Is R&B Dead?

Many people today, consisting of artists, fans, and musical connoisseurs, have a strong belief that the genre of R&B is officially dead and gone with no means of returning to its former glory. Many consider R&B to be the holy grail of music thus putting all other genres of music to shame. R&B tends to bring more of a steadiness to the listening ear as opposed to other “harsh sounding” genres such as trap/rap, pop, and EDM. What people fail to realize is that many modern day R&B artists such as Snoh Aalegra, Bren Joy, Umi, Ari Lenox, and Summer Walker are trying to restore the once soulful roots of the genre but there are those who refuse to give these artists a fighting chance.

There are those who are stubborn in thinking that modern day R&B artists will never be able to restore the once enthusiastic genre because they do not have the former gospel/church going training or background that most old-school R&B artists were raised with. Another key factor that plays a role in this debate is the fact that many music lovers are trapped in the era of classic 90’s R&B and even before that. What many fail to realize is music, just like movies, television, and fashion, are continuously changing and have no intention on stopping as long as creatives are bold enough to share their talents with the world. There is no way to prohibit change and the quicker people become of aware of this is the quicker that people will stop declaring R&B to be a dead genre.  

Something that has become widely popular amongst modern day artists is to take an old-school R&B song and making it their own. This allows for listeners to get a taste of classic R&B while also indulging in the new evolving talents of modern day artists. Below are a few examples and some personal favorites: 


  • “Crazy Kind of Love” – Tamar Braxton

  • “Pack Lite”- Queen Naija

  • “Body” – Summer Walker 

  • “Crazy in Love” – Beyoncè

  • “Foolish” – Ashanti 

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