15 Songs To Remind You RnB Is Not Dead
A few months ago, when Jacquees pronounced himself the king of R&B, I was thrown. Jacquees? The guy who remixes artists’ current songs without their permission?
I realized he was only able to make that claim because he’s one of few male R&B artists getting radio play who actually sings on the track. It’s easy to win the game when you’re the only one playing. The artists people came up with as alternatives were mostly 80s and 90s artists.
Nowadays it seems like every artist thinks they’ve got bars. Mainstream R&B is mostly hip hop. If you’re like me and prefers when singers sing, there are still plenty of songs for us. Turn off your radio, tune into your favorite streaming service, and explore. To get you started, here are 15 songs that will give you something you can feel.
“Would You” by Pink Sweat$. Pink Sweat$ is a singer-songwriter, and this song is about being ride or die for your love. Check out his albums and mixed tapes if you like the slower R&B that now seems to be labeled “alternative R&B,” particularly his song “Honesty.”
“Another Lifetime” by Nao. She has a unique voice, and some may hate on her because at times she uses a synthesizer. But the lady can sing, and she has range.
“Top Down” by Leikeli47. This is a slow dance with bae kind of song. I’m sure this is someone’s wedding song. Toward the end, she raps, which I’ll allow. She’s Adrienne and Naturi in the beginning and Kiely at the end (without the lisp).
“Nights Like This” by Kehlani featuring Ty Dolla Sign. Kehlani may rap sometimes, but she makes solid R&B albums, where she primarily sings. This song about a woman playing with her emotions and breaking her heart will have you reminiscing if you’ve ever been in that situation.
“Testify” by Victor Oladipo. Yes. You read that right. The Indiana Pacers guard has albums, plural, and his voice isn’t bad. I chose this song because I like when a guy attempts a falsetto.
“Drowning” by Mario. Mario has been consistent. Last year he came out with his first album in nine years. While some of his peers have returned with pseudo rap songs (*cough* Usher *cough*), Mario knows his strength is in stretching his vocals.
“Body Smile” by DVSN. I could fill this whole list with DVSN songs. Their music, featuring songs about love, relationship struggles, and desire, feels like it’s serenading the audience. It’s no surprise that the first concert I went to of theirs was filled with women and couples. If I wasn’t sticking to songs in 2018 and 2019, I would’ve listed Hallucinations from their first album. That song has me in my feels every time I listen, but the same goes for this one.
“Funeral” by Sammie. Sammie is another artist who, in the last few years, returned from a musical hiatus. While a lot of his songs have the current sound where he’s sing-talking instead of harmonizing, on this one he’s hitting notes. This is a theme song for when a breakup is final final (because the person is exchanging vows with another).
“Not Gon Lose” by Avant. I’m here for singers from previous decades dropping new music. Avant, Sammie, Mario...even Amerie came out with songs in the last year.
“You” by Nicole Bus. Starting with the intro, Nicole gives Lauryn Hill Miseducation vibes. She has range, though, and sometimes reminds me of Jazmine Sullivan or “What’s the 411” Mary J. The song does sample other music (The Charmels’ “As Long as I’ve Got You” and Wu Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M,” which also samples the Charmels song), but so did plenty of songs in the 90s, and we still love them.
“Good Girl” by Tiffany Gouché featuring Masego. Gouché sings the verses and Masego lends a verse and his saxophone to the track (giving a little of his “Trap House Jazz” vibe).
“Love Me the Same” by Dan Caplan. Caplan’s ballad is about a love that will last through anything. He even plays the piano, so no one can accuse him of not being a “true” musician.
“Riot” by Summer Walker. You’ll enjoy this one if you like smooth, slow melodic songs.
“Whipped Cream” by Ari Lennox. This song about when everything reminds you of a former love has a good vibe. It’s cookout music. Lennox might be a little more on the soul side of the R&B spectrum, but she makes good music no matter what it’s classified.
“Wicked Games” by Kiana Ledé. Ledé has come a long way since her Kidz Bop days. Here she sings about someone who knows what buttons to push. I like her song “Ex,” too, but I chose this one because she co-wrote it.
Who do you think are some of the best R&B singers out now? Comment below with your thoughts!