you’d think i have this large chip on my shoulder. perhaps i do. but do i give a rat’s arse what other people think?

rhythm ‘n’ blues was derived from a mish-mash of soul, gospel, jazz and the blues and the term R’n’B was originally coined in the late 1940’s by billboard in the ‘states. in 60’s britain, R’n’B had an entirely different connotation, basically describing the blues-infused sounds of bands like the who, the small faces and the yardbirds.

music is universal. it is right to some extent, but i have a reason why i can’t stand R’n’B.

nothing wrong with the poor-boy-from-the-ghetto-done-good image you’d see on MTV:base. R’n’B exudes pretentiousness and superficiality. the demographics of avid R’n’B listeners that i know would comprise mainly the upper middle class, as most of the themes in R’n’B music appeals to them. it’s obviously an attitude, just as much as the sid vicious sneer you’d see in punk, but an attitude that reeks of a vain “hey-look-at-me, who’s-tha-playaa” category. no wonder you’d see typical KL dudes in sleek sports cars (that daddy bought) cruising bangsar and hartamas with p diddy (i think he’s called diddy now) pumping from eighteen rear JBL subwoofers. i’m not letting hip-hop off the hook, either. same shit, different genre. i don’t listen to rap per se but no way contemporary/mainstream hip-hop is like them fcuk the police days of the NWA. the rhythm and rhyming then were all vitriolic and had something real in it.

the bottom line is i feel R’n’B lacks something earnest in them. whilst, in the past, ice cube rapped about the injustices the general, and unfortunately, stereotyped african-american youth faced in downtown los angeles, nelly would most likely sing about his latest bling and gettin’ it down with his honey at the par-tayy.

what i think is the root of this superficiality of the genre is the manufactured nature of the music. the artistes are fine – they’ve lovely singing voices, like this one who is simply one octave short of a piano and can hit notes equivalent to that heard from a dolphin. it’s more of the image and less of the substance aspect of the genre that is emphasised by the recording company suits that gets me (the suits do it to every music genre, but that’s another entry on its own). get yourself hot honeys with great booty, you’d be fine. big upping collaborators is great, but in 11 out of 12 tracks of the CD? but, hey, people love this. and millions are made out of it. to paraphrase ed vedder – “it may taste like a popsicle that has been stuck in someone’s ass, but some people dig that, who am i to judge?”.

i’ll stick to other stuff, like rock and the blues, where the artistes i dig really suffered for their art, thank you very much.

*orang yang in je paham ni.