet. Glad this music is still finding an audience through streaming but that arrangement takes away the shared experience of hearing it on the radio. Would be great if you didn't have to be Donald Glover to get airplay

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 18:32 (one month ago) Permalink

i wish this station would sprinkle in some more new stuff

maura, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 19:01 (one month ago) Permalink

one of the things I love about adult R&B stations is how expansive their playlists are. They seem to draw from a deeper, more diverse pool than like classic rock stations do. But it would be nice if they threw in more contemporary stuff. They seem to limit their rotation to just a few modern songs are any given time (and lately one of them is always Bruno Mars)

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 19:19 (one month ago) Permalink

(another is usually Charlie Wilson... man that guys does numbers)

Evan R, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 19:22 (one month ago) Permalink

part of it's in how one defines slow jam, no? like, there's no shortage of subdued, sung, downtempo tracks on urban radio, both mainstream and adult. but no one's gonna call, say, "white iverson" a slow jam b/c i guess its sound is meant to be read as more vibey, not so much sensual or heartfelt. at the same time, though, i would never have described "miss independent" as a slow jam, especially back then when actual slow jams could still be hits with decent regularity (i.e. "like you'll never see me again", "lost without u" or "suffocate").

a couple recent-ish rap hits with a sentiment that i'd call almost-right for slow jam territory are k camp's "comfortable" and kendrick lamar's "love." (the former perhaps if slowed down slightly + given a more relaxed delivery on the verses). but there's something about the image element of rap that leads people to avoid categorizing any rappers' songs as 'slow jam'-like, or even as r&b, even if some individual cuts do fit basically all of the sonic and thematic benchmarks (i.e. singing, romantic sentiment, relaxed arrangement).

i guess what i'm trying to say is that the aesthetic hasn't been entirely scrubbed away, but when it does appear it's less often used by artists that can be comfortably slotted into the r&b, rap being as dominant as it is now.

dyl, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:03 (one month ago) Permalink

as far as recent hits that do fit the traditional molds, i'd also offer, yes, "permission" and "slow motion", but also tory lanez's "say it" and khalid's "location".

"location" in particular is a bit odd in that it broke at mainstream urban radio and eventually crossed to the adult stations -- i've heard it a downright shocking number of times on my local station's quiet storm segment, and no, it doesn't sound out of place. even more surprising to see cross in that direction was sza's "love galore". (i imagine "the weekend" could make the same moves too, but adult r&b radio, like most adult-targetted formats, is slow to pick up on new material.) just those two, which are both very contemporary-sounding, happening in such quick succession, along with "get you" and now "finesse", leads me to think that there will be more overlap between the adult and mainstream contingents in the near future (whereas for the previous 2-3 years, overlap was quite meager). so who knows, maybe that might provide more room for the sound to thrive? it's hard to say really what the effect would be.

if the format landscape of the 90s were still in place today, i imagine a track like "before i do" would have been such an easy sell at mainstream (white) adult contemporary stations. (reminder: toni braxton was once one of the top artists at mainstream ac!) but alas the gulf between white and black adult stations is now basically historically wide. (it doesn't help that white ac stations now rarely break new material -- most of the format's currents are proven pop hits that broke ages ago (like, "slow hands" is *just now* starting to get heavy play there). so if your song has no shot at crossing to pop, tough, mainstream adult radio has no use for you either.)

dyl, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:25 (one month ago) Permalink

"get you", by the way, is climbing the mainstream airplay chart pretty impressively for a song with its sound. i hear it on my local mainstream urban station and apparently it's top 30 on mediabase's chart for that format (i don't know where it is on billboard's because that's a subscriber-only chart). tank's "when we", like "get you", is a former adult r&b #1 hit that is also trying to make its way up the mainstream airplay chart now, but is lagging a bit currently (maybe tank isn't cool enough, even if he looks great without a shirt on -- altho a remix that i think is forthcoming might help). i'd also keep an ear out for h.e.r.'s "focus" (originally released in 2016), which is even higher on the mainstream chart than "get you" and has had no adult-side support yet to my knowledge.

dyl, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:36 (one month ago) Permalink

completely blown away by this Jean Deaux track

Evan R, Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:32 (one month ago) Permalink

toni's album will be coming march 23rd apparently

dyl, Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Lanre is a super dope producer! xp

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:46 (one month ago) Permalink

Only heard one other Jean Deaux track ("Wikipedia") but it blew me away, too. Chicago has something real special going on right now

Evan R, Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:52 (one month ago) Permalink

That new Toni song is really nice. Looking forward to her new record.

Dangleballs and the Ballerina (cryptosicko), Friday, 16 February 2018 15:23 (one month ago) Permalink

title track from the smokin debut album by starchild & the new romantic (aka solange collaborator bryndon cook). out friday. from the press release:
"Sonically and spiritually, Cook finds guidance in grand standards: looking up to producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, studying their contributions to the New Jack Swing era and pop music at large. Touchstone statements like Janet Jackson's Control, Michael Jackson's Bad, and Prince's 1999. Singular breakout LPs from Terence Trent D'Arby and Bobby Brown. The honesty of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska and Carole King's Tapestry; the ingenuity of Laurie Anderson. Cook also reflects on recent years with Solange, as part of her touring band, and collaborations with Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange, as reminders of artistic individuality. 'Being around them now urges me to find my own way of delivering my own messages.'"

maura, Monday, 19 February 2018 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Nothing new, but I enjoyed Jose James doing a Bill Withers tribute at the Kennedy Center recently

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 March 2018 21:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

42 year old Tank’s “When We” is getting support beyond adult r’n’b radio. His marketing folks are schooling his core listeners on streaming , he’s got a remix, and he’s got hip hop friendly beats.

It’s not bad.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:23 (two weeks ago) Permalink

that's pretty cool. i dont like that song, well the hook anyway.

'hope this makes you love me' is one of my fav r&b songs in the last 5 years tho.

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i like the song and was surprised when i first heard it that they weren't gonna try to cross it over immediately. but i guess these things take time and adult r&b tends not to be a big launching ground for crossover, save your very occasional "all of me"s

the remix they made for the mainstream urban format is rly bad tho

dyl, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 23:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

really fascinating how they put real effort into educating his audience on streaming services tho!!

(also i totally missed this article that was linked within, pretty neat: )

dyl, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 23:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Standout track from the new Jeremih EP

Evan R, Friday, 9 March 2018 17:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i really like that new Toni track btw! (bunch of xposts)

surm, Friday, 9 March 2018 17:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

chloe x halle's new record is very good. i love their dreaminess and how it extends to the way they put their albums together

new ro james ep out today too

maura, Friday, 23 March 2018 13:27 (yesterday) Permalink

oh god the toni record is exquisite

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 23 March 2018 15:52 (yesterday) Permalink

goddamn the chloe x halle is wonderful too. what a stacked day for r&b

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 23 March 2018 16:24 (yesterday) Permalink

oh nice gonna go in on these recs. pumped especially for the Toni record.

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Friday, 23 March 2018 18:11 (yesterday) Permalink

toni album hasn't really grabbed me for the most part but it could with time. i love "long as i live" tho. def worth a listen if you liked her last one. (don't worry the colbie caillat feature doesn't involve caillat actually singing lol.)

jeremih and chloe x halle! goodness there's a lot to get to

dyl, Saturday, 24 March 2018 00:54 (one hour ago) Permalink

Liked the Toni album on first listen. Finished strongly. Feels like a companion to love marriage and divorce.

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Saturday, 24 March 2018 01:14 (one hour ago) Permalink

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