What’s R&B music without the blues? Without the spilling out of soul to syncopated, passionate rhythms? R&B stands for “rhythm and blues,” and its songs are full of life’s emotional (often heartbreaking) scenarios: you cheated, he cheated, she cheated, you lied, I lied, and the tell me whys. Jay-Z said it best: “I can’t see ‘em comin down my eyes / So I gotta make the song cry,” basically summing up the foundation of the R&B genre.
How many times have you found yourself enraptured in an R&B song’s truth, a truth you could relate to? Scenario: you’re driving alone down the highway late at night when (insert song title here) comes on your local quiet storm station. Even though you didn’t live the song’s drama exactly to a T, it makes you think back to a time you were betrayed in your own life. The open road in front of you becomes a blur as the memories pop into your mind like an unwelcome visitor. For the duration of the song, you drive in a haze, stewing in negative nostalgia. Raise your hand if you’ve been in a place of personal internal reflection. I know it’s not just me!
Some of your favorite R&B songs ARE your favorite R&B songs because it stemmed from an emotional situation where you’ve been hurt. Anyone who’s ever been a victim of having the wool pulled over their eyes by someone believed to be a trusted family member, friend, partner, spouse, or even a perfect stranger who’s harmed you in some way, knows the shock of betrayal. You’re left feeling embarrassed, deceived, and foolish, often blaming yourself for not seeing the deception sooner, and/or preventing it from happening. Were they not person you thought they were, or did something change? Was the deception intentional or not? Will you ever be able to trust again? READ MORE