Early 90s R&B ballad kings Boyz II Men, who’ve sold 60 million albums worldwide and last year released a new album ‘Twenty’, spoke frankly about the state of the music scene that birthed them in a recent interview with Brixton’s Live Magazine.
“It’s taken a step to what I think really isn’t R&B. It sounds more electro pop,” says Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman in the video above. “I think the only reason people call it R&B is cos black folks are singing it.”
His bandmate Nathan Morris goes on: “I think part of the reason why it’s gone too is because the meat of what is R&B is gone – the R&B love song ceased to exist. The heart of R&B is a love song and people just don’t listen to love songs anymore. When you really want to look at where it all stems from it’s about pouring out your emotion.”
Shawn wraps it up with a pertinent point: “Not trying to get too deep but I think it has a lot to do with just how people deal with life. People would rather go party then actually sit down and work it out with your chick or work it out with your man.”
Which makes me wonder if they’ve heard Jhene Aiko’s Do Better Blues, from her free 2011 mixtape ‘Sailing Soul(s)’, in which she and an ex back and forth about how they both could do better, and maybe they’re actually better together. Jhene Aiko: the saviour of R&B?