What is Hip Hop Soul?
Hip Hop Soul is a Subgenre of R&B music made most popular during the 1990s. Hip Hop R&B fuses the soul of singing with hip hop productions.
Hip Hop Soul evolved from new jack swing, another form of R&B popularized by artists and producers like Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, Teddy Riley, Guy and so forth. New Jack swing incorporated elements of hip hop into contemporary R&B music. Hip hop soul took the hip-hop/ R&B synthesis further by having R&B singers sing over heavy backing tracks typically found in contemporary hip-hop.
Evolution of Hip Hop Soul
Hip Hop Soul was coined by well know producer and rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs. He created this term during the promotion of What’s the 411? An album by famous singer and actress, Mary J. Blige. This album was filled with mid-tempo ballads, along with being sung over samples and hip-hop beats. Uptown records would go on to produce several albums with the same styles as What’s the 411? Including Diary of a Mad Band, Jodeci. Diary of a Mad Band introduced the four-man vocal group to hip hop soul recordings whilst, processing them out of their new jack styles. Many other artist found their way to the heart of hip hop soul including 112, Tony! Toni! Toné and Blackstreet.
Montell Jordan’s “This is How We do it” was a key recording for the hip hop soul genre. It sampled Slick RIck’s 1989 “Children’s story” and epitomized the hip hop soul genre. Another Key recording is Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s “I’ll Be There for you/You’re All I Need to get by.” this song sample Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need to Get by which Method Man rapped over as Mary J serinated the song. Other artist include TLC, Adina Howard, Faith Evans, SWV, Total and so on.
Hip Hop Soul Today
Since the 1990s, Hip Hop Soul has experienced a lull in popularity, but aided in a new genre being formed out of Hip Hop Soul called, Neo Soul. Neo Soul, coined by Kedar Massenburg, incorporates funk, jazz, fusion, hip hop, african music pop, rock and electronic music. Neo Soul is known to be a less conventional sound of Contemporary R&B.
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