We've had a lot of rap, and a lot of debates, and a lot of rap-related debates around these parts lately. I love it, but you can have too much of a good thing,
. So for the new "
" I wanted to switch things up entirely. That's right, let's talk a little R&B.
Before we really get into things, as always, let me lay down the parameters. First, when I say R&B I'm using the term in it's most encompassing sense. For these purposes we're not really distinquishing between R&B, soul, neo-soul, etc. From Sam Cooke to Jodeci, James Brown to The-Dream, it's all R&B.
Second, notice how I wrote your
. As soon as we bring in a word like "best" we've got to start talking sales, cultural impact and all these other factors. That's fun sometimes, but right about now I'm far more interested in just sharing some amazing R&B music, and getting a sense of what y'all like to listen to when you're not banging beats and rhymes. Pretty simple, right? Good, let's get into some examples.
I grew up in a house filled with classic R&B, my dad having Donny Hathaway on constant rotation in the house might literally be the best thing he's ever done for me. So I have to start by bringing it back. If this was a different discussion I'd be prepared to argue for Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" as the greatest R&B song ever, but even if I ignore it's historical impact, this shit is just so fucking amazing. It hits me right in my soul everytime.
I could spent four hours just digging into that classic Cooke/
era, and I just started getting into some of that original Tina Turner shit, but in laying out the foundation for this discussion I feel like I need to keep it moving. In a discussion this broad I'm just going to have to leave out 1,000 worthy names, but personally I didn't feel like I could continue writing another word without bringing in Marvin.
As I mentioned, I was raised on classic R&B like Cooke and Gaye so it will always be in me, but the music you hear during your teen years will always be what really sticks with you the most, so bringing things into the modern era....
....I want to make sure I shout out Dream here, whose "Love vs. Money" is a modern classic, especially that four song stretch that starts with "
". As well as Jill Scott, who's straight up one of the best performers I've ever seen. But really, in my lifetime the best to ever do it on the R&B tip was D'Angelo. Holy sweet baby jesus "Voodoo" changed my life. (When no one's around to hear me) I've been known to break out into renditions of "One Mo Gin", but, and I think we all know where this is headed, "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" has to be my number one pick.
A quick warning to anyone who's never heard it before, whoever hears it is legally obligated to have sex with you. The song's just that incredible. So if you're with someone you'd rather not have sex with, wait to press play for another time. And if you are with that someone, you're very fucking welcome. (If you don't want to/can't watch the NSFW version, here's
.) If I'm really answering that question in the headline literally than yes, "Untitled" is my favorite R&B song of all-time.
In looking over what I have so far it's obvious my personal tastes run more towards the soul of the R&B spectrum, but that definitely doesn't mean I think the Jodeci, Ginuwine and 112s of the world should be left out of this conversation; your man's been known to knock a little "
" in his day.
So there you have it my people, hopefully enough material to get a good conversation started. Have at it my people, just be careful who you impregnate while listening to some of these picks.