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Old 02-01-2007, 02:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Definition of R&B

It occurred to me recently that a good deal of the stuff on the radio that is widely labelled "r&b" is not actually r&b at all! It's just singing on top of hip-hop styled drum beats, in fact often even the beats are just standard 4/4 with no hip-hop stylings at all. Basically it's just your regular modern-day urban pop music. I really see no justification for such usage of the r&b label whatsoever.

What do others think.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well ya that's a given..
i also realised the same thing when i watched this documentary with ruth brown in it...she was an r'nb singer when the term first came out in them ole days...at the peak of ray charles' career.
i mean if that's the definition of the term, then all those 90s bands like boys II men blackstreet and tlc that have been labelled r'nb aren't r'nb either!...the insanity
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would personally go as far as to say that much of todays music on the radio really shouldn't be classified as music at all.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well that's a pretty purist way of looking at it - I mean, music's music at the end of the day. Whether or not it has any artistic value, another matter entirely.

But yeah, being pretty devoid of either rhythm or blues, it doesn't really seem worthy of being called "rhythm and blues".
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yep music is music. even if ya dont like it. i dont like country or R&B but im not gonna put it down and say its not music. i just dont listen to it. its that simple.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rainard Jalen View Post
But yeah, being pretty devoid of either rhythm or blues, it doesn't really seem worthy of being called "rhythm and blues".
Well, R'n'B isn't explicity called rhythm and blues.

It's called R'n'B and I expect the change in the standard naming came partly from the same reasoning you just mentioned. Regardless, names don't have to accurately describe or sum up what they apply to. They can just be names.

Rock music doesn't usually involve rocks (unless the band have been enjoying some 'chinese rocks'). Metal music does, agreed, use things made with metal. But they are less metallic than the instruments used for jazz... and punk musicians tend to carry more metal upon their person than those in metal bands.
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When Pete plays it is 100% live , your music if that's what you call it doesn't sound so good either? so you can't really critercize can you ?
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, R'n'B isn't explicity called rhythm and blues.

It's called R'n'B and I expect the change in the standard naming came partly from the same reasoning you just mentioned. Regardless, names don't have to accurately describe or sum up what they apply to. They can just be names.

Rock music doesn't usually involve rocks (unless the band have been enjoying some 'chinese rocks'). Metal music does, agreed, use things made with metal. But they are less metallic than the instruments used for jazz... and punk musicians tend to carry more metal upon their person than those in metal bands.
Well firstly, it's "rock" in the verbal sense to rock - not the geological. I would hope you were being facetious, though.

Anyway, yes, it's true that names don't have to accurately describe what they apply to. However, once a name is adopted, becomes a part of accepted terminology and takes on a certain meaning, it would be unusual to begin to misplace it so far away from thoseoriginal connotations. Like if we from this point on began to call rap music "heavy metal", virtually everybody would object.

Even with all that said, it is true that language and meanings of words can shift and evolve. In that case, I guess my main point is that modern usage of "r&b" really has no connection to the former usage of it at all, and essentially is just a new umbrella term for urban pop.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The modern term 'R&B' has no relation to 60's R&B, as far as I'm concerned.
In fact, it confuses the shit out of me.

I'd rather it was re-named...Cheesy Shite!
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Rant Time.

To me it's like Green Day, spawning a thousand bands...all under the banner of punk.
Imagine that!
The modern definition of R&B, offends me.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The modern definition of R&B, offends me.
Well, get unoffended because its a very widespread nomenclature.

Yes, modern R'n'B doesn't sound like 60's R'n'B. At all. Really the main connection is that the R'n'B scenes were predominantly started by black people in the US* and at least the name shows there was an evolution and inspiration from the old to the new. Even if you don't think the new is anywhere near as good.

The new music might be produced with a very pop-styled mix but it still has strong blues influences in terms of the notes used in the melodies and a lot of the song subjects (well, rather people still sing about the blues and use a lot of 'blue' notes in the music). So to that extent it can lay claim to the word 'blues' in its title. Its not an old grouchy man playing a pained, lonesome guitar solo, but it still has a large component of blue.

The word rhythm is a bit more misused but, well, there are rhythms in it even if the rhythm section isn't generally very interesting. I'd say the same thing about 60's R'n'B though**, so it's not any greater misuse of words. The name R'n'B applied to modern music isn't as nonsensical as people suggest and, furthermore, I predict it will be in use for some time yet so get over it.


*Yes, I know about you and your Northern Soul, RT.
**If you compare it to Jazz or Drum'n'Bass in particular.
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When Pete plays it is 100% live , your music if that's what you call it doesn't sound so good either? so you can't really critercize can you ?
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