Contemporary R&B

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Contemporary R & B ( English for contemporary R & B ), usually only R & B called, is a music genre that its origins in African-American rhythm and blues has (R & B). In the 1980s, the first performers recorded what can be described as a modern form of R&B. At that time, pop influences were decisive . In addition, there was the now characteristic, great hip-hop influence on the genre since the 1990s . In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the original R&B experienced a renaissance in the form of neo-soul . In recent years there has also been an increased addition of elements from electro music . Furthermore, a pronounced use of melismatics is a trademark for contemporary R&B.


The term originally referred to a style of music practiced by African-Americans, which consisted of a rapidly played blues with its typical twelve-bar scheme in connection with the accented boogie-woogie rhythm emphasized on bars 2 and 4 . Played at an even faster pace, this resulted in rock 'n' roll .

The term rhythm and blues appeared as a generic term for the first time in 1941 after a royalty dispute between the American copyright society ASCAP and the broadcasters of the United States . From 1948 the record company RCA Victor marketed their "black" music under the name Blues and Rhythm . The reversed name Rhythm and Blues is said to have invented and popularized Jerry Wexler , who later became the producer of the Atlantic label, when, as a journalist for Billboard magazine , he named one of his hit-parade sections Rhythm and Blues from 1949 and thus the one before the World War in the black The music scene replaced the term race music , which was now considered "politically incorrect" and discriminatory.



In the 1980s, after the end of the disco era, the term "R 'n' B" experienced a comeback as a combination of pop , funk and soul in the broadest sense . Luther Vandross , Prince and Michael Jackson are considered pioneers of the new R&B. In 1986, Teddy Riley first combined elements of hip-hop with R&B. This new style became known as the New Jack Swing or New Jill Swing . Important members of this genus are New Edition and Keith Sweat . In addition to New Jack Swing , whose representatives were more men, R & B / Soul-influenced singers such as Janet Jackson , Whitney Houston and Tina Turner also enjoyed great success on the international scene. While Jackson and Houston were more into pop / R&B music, Turner's music is more influenced by rock music .


In the early 1990s, as hip-hop and rap began to influence American music, there was a greater blending of R&B with these styles. Sean Combs , producer of Mary J. Blige , calls the newly created style "Hip Hop Soul". Important representatives of this direction are R. Kelly , Brandy and Aaliyah . At the same time, Babyface and Brian McKnight developed an R&B direction towards classic rhythm and blues with Quiet Storm .

The mid-1990s was the most successful time for contemporary R&B. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men managed to stay at number one on the Billboard charts for the longest time with their joint song, One Sweet Day . Albums II II Men Boyz and Crazy Sexy Cool by TLC have sold in the US alone more than ten million times. A few years later, another R&B genre was developed with Neo Soul . Neo Soul mixes contemporary R&B with the soul of the 1970s. Well-known artists are D'Angelo , Lauryn Hill , Erykah Badu and Maxwell . At the end of the 1990s, R&B began to increasingly influence pop music. Worth mentioning in this context are Whitney Houston , Mariah Carey, TLC and 98 Degrees .

Since 2000

Origin of the collective term "Black Music"

R&B artists like R. Kelly and TLC had been mixing R&B with hip-hop since the late 1990s. Since 2000, the trend had intensified and R&B and hip-hop have increasingly merged. This fusion can be described as "Black Music" or "Urban Music". On the one hand, even more rappers like 50 Cent or P. Diddy integrated R&B refrains into their songs. On the other hand, the R&B artists' tracks became more hip-hop and beat-heavy. The number of R&B groups decreased sharply and the genre focused on solo artists who were very successful at the time, such as: R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Alicia Keys , Mario , Beyoncé , Usher , Monica , Ciara , Rihanna , Ashanti and Craig David .

Early 2000s: Neo Soul's commercial success

Although the current R&B is more hip-hop-oriented, the so-called "soulful R&B" also finds successful representatives such as Anthony Hamilton , Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, India.Arie and John Legend .

Mid-2000s trends: Crunk & B and Auto-Tune

In addition to the heavily hip-hop influenced R & B and modern neo-soul - the "Soulful R & B" - emerged in the mid-2000s the so-called Crunk & B, the mixture of Crunks with the R & B. Various hit singles like 1, 2 Step by Ciara or Yeah! from Usher document this short-lived trend. At the same time, the excessive use of auto-tune in R&B, attributed to the singer T-Pain , who made the rarely used technology socially acceptable again. Since 2005 he alone has lent his voice - alienated in the studio by Auto-Tune - over 50 Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop hits. There are also various successors that used the effect even without T-Pain.

2007–2010: Increasing influence of electronic dance music

The genre also changed significantly due to the increased use of elements of electronic dance music . While the current albums by Michael Jackson ( Invincible ) and Brandy ( Full Moon ) were already presented at the turn of the millennium in a highly "electronic" manner - shaped by Darkchild's 2-step- like production - electronic R&B has been gaining ground since 2007, when interpreters like Rihanna , Chris Brown and Ne-Yo score various number one hits with dance R&B tracks. This was followed by other commercially successful representatives of this subgenre such as Jason Derulo , Taio Cruz , Bruno Mars , Jay Sean , T-Pain , Trey Songz , Jeremih and Kid Ink .

German contemporary R&B

German or German-language contemporary R&B first emerged on a commercial level in the late 1990s. Artists such as Xavier Naidoo and Joy Denalane have regularly placed singles and albums in the top 10 of the German single charts since 1997 . In addition, other contemporary R&B interpreters were able to celebrate more successes in the early 2000s. These include hip-hop-influenced singers such as Manuellsen , J-Luv , pure R&B singers such as Nadja Benaissa and Cassandra Steen as well as folk- soul interpreters such as Ayọ and Nneka , as well as pop singers such as Yvonne Catterfeld and Sarah Connor , who are also internationally successful is strongly influenced by contemporary R&Bs.

Web links

Wiktionary: R'nB  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations