LISTS / EDITORIALS

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)

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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

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

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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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