Chris Brown is finally home from jail and we can thank the heavens. With his absence from the spotlight, the monumental popularity Brown established with his music could have disappeared right from under him. Brown’s four singles “Fine China,” “Don’t Think They Know,” “Love More” and “Loyal” are all absolute heat, despite the fact that his newest album X has been pushed back beyond the point of making anyone excited. It’s mind-boggling that with all of the 25-year-old singer’s legal problems, his flame hasn’t died out. It hasn’t even dimmed. Actually, it’s grown brighter. Maybe the music really does transcend the artist, or is it possible that being bad is good for the R&B business?
Today’s R&B has taken an interesting turn. The smooth love ballads have been thrown directly out the window. Sex is the new love, these hoes are apparently not loyal and promiscuity with multiple women has young men paranoid as they attend nighttime social events.
Male singers as well as female singers are getting into the action by singing about getting some action. Beyoncé sings about some real sensual situations in “Partition“ as well as in “Drunk In Love.” Rihanna is almost everywhere and her clothes are almost nowhere. Justin Bieber—who is a pop singer in his seemingly distant past—has totally flipped the script. He’s gathered up tattoos, run into trouble with the law and managed to make a very satisfactory R&B album, Journals.
This new R&B defiantly brings subject matter to the table that hasn’t been attacked by singers in such a way yet. Artists like The Weeknd, August Alsina and Ty Dolla $ign seem to revel in this appealing world of drugs, women and what some may consider “bad.” To the ears of many listeners, this “bad” is good for R&B.
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