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From DeFord Bailey to Ray Charles to Solange: The Long Lineage of Black Artists Making Country Music Pop

As a genre stemming from an alchemy of blues and folk, country music has a storied history in Black art spaces. Despite this presence often being erased, cast away, or discredited, from the 1920s to 2019, Black artists have been the one’s pioneering and preserving country music, and that impact can be seen through its traverse influence over art from across genres and generations.
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A personal love for The Notorious B.I.G.'s "My Downfall"

When debates arise about the best song from The Notorious B.I.G. many will pinpoint to “Juicy” for the superior storytelling skills and its mainstream breakthrough. Some will say it’s “Big Poppa” for establishing one of his many monikers. Others will argue “Hypnotize” for its addictive chorus and being his first to go No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. For me, it's "My Downfall" from Life After Death, the greatest album from the G.O.A.T.
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How Modern R&B Revitalised Pop Music | uDiscover

Steeped in tradition while pushing music into new frontiers, modern R&B has infiltrated the mainstream and become the go-to sound for pop music. Here are the various umbrellas R&B has placed itself in, and the stars that are pioneering and leading these movements.
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XO And Beyond: How The Weeknd Forged His Own R&B Empire

From shaping contemporary R&B to overlooking his own XO label and fashion line, The Weeknd has become one of the biggest artists of the decade. An explanation on his sonic sound from the first mix-tape, House of Balloons up to his most recent work on LPs and EPs.
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How Ariana Grande Redefined Pop Music With ‘Sweetener’ And ‘thank u, next’

From a string of surprise releases to her openly revealing public persona, Ariana Grande has redefined what it means to be a pop star (and "It Woman") today.
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A Guide to Pacific-Trap&B, Pop's Latest Genre From Ariana Grande, Kehlani, And More

Here are eight songs to explain the fusion happening between trap&B and various East Asian pop genres.
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Understanding the dramatic urgency on Swizz Beatz’s 'POISON' album

POISON is not just an album full of club bangers from a legendary producer who shaped most of the 2000s R&B and hip-hop sound; it's a cohesive project that understands its need in the current climate.
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Why the best components of Drake's 'Scorpion' are his Quiet Storm moments

At the end of "After Dark" on the R&B side of Drake's double-volumed Scorpion, the song concludes with a radio aircheck of disc jockey Al Wood from Buffalo's 93.7 WBLK. From the 90s into the aughts, Wood hosted the station's quiet storm program on weeknights—spinning records from Hall & Oates, Troop, Fantasia, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, and Luther Vandross, all the artists he name-drops in the outro. His silky smooth voice promises four hours of relaxation, warmth, and safety to those listening.
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From Sade to Drake: The game-changers of the Quiet Storm genre

The Quiet Storm: The genre that soundtracked R&B radio after dark.
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A comprehensive breakdown of the musicality in Tinashe's discography

Whenever someone finds out I'm an OG Tinashe fan, I'm always hit with the inquiry of "what went wrong," alongside a simultaneous rush of championing a cult legend-to-be in music. I can't necessairly answer that question, but what I can do is discuss the artistry in her musicality, hoping this guide will finally get the public into an artist I've been stanning since before the aftermath of "2 On."
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Revisiting Brandy's 'Never Say Never' 20 years later

In a few transformational years leading up to 1998, Missy Elliott and Timbaland framed contemporary R&B's formula of electronic bass beats underscoring witty feminist lyricism, birthing the subgenre of Electro-Hop&B. Singles from the all female-ensemble Waiting To Exhale soundtrack signaled how quiet storm R&B had been a viable candidate in the higher rungs of pop charts and adult contemporary radio.
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Lil' Kim Did It First: The multiple personas existing in hip hop's Queen Bee

When discussing Kimberly Denise Jones' influential role as the de facto blueprint for her commercial successors in female hip hop, most get the basics right.Lil' Kim's legacy has brought the rap game an archetype of the "acquisitive gangstress"—a woman willing to ride or die for all the things she cherishes and loves. Interestingly enough, Lil' Kim barely receives sufficient credit for navigating the multiple personalities she's invented and introduced throughout her discography, proving that Lil' Kim had been lightyears ahead on yet another trend.
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Charting Black Excellence | Cardi B's three No. 1's & her genuine love for female hip-hop

Exactly a year ago (Sept. 24), Cardi B's debut lead single "Bodak Yellow" reached No. 1 on the Hot 100. It had been 19 years since a woman earned that accomplishment by herself, without guests, standing on her own grounds. Now, Cardi B has three No. 1 singles thanks to Maroon 5's "Girls Like You." Through earning these accomplishments, here's how she paid homage to the women in rap that preceeded her reign.
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Ranking Rihanna's 15 most underappreciated music gems

There’s “No Love Allowed,” “Man Down,” and “Red Lipstick,” which are some of the few underappreciated cuts that make up Rihanna’s West Indies collection. Then there’s the dynamic explosiveness of this Talk That Talk staple. “Watch n' Learn” is sheer fun, finding Rihanna at one of her most confident. She’s witty in her punchlines and efficiently maneuvers through the mouthful of a hook. This is the case of a Rihanna song that could have potentially been more if released as a single. The entertain
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