I think we can be honest here, and say R&B as a genre in popular music is in a place of struggle. Many blame it on the vocals which are on air these days, or the originality or the feelings, or lack there of, of all 3! Reasons being and how we got to this place is really not even important right now. Admitting there is a problem is the first step in change right? Well producer/artist and R&B hitmaker Jermaine Dupri is an avid advocate for the genre and one of the few that still pushes to stay true to it.
This past week has basically been all about Frank Ocean, and not just within R&B but within the entire industry. While most chatter has been about his unexpected premature album release on iTunes, Target refusing to carry it, his first televised performance on Jimmy Fallon of the very open, personal and emotional “Bad Religion,” a cut which previously was the cause of early rumors surrounding Ocean’s sexuality, or of course the elephant in the room, the fact he revealed a very personal story about his first love via his Tumblr blog on July 4.
All of that aside Jermaine Dupri is looking at the bigger picture of Franks Def Jam debut channel ORANGE, and reveling in the fact that it just might be the beginning of R&B’s mainstream return, almost damn near calling it the savior. In an open letter he posted via his own online social community Global14, JD highly praises the album, and states he hopes it sells even more than the estimated 125k in the first week. An event which he feels in turn would be a wake-up call to record label executives and radio to play more R&B records.
Read Jermaine’s open letter below…
When I saw the # that Frank Ocean is suppose to hit next week, I got extremely Happy,I said I need to get in my car and and listen to this album,by the time I got to “Sweet Life” I was even more happy,finally!! a RnB album that’s hip,with out having the same 5 rappers on every song,I actually hope he hits 200k,for the sake of RnB,it’s in the worst position it’s ever been since I started making music,The Record company’s don’t believe in it,Radio won’t play it if it don’t have a rapper,and a majority of the artist that are labeled RnB,are confused and lost,so I repeat,I hope Ocean sells more than the 125k that he’s on pace for,maybe these executives u’llwake the fuck up,or at least try to copy what he’s doing,like they always do, by the way,the end of “Pyramids” jammin like a mufucka.
This was amazing! We commend JD and are thankful for his words and voice in this matter. We need more influential members of the industry to demand more attention to the genre. Frank’s storytelling and writing is genius and he has delivered a masterful piece of work with channel ORANGE.
What do you think??