Say what you will about his personality, but there’s no denying Trey Songz’ contributions to R&B’s current revival.
Sure, while numbers boasted by Usher‘s ‘Confessions’ may make Songz’ feats look like child’s play, this year saw the sex symbol surpass all expectations when his ‘Chapter V’ debuted at #1 with 135,000 units. A figure, unfortunately unattainable by most (if not all) of his direct competition.
Shifting those numbers without the benefit of what some might call a ‘Pop smash’, he has now weighed in on those of his contemporaries he feels have strayed from the genre, only to enjoy lack luster sales once they do.
His words below…
Speaking to Billboard.Com, he explained:
“People were in need of real R&B and really appreciated this body of work from me when there aren’t a lot of your favorite R&B artists giving you R&B albums. It’s not even that it’s real R&B or fake R&B; it’s that you have a lot of your favorite R&B singers making pop music right now. And in this time it was very important for me to stay true to myself and stay true to the music that’s gotten me to the point where I am right now.”
As unfortunate as it may be to admit, we can’t say we disagree with him. For, perhaps as a way to guarantee favorable radio play, many of today’s R&B staples have indeed used Pop singles to shift ‘urban’ albums.
The only problem is, that only a select few of these artists succeed in pushing the urban material- leaving the consumer no choice but to purchase what they hear on the radio but dismiss what they haven’t been given the chance to enjoy on the album.
What’s worse, is that while the R&B/Hip Hop songs tally should be a safe haven for any who don’t fare as well on the Hot 100, the industry’s assumption that Black=R&B means that the likes of Rihanna continue to block real R&B entries from scoring chart glory, despite the fact that she does not make R&B music.
In saying that, the consumer will buy what the consumer likes and if the genre is to reclaim its mass appeal, it’s high time its writers and producers put down their ideas on what they feel the genre should sound like and get with the chart program. This, the way we see it, means crafting cuts that serve vocals, ‘catchy’ hooks and melodies as strong as the two found below….