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    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009 edited
    Yep , its the season to party again.

    When you talk about about Modern rnb (1980-to Now)
    most people just blurt out Beyonce and a list of
    whatever RnB got into the top 40.

    Which is a damn shame, it's a bit like when people talk
    about Hip Hop and all they ever talk about is gangsta rap
    which is a subgenre not the whole genre.

    Anyway I wanted to expand those horizons,
    concentrating on modern RnB and leaving out the Motown
    stuff which has a huge fanbase and scholars.

    Also for that "classic soul", not modern rnb,the blog -


    does an excellent Job highlighting extremely
    rare gems and even digging up some of the musicians.

    Now it's our turn to do a rundown of as many RnB subgenres as possible.
    And hopefully open a few eyes. Yes some of it may be light and even poppy.
    Lets go...

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009 edited

    Minmi - "Step"

    Minmi-"The making of Step"

    THIS SONG DOESN'T GET GOING TILL 1:18 BUT I love this song!
    Especially the bit when she shouts out the music capitals
    of the world- "Japan,Kingston (jamiaca), New York,hong kong, London"
    Yeah , forget paris and the rest! And all the jamaican flags

    How Japan fully embraced practically every Genre of Black Music
    without the anchor of a large internal black population is
    one of the great untold stories in Musical History.
    It seems that because they couldn't get it from an
    internal community they had to go out travelling
    the world and get it!

    Japanese reggae fans in Jamaica-"Bad man forward!"

    They didn't just listen to it.Lot's of countries get the odd
    mariah carey record.They went to the source. An example being
    just how brilliant Japans Breakdancers and dance crews are.
    They are not just copying from the TV. They learnt from the best.

    There are stories of Japanese fans and TV crews just
    turning up in the heart of the Grimiest New York ghettoes
    where other New yorkers never go.They were there to
    learn from thew actual people who created the art,
    to record for TV this fantastic new thing that was
    blowing their minds.

    So there's the odd feeling from Black people of
    self recognition when they see japanese people
    dancing because it is so pure.

    Dancemasterz blog, the only blog i know of
    that highlights this has far more information.

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009

    Loads to choose from in French sung RnB with African influences
    . But as an example it must be LES NUBIENS .
    The female Cameroonian-French duo with a
    loyal American following

    Les Nubiens - "Makeda"

    The above video is in pre flood New Orleans.
    It's RnB, but unlike anything coming out
    of the states, with a french elegant polish ontop.
    Im suprised no one has sampled parts of this song.

    Les Nubiens - "Solide"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009 edited

    Name a Polynesian RnB group.

    That's hard huh? Probably the only Polynesian
    group you may have heard but never seen was
    THE JETS from the 1980s-

    The Jets-"Crush on You"

    Crush on you was a huge hit, and im suprised
    it hasn't been sampled to death.But most
    people never saw the video and thought
    they were african american or when saw the video
    thought they were asian or something.In fact they
    were mainly of Tongan and Fijian Descent with
    some German in there too.They were a
    a good 1980s rnb act, like the polynesian
    version of the jacksons.

    meanwhile in Maori New Zealand you have AARADHNA

    she's of indian subcontinent and Samoan heritage
    With a retro sentimental RnB sound-

    Aaradhna - "I Love You Too"

    New Zealand has a massive following for
    Hip Hop and RnB amongst it's polynesian population

    Savage Ft Aaradhna - "They Don't Know"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009

    Imagine you're a much older mature RnB lover ,maybe
    35-40+ years old who doesn't want to give up clubbing.
    Who doesn't want to start collecting Jazz records!

    But all the clubs are dirty, full of kids with hoodies,
    the musics too fast! With filthy lyrics!

    More importantly you want to do partner dancing
    like they do in salsa. And you may want a bit of dinner,
    and people to dress smart! Where can you get that?-

    The Chicago Stepping scene.

    Highlighted by Chicagos greastest RnB
    export R Kelly here-

    R Kelly- "Step In The Name Of Love"

    A highly localised scene. HUGE in Chicago but not
    much else with a following amongst older black ladies
    and gentlemen. But it seems alot of times they drag
    their kids along and a lot of younger kids are
    learning partner dancing's spreading!

    As seen in Chicago hip hop artist COMMON 's video.
    watch the kids dancing partner to partner
    (in a hip hop record!)

    Common - "Reminding Me(of Sef)"

    It's a SENTIMENTAL nostagic scene looking back
    to a "more civilised time". Guys wear
    suits and fedora hats like out of 1930s chicago.
    Like in this other R Kelly Video
    riffing off the stepping scene.

    R Kelly-"Thank God it's Friday"

    Or dress up similar to the pulp comic shadow.
    Clothes seem to be white or "happier colours".
    Nobody looks like they should be in the matrix.

    It's not just older people dancing, its a fully evolved
    subgenre of RNB with Dance steps unique to this scene,
    especially with the partner dancing,and stepping music
    which is smooth, soulful, midtempo.

    It should be noted...

    Chicago (house, stepping, juke etc)
    is like the east coast version of the Bay Area on
    the west coast (hyphy, jerkin,based,E40) in that it
    brings up it's own scenes sometimes in complete defiance
    of the major trends in black music.

    Detriot should get a mention too
    (for creating Techno! And Eminem!)

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009

    Jesse Johnson -"She I can't Resist"
    Soultrain line dancers!

    SOUNDS LIKE PRINCE huh? NO it's Jesse johnson
    from Minneapolis and so is Prince. They sound alike
    because they came from the same scene. In fact Jesse
    was in princes band. Prince pioneered and took the
    minneapolis sound worldwide
    and added and grew from it.So did the best modern rnb
    production duo of our era Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
    who were in the band the Time with Johnson

    Yes in the soultrain line, that's oscar actress
    Rosie Perez (at 0:56), she was a dancer
    and choregrapher before an actress.
    Jennifer lopez Mark 1

    The Minneapolis sound is , Early 80s,
    before new jack swing, laying down important
    RnB production values we take for granted now.

    I can't believe the above song hasn't
    been covered or sampled. N.E.R.D would spank this
    song as a modern cover. Good luck finding an
    original vinyl copy in mint condition,
    should be worth a fair bit now.

    Also From the album - "Shockadelica"

    Jesse Johnson-"do yourself a favour"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009

    Who invented FREESTYLE it's contentious.
    What is Freestyle?

    It's like RnB with loads of percussion, and a few hints of rock.
    If you lived through the early eighties to the mid eighties,
    you probably heard a freestyle record.

    What's certain, is that it was taken with open arms into
    the latin american community in America, especially
    in New York where black and latinos mingle,
    marry and are related to each other.At one point it was latino americans'
    main non-spanish musical export

    To this day alot of freestyle is still sung in English.
    New York still has a freestyle scene.

    Good examples are 1980s Hispanic American group EXPOSE -

    Check out the clatter and rattling of percussion
    in the background, it's sung like an RnB record,
    but with the energy of a mainstream 80s rock record.

    LISA LISA and the CULT JAM
    from the 1980s are one of the biggest Freestyle artists to become huge.
    They leaned heavily more to RnB and later
    incorporated some early house.

    Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam ft Full Force -
    "I Wonder If I Take You Home"

    Most early House music followers have
    heard this by Lisa Lisa(1985!)-

    Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam FT Full Force-
    "Can You Feel The Beat"

    We cant Forget The other Huge group, who became a freestyle and RNB
    production powerhouse- FULL FORCE.

    Even though they branched out into comedic acting(?!)
    like the House Party movie.They are still known for
    their production duties.

    Full Force - "Alice-I Want You Just For Me"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009
    Old, and it took me FOREVER to track down the mp3, BUT:

    And the mp3 can be found through the Hype Machine.
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2009 edited

    Basically Gospel music with all the major RNB influences,
    and lyrically almost never mentioning God !

    But the music is so stirring you get exactly the
    same meaning anyway.Hint hint-wink wink!
    getting the message in there under the radar.

    For a long time there was a BIG DIVIDE
    in black singers many of whom came from the church.
    Those who did gospel and those who did RnB.

    Those who crossed this divide could never come back
    to "Gods music" after doing unseemly DIRTY RnB songs

    This changed with a newer, younger generation entering gospel
    who were surrounded by Hip Hop and New jack swing RnB.

    There are 2 big ground breaking groups when talking about this:
    collectives he's used over the years.

    The Sounds Of Blackness

    Based in Mineappolis, they sell out concerts worldwide to non gospel
    fans and without an album in sight. People talk in hushed tones about their
    "full strength" shows where they have most of the members, with 40+
    people on stage. Their live vocal sonic power
    not really being able to be captured on record
    properly because dynamics have to be controlled.

    Under the patronage and protection of The greatest
    Rnb production duo of all time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
    they created multiple platinum albums.

    Even though most people outside minneapolis heard this ensemble in the 1980s,
    they had been going since 1961, and this nuturing paid off 20 years later with
    the album aptly titled "THE EVOLUTION OF GOSPEL"
    (tell that to the creationists-lol!)

    The single that broke them into the mainstream was
    Optimistic , it starts easily enough and just builds
    and builds and builds with ultra postive Lyrics

    Sounds of Blackness - "Optimistic"

    Not one dud on the whole album thanks acclaimed producers Jam and Lewis.

    Sounds Of Blackness- "I Believe"

    Sounds of Blackness - "Black Butterfly"

    Probably every serious rnb fan collecting albums in
    the 80s had the " Evolution of Gospel " album.


    KIRK FRANKLIN took that leaning into RnB and
    turned it up to 11 ! Bringing the sheer majestic
    vocal control of Gospel to RnB. Producing
    songs vocally that gave RnB singers goosebumps.

    Kirk Franlkin - "Love"

    Kirk Franklin - "Sweet Spirit"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2009

    Remember when you were 12-16 years old?


    There is a whole section of RnB artists who
    reflect this back to you and articulate this innocent first time ,
    young love lost forever to us. Lol!

    Not really a sub genre because the VERY
    young musicians encompasse other RnB sub Genres especially
    New Jack Swing (swingbeat).


    the undisputed king of this.

    He was their age, Not some old geezer! His songs reeking of
    innocent first crushes. His famous song "CAN WE TALK"
    vocalizing the bravery needed to get the dutch
    courage to go and talk to a girl you like.

    Tevin Campbell - "Can we talk"

    Tevin Campbell - "always in my heart"

    Tevin Campbell - "Shhhh"

    Tevin was the protege of Prince and Quincy Jones,
    whose music ended up being in far more adult
    RnB lovers music collections than the young lovers
    it was intended for.

    He also, after an infamous police operation,
    was forcefully outed as maybe the first Bisexual/ Gay
    male RnB superstar. He doesn't seem to have lost any fans.
    Which is good. It also colours a new meaning into every
    song he's sung -"shh" "can we talk" "if you ever
    wondered I love you..." LOL!


    More known as a sitcom actor. But in music he will
    always be remembered for this romantic song when barely
    out of diapers. Suggesting a maturity far beyond
    most kids.

    Jason Weaver -"love ambition"

    HI - FIVE

    As YOUNG LOVE GROUPS go Hi-Five are a good
    example of the young love genre.Lead by the sugar sweet
    vocals of the now deceased Tony Thompson.

    being the
    summer soundtrack of FIRST LOVE for TWEENAGERS
    of the time-

    Hi Five -"The kissing game"

    Sing along now...
    "I was only 16....she was 25! Just can't handle it"

    Hi Five -"Just can't handle it"


    The essential black Prom song,I can see
    them slow dancing now.

    "you'rree breaking my heart....pretty brown eyes!"

    Mint condition -"pretty brown eyes"


    Even younger Love..
    (these kids are like 8 years old!)

    Another Bad Creation(ABC)- "Aiesha"

    Another Bad Creation(ABC)-"Playground"

    Another Bad Creation(ABC)- "Jealous girl"

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2009
    Thanks Dork Muffin (still laughing at that name!). Great Tune!
    Bit Anne Peeble that tune. Nice Horn section.

    Candi Staton -multi generational soul legend.

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2009

    Far , far away from the nice melodies of all the above,
    something with GRIT and DIRT.

    The marriage of RnB with the Hip Hop southern
    Sub genre called CRUNK.There's only one person
    when talking about this Genre.

    The queen of Crunk n B is ...CIARA

    Below a perfect Crunk N B tune.

    Ciara ft Ludacris-"oh"

    CRUNK is the most MINAMALIST sub genre of Hip Hop.
    It has next to no samples, all HEAVY HEAVY sub bass, Cutting

    next to no instrumentation and more Chanting
    call and response rather than rapping. Dismissed by Hip Hop purists,
    as "dance club music" not hip hop. But it was huge
    in the Southern States of America.It got even
    bigger with RnB attached

    The ultimate example of Crunk N B's MINAMILISM
    being the YING YANG TWINS-

    Ying Yang Twins "Wait"

    This started a trend with Southern Misissippi MC
    David banner bring out a track.

    David Banner - "Play"

    Heri Mkocha