An R&B Revival by Jada Samuel

For 90s babies, our childhoods weren’t flooded with true R&B or soul like our parents and grandparents. You know that music that your parents slow danced to and that you were made to? The same music we still play when we’re in our feelings cause the lyrics are more relatable than the beat.— Where is our Sade, Maxwell, Xscape, Ginuwine, D’Angelo, Toni Braxton, and Erykah Badu?

Now, we’ve had Beyonce, Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, Trey Songz and a few other heavy hitters that brought that R&B feel to the mainstream. However, many would agree that between the pop crossovers and hooks on hip-hop songs, there hasn’t been a wave of that real soulful feel. Don’t worry…That soulful, authentic R&B feel is coming back!


Remember when everyone plastered Solange’s A Seat at the Table ALL over social media?! That! That was definitely the rumble of this R&B wave of our generation coming.


During Solange’s acceptance of her BET Centric Award, she gave a shout out to the other young women in the industry who are also creating this true R&B. She named SZA, Kelela Kehlani and Syd — power houses!


For those of you who are still not feeling R&B because it sounds “old,” I encourage you to take a listen. Your favorite rap-singing artists got it from that same “old school” you might still be laughing at. 


Top Dawg Enterntainment artist, SZA, went from b-side to mainstream over the last few weeks with the release of her second studio album, Ctrl. And if you didn’t listen to Kehlani’s Sweet Sexy Savage earlier this year, what are you waiting for? Odd Future’s Syd tha Kyd also released her first studio album, Fin, and if you liked Aaliyah growing up, you’ll LOVE this.


While you’re at it, listen to Kelela, Ro James, Ella Mai, H.E.R, dvsn, Guordan Banks, Ari Lennox, and more recently, Daniel Caesar. There are so many great artists!


Raw, soulful R&B is truly making it’s way back into our lives. This R&B revival better mean a revival of slow dancing at the club is coming back, too!

— Jada Samuel

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