People are always going on about how much they hate R&B music (Wiki definition – A music genre which combines elements of hiphop, soul, rhythm and blues, pop and funk), when in actual fact it is amazing.
Here are ten reasons why:
(And it wasn’t easy getting this list down to only ten songs!)*
1. Janet Jackson – That’s the Way Love Goes
Of course Janet had to be on this list. This song is so chilled and lovely. As soon as the beat kicks in, you’re just hooked into it. And the video couldn’t be any more 90s – it features a cassette, pre-worldwide fame J-Lo and waistcoats!
Other Janet classic R&B: Got till it’s Gone, All For You.
2. LL Cool J – Loungin
This song is timelessly summery and lovely. I love LL! I liked it when he was in that film ‘Deep Blue Sea’ and hid from a shark inside an oven… and then the shark switched the oven on! Good times!
Other classic LL R&B: Doin It, Luv U Better, Ain’t Nobody.
3. R Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
I couldn’t leave R Kelly off this list – since he is the R in R&B! This song is so good. As soon as it starts, you know you’re going to listen to it till the bitter end! I saw Fall Out Boy at Reading 2007 and Patrick sung a cover of this song, and the entire crowd went nuts. No bottles were thrown! This is because deep down, everybody loves R Kelly. As Tim Westwood said, ‘Let God judge!’ R Kelly wrote a hip hopera (Trapped in the Closet) which is bite size pieces of brilliance. Especially the midget scene.
Other classic R Kelly R&B: Bump n Grind, Your Body’s Calling, I’m a Flirt.
4. Twista feat. Kanye West and Jamie Foxx – Slow Jamz
This was my jam in 03! I used to listen to the Kanye West album constantly, and I had a lil crush on Twista since he’s ridiculously cute and can rap non stop without stopping to take a breath. That’s some skills! It’s weird listening to this song again now, and looking at the video – it’s before Kanye really took off and back then he was tons more earnest. I remember in an interview how he liked making a video without tons of hip hop honeys writhing around because he wasn’t a cliche. This song is all about amazing R&B jams. I looooove it!
Other classic Kanye R&B jams: All Falls Down, Gold Digger, Touch the Sky.
5. Tha Rayne – Didn’t You Know
This song was described as ‘lovely and radiant’ back when it first came out. It’s such a pretty song. I love their voices, too.
Other Tha Rayne R^B classics: I haven’t heard any other songs by Tha Rayne but these amazing female R&B vocals remind me of other insanely good songs by Lumidee, Monica, Aaliyah…
6.SWV – Right Here
These minxes were one of the first bands to ever sample Michael Jackson. And they made the sample sound ever better, and created this beautiful song. And danced around in jodphurs and knee high boots. All hail SWV!
7. Akinyele feat. Yvette Michele – Loud Hangover (Allstar Remix)
This is a loopy, sleepy song. It reminds me of ‘Bonita Applebum’ by a Tribe Called Quest. Pharrell Williams said that when he was a teenager, he ate a weed brownie and listened to ‘Bonita Applebum’ on vinyl over and over and over again. This is one of those hypnotically good songs. Plus, I love Akinyele’s style. This is totally slept on. It should be more famous!
8. Usher – Burn
It was very hard to pick an Usher song because he has so many amazing songs! I chose this song ‘Burn’ because it knocks off any cliches people throw out when they say R&B sucks – this song has so many sections that Usher has jigsawed together really cleverly and succinctly. Plus, Usher is an amazing storyteller, and the story of ‘Burn’ is pretty epic. And how can you not love the part where he sings ‘It’s been fif-eleven days! Upteen hours!’ It’s too cute!
Other Usher R&B classics: My Boo, You Make Me Wanna…, You Remind Me
9. Mario – Let Me Love You
Not the Nintendo one. Argh, now I have the Super Mario Theme tune in my head – that’s all it takes these days. I have been playing Super Mario Bros on the DS and it’s getting fiendishly tricky. Mario is one of the reasons why I don’t like Simon Amstell. I remember when his first song ‘Just a Friend’ came out when he was only about fifteen, and he went on PopWorld and Simon just constantly took the piss in a really smug way. I felt bad for Mario because he was so young. Plus he’s awesome. Simon went on to kiss the fucking Scissor Sisters asses and my grudge with Amstell cemented itself. Mario is a really great dancer, and is in the Step Up films! This song can totally make me cry if I’m PMS-ing or have had one of those days. It’s so beautiful. But the line ‘DO YOU ENJOY BEING HURT!’ always brings the lols.
Other Mario R&B classics: Just a Friend, Here I Go Again, How Could You
10. Mariah Carey feat. Ol Dirty Bastard -Fantasy (Remix)
Mariah has recorded so many amazing songs, it’s batshit crazy. Mariah is a true superstar diva. She can’t walk unless she is wearing heels. She physically cannot walk in flats. She has a seven octave voice. She is my kind of pop star. I chose this song because it’s ace and everyone needs some ODB in their lives. This was the time when Mariah ditched her ‘good girl’ image and started hanging out with Diddy and the Wu Tang and was generally awesome personified.
Other Mariah R&B classics: Honey, Butterfly, Dreamlover, Emotions, We Belong Together, Heartbreaker
* Obvious sex jams have been omitted for my future SEX JAMS post. Excited?