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Tank Talks About The State Of R&B

According to NecoleBitchie Tank did an interview and had this to say about where we are with music these days:

Name the last time you actually heard an R&B ballad or even mid-tempo played on mainstream radio. You won’t. It’s not exciting enough to them anymore. We’ve moved out of the age of romance and meeting the mom and the father before you take the girl out. Now it’s Twitter and Instagram and everything’s happening so fast that a ballad actually takes too long for the payoff.

So, people actually really singing is too much to think about. Like, ‘I can’t sing along with that. Where’s the guy with the Auto-Tune? I can do that.’ And people are so far into the state of reality and being able to feel like they’re apart of it that it’s actually them, that if it’s too far above their heads, then they can’t relate.

Tank is speaking nothing but the truth here.  A couple of days ago I was listening to Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” and was wondering what would happen if it were released today.  Or take that entire album?  It would go straight styrofoam, that’s what.

People out here have neglected real singers for monotone catchy phrases, separating the Whitney Houstons (well there will only be one of those but you get it) from the Jhene Aikos.   We don’t value real harmony but would rather sex symbols, separating the Boyz II Mens from the…well…what groups are out?

Tank goes on to say:

We have to get back to making R&B for everybody. Not just for one place in time. Not just for the bedroom. Not just for the bathroom. But we’re are the “happy”R&B songs. If you think about it, “Happy” is an R&B record that Pharrell just made. That’s an old school, throwback R&B record. That’s what R&B used to sound like.

[…]

We have to get back to that. Making that kind of music. “Happy.” So we can sing on the Oscars, along with Pharrell, who’s… him, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake who are leading the charge in R&B music. We can’t hate! We can’t hate on what it is! The truth is what it is. And Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake are doing R&B music better than us. We need to catch up.

“Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake are doing R&B music better than us.” WELP!!! I mean, he’s telling the truth!  Just look at the numbers!  And I don’t know about Robin’s album cause I didn’t listen to it, but JT’s?  Um. YES.

What people don’t know about the Grammys is that we can vote. We get mad at the Grammys like, ‘oh you didn’t pick the right person!’ But did you vote? Did you sign up? Any of these guys that are artists and singers and writers and producers, did you sign up and vote and pay your dues and go to the meetings and try to make a difference in this process? If you didn’t, relax ’cause somebody did and that’s who voted for whoever won. It is what it is. Am I mad that we lost to Alicia Keys? Absolutely! Do I feel like we had the better album? Yeah! But did everybody that participated in the TGT album register and vote the Grammys? No they did not. We just wren’t popular in the back room. Alicia Keys is very popular in the back room. It probably wasn’t even a matter of what the record sounded like or who influenced it.

I don’t point fingers. What am I gonna do about the fact that the AMA’s, in the R&B soul category, nominated Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and Rihanna? What am I gonna do about that? It’s not her fault that she’s in the R&B soul category.

Well, to be fair any and everybody should be mad if they lost to Alicia Keys.  But that’s beside the point.  He’s making a lot of sense here.  I sure do hope that some real R&B comes back.  However, I don’t think it would be appreciated.  It would get played on your R&B stations, but mainstream hip-hop “& R&B” stations?  Doubt it.  They’d rather play Rihanna. Gone are the days when REAL R&B singers make money off of their ballads and love songs, or even “happy” R&B.  When a group can stand on pure talent alone.  Those days are gone.  And it makes me kinda sad.  Guess I just gotta continue to listen to my 90’s, etc throwbacks!

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