Opinion piece by Lucky Lovette
If you were born in the 80s, you probably were raised on the slick stylings of 90s R&B. Musical acts like those by Mary J. Blige, Babyface, TLC, Dru Hill, En Vogue, Monica, SWV, Destiny’s Child , Faith Evans, 112, D’Angelo, and Toni Braxton blessed our ears with their undeniable singing chops, clever songs, and a refreshing sense of cool. Traditional R&B of the 1990s (and the R&B of previous decades) was the truth.
Unfortunately, R&B has drastically changed — or perhaps, disappeared — over the past decade. While the musical genre’s evolution through time is demonstrated by the diverse work of legends like Fats Domino, Johnny Otis, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston, the production of quality R&B music is a now relic of yesterday.
Since the 90s, the creation of high quality “make up with ya boo” music has slowed down and is very disappointing.
My ears long to hear smooth chocolatey runs, effortlessly sung over a well-orchestrated production of a lightly caressed piano and a perfectly timed bass drum. I miss hearing the tenor of a churchy vibrato that accentuates a sustained note at the end of a love song. I miss not having to strain my ears just to hear the (real) voice of a singer. I miss being able to listening to an album straight through, in one sitting. I miss listening to the radio and not having to flip through stations for reasons other than static.
I miss 90s R&B music. I miss R&B music.