LISTS / EDITORIALS

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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Retrospective: The Legacy of Usher’s Diamond-Selling ‘Confessions’ Album, 10 Years Later

usher-confessions

If R&B superstar Usher decided to step away from the revolving chair and retire tomorrow, there’s no question that he would have a legendary career to look back on. The man has continued to show on several occasions that he is one of the hardest working artists in entertainment, currently assuming his role as host of NBC’s ‘The Voice’, filming for the role of Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming movie Hands of Stone, and working on his anticipated eighth studio album, also expected to be released this year.  But, perhaps his most notable accomplishment to date was the release, and subsequent accolades of his album Confessions — which will celebrate the 10th anniversary of it’s release on March 23rd.

Initially it was just expected to be Usher’s fourth studio album, but over the past 10 years it’s been regarded as one of the best R&B albums in history, and still remains the highest selling R&B title of the modern era.

Prior to the release of Confessions, Usher had certainly taken on the role of R&B playboy. Whether he was dropping his trousers in the video to “You Make Me Wanna,” providing the lover’s anthem with “Nice & Slow,” or exposing his washboard abs in “U Don’t Have To Call,” Usher was gaining ground as the leading young R&B act in the post-90s environment. But, boys have to grow into men one day, and it was that basis that moved everything forward in creating Usher’s fourth studio album, Confessions.

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Does Cali Have a New R&B Sound?? Power 106′s Own DJ Carisma Talks “R&BSlaps”, Shares New Playlist

R&B Slaps Playlist

For a year or so now, we’ve been having in-house discussions about a certain sound that has been rising out of the California music scene, and like any emerging style becoming increasingly more popular in the clubs, mixshows and mainstream radio. Unlike Hip-Hop and Rap, R&B tends to be much more set in its ways, and stubborn to new sounds and production styles, but every once in a while a certain city, region or single producer can create a trend on their records, and lead the genre in a new way.

We’ve heard this happening much more now, coming from the West Coast, and specifically from DJ Mustard and the popularity of how his production leads a song melodically. The 23-year-old DJ/Producer and recent Roc Nation signee has been stepping out of Hip-Hop and leading what could be turning into an entire new sound of R&B for the clubs. With this thought we had to reach out to our friend and fellow R&B connoisseur DJ Carisma, of L.A.’s Power 106, to get her thought on this sound, which she has personally coined “RnBSlaps.”

Yo DJ Carisma here repping Power 106 Los Angeles and Young California. I’m here to put y’all up on what we call a #RnBSlap or #RnBSlapper out here in the west.

A #RnBSlap is a smooth R&B joint over a banger, a slapper, a super turnt up instrumental. The sound is coming from some of our favorite west coast producers right now, like DJ Mustard, League of Starz, HBK Gang, Ravsmoov, and Nic Nac just to name a few who have mastered the sound of the #RnBSlap.

Well, to explain it better, why don’t you check out the playlist that DJ Carisma has put together below, and let us know what you think about this emerging sound, the term “RnBSlap” and if you think it’s turning into a new style or sub-genre of R&B???

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Why R&B’s New Class Should Have You Excited for 2014!

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We are only a month in to 2014, and we are already excited for what’s to come! Last year was a very strong, some might even say tremendous year, for R&B music. From the authentic reaching mainstream level and the top of the charts, to excellent indie releases, plenty of progressive sounds, and lots of sexy tracks for the clubs and bedrooms, we had every niche, sub-genre and taste covered.

After such a strong 2013, we can only hope to build on the momentum, and reach even higher with the voices and talent of the large crop of artists working on projects for this year. While there are plenty of big names who are planning to release albums in the coming months, including Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Miguel, Monica and more; we are currently thrilled with the level of talent and artistry coming from R&B’s young class.

Many of these artists have already released mixtapes or EP’s, and some only a few songs, but all are continuing to build their buzz and work on their official debut album. These acts hail from different places, with different takes, styles and twists on their music, but each of them need to be on your radar, and most likely on your playlists!

Check out the tracks below and get excited!

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The 10 Best and WORST New Beyoncé Covers

The-10-Best-&-Worst-Beyonce-Covers

You knew it was coming. You knew they would do it. Some climbed to the top, while others fell and hit the ground harder than Scarlet when she took that infamous tumble. Yes, we’re talking about all the new Beyoncé covers!

If you spend your free time scouring the web like most of us do, then you’ve probably noticed the current overflow of aspiring singers trying their luck at Bey’s songs from her latest album. While most of the world is completely “Drunk in Love,” you’ll find there are covers from almost every track on the album all over Youtube – how crazy is that?!

Now, of course we’ve seen our share of Yonce covers over the years, but very seldom do you have the ones that really blow you away – good or bad. However, with the impact that her new album has had on the ears of listeners everywhere, it’s amazing to see so many inspired artists, singers and regular folk sharing their talents – or lack there of – for the world to see. Unfortunately even with the most passion possible, some of these dedicated fans just haven’t found the right way to express themselves yet, to put it nicely.

We definitely commend those who are bold enough to go after their dreams, but we also couldn’t help but chuckle a little a lot at some of the recent covers we’ve found online. So, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best, and 5 absolute worst new Queen Bey covers…for your entertainment pleasure of course!

Take a look at our list of “The 10 Best and WORST New Beyoncé Covers” below:

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List: The 13 Best R&B Albums of 2013

The-13-Best-R&B-Albums-of-2013

From Love and War to Kisses Down Low it’s been a surprisingly great year for R&B music.  With two of the biggest releases of the year being surprises, and plenty of long overdue projects finally hitting store selves, it seems like unexpected was the trend of the year. Pundits can still argue all they want about the state of R&B in today’s music industry, the numbers don’t lie, it’s still suffering commercially, but musically – quality, substance and entertainment wise – R&B has contributed greatly to the music landscape in 2013, and continues to thrive in the live arena.

Most of the years top urban radio singles were R&B records, or heavily R&B influenced, and a handful of R&B albums topped the Billboard 200 chart this year. Knowing that it’s not going to be an easy task to pick the best albums of the year was a clear sign that the genre is the strongest it’s been in many years. From tremendous blue-eyed soul to classic rhythm & blues, from global superstars opening up like never before, to award winning second chances, from pure baby-making bangers to celebratory anthems, we had it all and more in 2013!

So, without further ado, check out ‘The 13 Best R&B Albums of 2013‘ below!!

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List: The 13 Best R&B Mixtapes/EP’s of 2013

The-13-Best-R&B-Mixtapes-EPs-of-2013

What a year it’s been! Exciting, emotional, passionate and sensual are all words that come to mind when reflecting on the many releases that have hit our iTunes players in 2013.  But, before we get into the LP’s, it’s necessary to shed some light on the hottest mixtapes and EP’s that were released this year, and there were certainly a lot!

R&B is definitely on the rise again when we have such strong young talent continuing to emerge and flourish each year, and 2013 had it’s fill of impressive debuts, and special projects from some already established names. Equally a good year for both male and female acts, we saw newcomers top the charts with their debut singles, build strong followings, hit national stages and sell-out shows.  With the talent that’s on this list, we are more than excited for what’s to come in the new year!

While many of these names might be newcomers or unknowns to some, they are each deserving of their spot, and are worthy of your attention.

Check out the ‘13 Best R&B Mixtapes/EP’s of 2013‘ below!!

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