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As much as they try to diminish the power of R&B, it will always remain the universal language of love -- and personally, my favorite genre of them all. 

Cultural Analysis

How moments and songs in R&B are shaping the culture today. 

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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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Charting Black Excellence | Revisiting Toni Braxton's "countless bops" because Beyoncé said so

Usually when Beyoncé does a digital drop on any social platform, it’s like no other and you feel obligated to listen. On Halloween 2017, Bey took the internet by storm by recreating a few iconic and cult-favorite looks from Lil’ Kim. This past Halloween Eve, Instagram timelines were blessed by the singer dressing as one of her other idols: Toni Braxton. According to the artist who most hail as “Queen Bey,” Braxton is “one of our talented legends (who serves) countless bops.”

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Charting Black Excellence | The significance of Normani and Khalid's "Love Lies" hitting No.1 on pop radio

Normani and Khalid’s presence in the top region reveals that pop radio, which considers itself the "Mainstream Top 40," has a ways to go when it comes to being fully representative. On the week of September 18, 2018, "Love Lies" became the first song on the pop radio charts with solely black artists to go No. 1 since Flo Rida in 2016. The first in the series of "Charting Black Excellence".

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Ashanti Talks New Single & NFL's 'Take a Knee' Protests: 'I'm Praying That Things Change Very Soon'

“If it ain’t about the money, say less,” Ashanti advises on the hook of her fresh single “Say Less” — a west coast RnBass jaunt produced by DJ Mustard and featuring Ty Dolla $ign. That’s exactly the mood she felt when catching up with Billboard Style on a Thursday night in her Los Angeles condo. A pioneer of contemporary R&B, Ashanti is not only focusing on more new music slated to be released next year, but also her additional business endeavors.

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Toni Braxton’s 25 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Often when discussing the elite pack of divas who ruled the '90s and early aughts, Toni Braxton is cast aside. This shouldn’t be the case — there’s way more to her story than ”Un-Break My Heart.” Known for her sultry, low-ranging contralto voice, Braxton -- who turns 50 this Saturday, Oct. 7 -- provided the R&B, pop, and adult contemporary hemispheres with a slew of signature classics. The dramatic flare of these songs, matched with her film noir aesthetic and style, convincingly sold Braxton’s...

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Dawn Richard Premieres Electro-Bounce Track 'Break Me': Listen

Always full of surprises, Dawn Richard caught fans off guard on Wednesday (May 17) when she premiered the previously unreleased track, "Break Me". The electro-bounce record holds an ethereal consistency which aligns closely with previous work in Richard's Blackheart and Redemption eras. With a synthesized, sensual voice that rides along to a blunt 808 bass line, the singer proclaims, "I'm not scared to be me."

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Revisiting Aaliyah’s Strangest Song, An Homage to Soap Villain Erica Kane | Pitchfork

Thirty-eight years ago today (January 16, 1979), Aaliyah was born in Brooklyn. Nine years earlier to the day, the biggest diva the soap opera world has ever known made her debut, when Susan Lucci joined the cast of ABC’s “All My Children” as Erica Kane. The connection between the divas runs deeper than the same birthday. On the remastered edition of Aaliyah’s final album, 2001’s Aaliyah, as well as her posthumous greatest hits compilation, *I Care 4 U *(2002), appears a peculiar bonus track title...

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Album Reviews

Revisiting throwbacks and current releases. 

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How Amerie's '4AM' EPs recall Prince's 'Purple Rain' soundtrack

One of the perks of listening to any solid music project—in the case, Amerie’s double-disced 4AM EPs—is pinpointing possible influences. On the first of the EPs, 4AM Mulholland, that eureka moment of tracing back happens during the three-track stretch starting with “The Wall,” followed by the EP’s titular track, and ending with “A Heart’s For The Breaking.” It’s at the heavy dosage of electric guitar in “The Wall,” the concept of driving around to find love (with a hint of 80s new wave noir) on “Mulholland,” and the etherealness existing on “A Heart’s For The Breaking” that rings truest to the vibes of Prince’s Purple Rain.

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Trey Songz: Anticipation 3 Album Review | Pitchfork

At the end of last December, videos surfaced of Trey Songz destroying a stage at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit during a mini-temper tantrum. The event staff who prevented Trigga from performing past the venue’s 11:30 pm curfew presented him a golden opportunity for free promo—the smirk on the singer’s mugshot, which went viral, all but announced “new music is dropping soon.” Sure enough, Trey Songz and his frequent collaborator, Fabolous, surprised fans with their joint EP *Trappy New Years *on New

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