the r&b in me

July 16, 2009 upmysleeve83

treble

 

It’s the R&B in me.

It’s all my mom’s fault really, this love I have for R&B music. Whenever rap music would come on the radio when I was a kid, she’d immediately switch the channel to the classic soul station, or the “old people music,” as I called it then.

My appreciation of old school R&B, and all of my musical tastes today, can be traced back to those hip hop-less car rides. My love for the male singing groups of my time (starting with Immature and ending most recently with Boyz to Men and Day 26) began back in the day with her love for The Jackson 5, The Temptations, and The O’Jays. Her love Diana Ross directly translates into my love for all things Beyoncé. Her Luther Vandross is my Brian McKnight (musically, not vocally).

Just like hip hop heads revel in the days of “the golden era” of hip hop, I live for those early days of 90’s R&B. Because those were the days when I my love for music, for R&B, was just beginning to bloom. So in a way, those songs were like my first loves. I can still get with the Lloyd’s and Bobby Valentino’s of today. But nothing will erase the fact that Tevin Campbell’s T.E.V.I.N. was the first tape I ever got, and his follow-up I’m Ready was my first ever CD. (Which is why a part of my eight-year-old self nearly died when I saw him in Hairspray a few weeks ago, but I digress). Or my best friend and I sitting in her room, listening to a record of Whitney Houston’s trying to memorize the words to the “Greatest Love Of All.”

So this is my new blog: The R&B in me. Come along with me as I share my thoughts on R&B music. You may think my tastes are too commercial, too southern, too whatever. But at some point, I hope to help you remember that long-lost song that you used to love and the corresponding memories that it evokes. And who knows, maybe I’ll even introduce you to some new songs as well. Either way, we’ll all remember how incredibly influential this thing called rhythm and blues is.

(And, of course, you can’t talk about R&B without talking about love. So there will be some of that, too. Some of it autobiographical, some of it not. But all of it, certifiably R&B.)

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