Throughout the last decade, the sound of R&B has changed. The newer generation of singers have shifted the sound from sultry to salacious while the veterans stick to the traditional sound. During a chat with Diddy, Mary J. Blige answered his question about whether R&B was dead or not.
“You can’t kill something that’s in our DNA,” she told Puff on Instagram Live. “It’s gonna keep transitioning from generation to generation to generation to generation. They was trying to kill it.”
“Before I say what I’m gonna say, let me just say this: I wanna thank all the radio stations around the country that are playing R&B music and sincerely support it. But, you know, a lot of the radio stations killed it for the same thing that Tank was saying. They ain’t gon’ jump on the bandwagon of whatever the hottest things is—but, let me just say this. We have to keep ourselves alive as R&B singers.”
Mary J. Blige also pointed out that when blue-eyed soul singers put out music with R&B elements it is then called “popular music.”
“They wanna call it ‘Popular Music’ with Adele and Justin Timberlake get ahold to it, so now it’s ‘Popular Music.’ But it’s been popular music! We’ve been had it!”
Diddy also had a heated debate with producer Timbaland about the state of R&B. According to the hip-hop mogul, R&B is dead.
“R&B is motherf****** dead as of right now,” Diddy said. “The R&B I made my babies to? R&B gotta be judged to a certain thing — it’s the feeling though, doggy. No, no, no. It’s a feeling. You gotta be able to sing for R&B and then you gotta tell the truth. R&B is not a hustle. This s*** is about feeling your vulnerability.
He added, “It’s our fault for accepting anything less for anybody getting on a mic. I feel like there was a death of R&B singing. I’m a part of bringing that s*** back! I ain’t feelin’ no emotions.”