These R&B Stars Are Taking Rhythm and Blues into the Future

Photo Courtesy: @JanelleMonae/Twitter

Music has always been a sign of the times. Its evolution demonstrates collective cultural shifts of importance, but its fundamental purpose to inspire, entertain and challenge is ever present. Take R&B, for instance. The shiny veneer of the perfectly chiseled contemporary R&B stars who sang about love in the 90s and 2000s has worn off — and it makes sense.

Identity politics, social media and globalization at large are challenging our interpretations of relationships and individuality. With R&B, you could always find comfort when you’re caught up in your feelings, and its contemporaries keep that tradition going. The new generation of R&B talent uniquely explores themselves through narrative-driven music that combines influences from other genres. We all have the power to find ourselves, but just like each of these trailblazers, we have to examine the world and the people around us first.