RnB is Still Alive and there is a New Generation of Talent Coming

Antoine Maurice King, MBA, MSIT

Steven Younge.g 3TF Entertainment

There has been an open conversation about RnB being dead for the past ten years. Everyone wants to go back to when RnB was going platinum out the gate with artists like Jodeci, Mariah Carey, Guy, Jagged Edge, Silk, and Shanice, to name a few. In those days, rappers were scrambling to get features with some of the hottest singers. Most people don't realize that RnB started transforming into what we call RnB/Hip-Hop today. As RnB began to evolve, rapping became more prominent. Why? I can't exactly put my finger on it, but maybe this new generation thinks rap is more catchy than RnB alone. As time went on, the new music lovers started to prefer rap with their RnB. I'm talking about the younger generation. If you look at the RnB hits from the '90s and the RnB hits from 2021, you can easily see that there is a lot more rap. One of the biggest RnB songs in 2021 was 'Industry Baby" by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow. The thing that was missing was the powerful RnB vocal performance. Don't get me wrong, and the hook was melodic and catchy but far from an outstanding vocal performance. This new generation doesn't crave those great vocal performances like the 90's music lovers. Anthony Hamilton put out a fantastic album in 2021 with some of the best vocals you ever heard in your life but did you even know it was out?

The New Generation of RnB/Hip-Hop Artists

Now don't get me wrong, you still have some fantastic vocalists in RnB like Jazmine Sullivan, Silk Sonic, H.E.R, Alessia Cara, Adele, Eric Bellinger, and Bruno Mars. The lines between genres have become blurry, and you don't know RnB, Hip-Hop, or Pop anymore. The best thing for new artists is not putting themselves in a box. The Weeknd blends Hip-Hop, RnB, and Pop very easily. That is what they are calling "Genre-Fluid." A new artist that fits the category of genre-fluid is Steven Young. You will hear a lot more from Steven Young in 2022. Steven currently has a song with Dave East, Snoop Dogg called "21 More Questions," a play on 50 cent's hit song "21 Questions". The music, which is currently not out yet, has been in rotation on the DJ Whoo Kids radio show on Shade 45 for the past nine months. Steven Young and K. Twist produced the song. Steven is signing with Dave East's new record label FTD distributed through the iconic Def Jam imprint. When you listen to Steven Young's music, you can fit it in RnB, Pop, and Hip-Hop, much like The Weeknd. You can't put Steven's sound in a box, and his talent has no boundaries. FTD/DefJam is planning a breakout year in 2022 for this emerging superstar. That's where you want to be if you're a new artist. Justin Bieber jumped out of the Pop/RnB genre to dabble in the Latin market with "Despacito." That was one of the best career decisions his team ever made. Drake is another artist that fits in the genre-fluid category. He is considered Pop/Hip-Hop and RnB.

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Antoine Maurice King, AABA, BSIT, MBA, MSIT Founder of Spate Media writer and blogger for www.spatehiphopnews.com. I love to write about music and entertainment, and local entertainment is something I find very interesting. I want to let you know about the best events, places to eat, and more in your area—over 15 years of experience working in media and technology.

Bronx, NY

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