LISTS / EDITORIALS

ThisisRnB Presents: Summer Playlist (’90s Edition)

Summer-Playlist-90s-Edition

There’s no denying the evolution of R&B throughout the years. From the groovy disco sounds of the ’70s to the dance heavy synths found in the ’80s, R&B has had the power to take you through an emotional roller coaster decade after decade.

While to some the ’90s might be the era of bubblegum pop or alternative, but to those like us here at ThisIsRnB, it was the golden era of the R&B music that we still love today. Known just as much for it’s introduction of unique and progressive sounds, it was also that era that introduced the world to iconic artists like Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Aaliyah, R. Kelly and many more of today’s most influential acts.

Delivering so many classic R&B hits, the ’90s also hosted the reign of many legendary producers such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface and L.A. Reid, Teddy Riley, Dallas Austin, Timbaland and Missy Elliot, and even Pharrell Williams. It was also the decade that made film soundtracks filled with R&B singles even more anticipated than the films themselves. While the New Jack Swing movement was coming to an end by 1994, the new wave of R&B was far from doing the same. Bringing about teen sensations Aaliyah and Brandy, and pushing R.Kelly into the forefront of the genre with his 12 Play album, the 1990′s brought R&B music into the commercial mainstream and opened up a rarely traveled lane for many artists to cross over to a world that was previously closed to them. Although love songs, ballads and dance tracks were the staples of R&B, there were a few artists who changed the definition indefinitely.

Beginning their reign as Hip-Hop and R&B’s most called upon, Timbaland and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott helped with delivering genre-advancing sounds provided by Ginuwine and an all grown up Aaliyah. Teddy Riley, who contributed so much to the decade, was also grooming his protégés Pharrell Wiliams and Chad Hugo – known as The Neptunes – to create a distinguished sound used by Blackstreet, SWV, and more. By 1997 though these were changing again. The introduction of Neo-Soul began with artists Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Maxwell, who all made their mark on the industry and added another sub bullet underneath the typical definition of R&B. Truly one of the moments that will forever reign supreme in the history of R&B, the ’90s has given us some of the best music to dance, cry, and make love to all at once!

Summer is always one of those times when we love to go back and play our favorites from the past.  Join us as we take a stroll back and remember the times that had us “All Cried Out,” getting “Hot Like Fire,” creating a “Fantasy,” and “Too Close” to R&B perfection.

Jump into our ‘Summer Playlist (‘90s Edition)‘ below!!

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List: The Best of June – Top 15 Records

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With June marking the official start of summer and the half-way mark of the year, it’s easy to anticipate what musical milestones we’ll hit as well. From debut and follow-up albums from many of our favorites artists to unexpected verses, we can’t help but be thankful for any sort of music that leaves a lasting impression on us.

Although June started off a little slow for new music, it seemed that as soon as the heat outside picked up, so did the the amount of hot records. From the retro sounds of Goapele to the raunchy and sexy singles provided by Usher and Kay Cola, the list of new sounds from June will have you saying that you’ve got “Options”.

So sit back, relax, and get your red cup ready as we bring you our “Best of June – Top 15 Records“!

Take a listen to all the tracks below!

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ThisisRnB Presents: Summer Playlist (’80s Edition)

ThisisRnB-Summer-Playlist-80s-Edition

When we think of ‘80s R&B we think of legendary artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and so many other influential acts from that golden era. You hear groundbreaking mixes of Funk bass lines, Disco beats, revolutionary creations with Hip-Hop and Soul, which all came together giving Rhythm and Blues a more danceable and contemporary sound.

Today, so many people question the stance of R&B and the direction that it’s going in. As we’ve learned nothing stays the same in this ever-evolving industry. So, to help you remember some of the best feel-good R&B of the past we’re taking you back with our 1980′s edition summer playlist!

Ready to kick off your shoes, get out your seat and boogie on down?

Then get into the ThisisRnB Summer Playlist (’80s Edition) below!

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List: The Best of May – Top 15 Records

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With summer just around the corner, it’s only right that we bring you some real deal hits with this month’s roundup of tunes!

While we’re always prone to giving you that good good when it comes to R&B music, it’s just something about the month of May’s releases that set everything right in the world. Could it have been the re-arrival of superstar Usher with his hot new single “Good Kisser”? Or was it the posthumous release of Michael Jackson’s album Xscape? Although we really don’t have an answer for just exactly what it was about this month that shifted the world of R&B back on its correct axis, we do know that we like it!

From the seductive sounds of some of today’s hottest artists to the uptempo beats of the next wave of greatness, our “Best of May – Top 15 Records” will have you rushing through June to see what we come up with next.

Soak up the heat after the jump!

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Editorial: August Alsina and the Power of Sharing Personal Testimonies

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“I feel like God gave me the gift to do what I do, just because it’s so many motherf**kers like me that I can help. And show them anything is possible.” – August Alsina

Testimony, the debut album of rising R&B star August Alsina, is more than a feel good club banger. Instead, it is a musical manifestation of Alsina’s strength to carry the great weight of responsibility deliverance demands.

What is that great weight of responsibility? It’s having the courage to transparently share one’s testimony, with hopes that someone will be inspired by it. Thus in return, being empowered to overcome the obstacles they face in their own lives. This is no easy task for anyone, even Alsina. He mentioned on several occasions his apprehension about overly sharing the details of his life. His primary fear was that by doing so, he would be left vulnerable to harsh judgment by the public.

However, understanding that there were people in similar circumstances who desperately needed to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel, with raw honesty he chose to share his life on his album.

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List: The Best of April – Top 12 Records

The Best-of-April-Image

With all the good music that we hear each month, we know how easy it is to miss something or lose track of all the standout records that get released.  So, to help you remember, or hit you with new tracks that you may have missed, we will be posting a monthly round-up of songs for you to vibe to!

Choosing the top standout tracks that have dropped from the start of each month until the end, this will certainly take the place of the blues that hit you when you realize the rent is due!

Whether it’ll make you dance or make you move to the bedroom, our “Best of April – Top 12 Records” might have you asking yourself, just where the hell you were when you missed this hot sh*t!

So…what are you waiting for? Jump into our April 2014 selections below!

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ThisisRnB Presents: ’30 Years of Def Jam R&B’

ThisisRnB Def Jam R&B

When it comes to hip hop, there’s perhaps no other label that can serve as the almanac of the culture like Def Jam Records. From its doors opening 30 years ago, to the thriving, sustaining business it is today, the label has served as the cornerstone of hip hop culture providing us with an abundance of acts including from it’s inaugural era in the ’80s, (LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Slick Rick) to the 90-00s golden era of hip hop (DMX, Jay Z, Foxy Brown, Ludacris, Scarface) to even it’s current era (Kanye West, Jeezy, Rick Ross, Nas, Big Sean). Def Jam continues to set the benchmark for the genre and their contributions have certainly made a noticeable dent in the framework of the culture over the last 30 years.

Alongside their thriving rock-hard raps, Def Jam Recordings is also recognized for their contributions to R&B music. From their first R&B release in 1986 with Oran “Juice” Jones, Def Jam has made their mark in R&B. Over the past three decades they’ve incorporated spin-off labels like Def Soul Recordings, created subsidiary imprints like OBR Records, merged with Island Records to create ‘Island Def Jam’ all the while introducing the world to acts like Ashanti, Ne-Yo, Musiq Soulchild, The-Dream, Frank Ocean, Rihanna and making them into superstars. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Records, we are celebrating their R&B contributions by counting down the Top 30 Def Jam R&B Hits.

Get into the Def list below!

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List: The Best of March – Top 10 Records

Best-of-March-2014

With all the good R&B music that we hear each month, we know how easy it is to miss something or lose track of all the standout records that get released.  So, to help you remember, or hit you with new tracks that you may have missed, we will be posting a monthly round-up of records for you to vibe to!

Choosing our Top 10 standout tracks that have dropped from the start of each month until the end, this will certainly take the place of the blues that hit you when you realize the rent is due!  Normally the lists will be posted on the last day of the month, but in some cases – like this – on the first.

Whether it’ll make you dance or make you move to the bedroom, our “Best of March – Top 10 Records” will have you asking yourself, just where the hell you were when you missed this hot sh*t!

So…what are you waiting for? Jump into our March 2014 selections below!

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