As anyone familiar with Tamar Braxton‘s brand will attest, the term outspoken defines her.
Hence, it was little surprise that when stopping by the Angie Martinez Show on Power 105.1 to promote new single ‘If I Don’t Have You’ the youngest of the Braxton clan served up a number of notable soundbites.
Indeed, beyond confirming that new album ‘Calling All Lovers’ has been been bumped from its July release to September 11th, the 38-year-old made an interesting observation about Rihanna.
Full story below…
The comment came when on the chat turned to the topic of Sam Smith winning ‘Best Newcomer’ at the recent BET Awards.
Weighing in, Braxton congratulated him – but was quick to emphasize that his music is not R&B. She went on to add, in regard to RiRi…
“I had an issue with Rihanna being nominated at the Grammys for Best R&B Album. She doesn’t sing R&B music. She is a Pop star. You know what I’m saying? I had an issue with that a little bit.
I love her though.
[In response to “what makes something R&B”] It’s called Rhythm and Blues. Ribs and Barbecue. It’s not twerk music. It’s soulful. That’s R&B music.
Every song of [Rihanna’s] that I’ve got my complete and utter life to has been (while) twerking. I love her and I’m one of her biggest fans period, but that’s not R&B music.
Beyonce, for me, is more R&B than what Rihanna music would be considered.”
[Tea poured at the 9.00 mark]
While we, by and large, agree with Tamar’s comments, it is also understandable why there tends to be so much confusion when it comes to genre classification these days.
For, in an era where actually being able to “sing-sing” is almost seen as a hindrance on radio, we’ve seen a shift towards singers almost talking over beats; beats which are skewing more Hip-Hop by the day. It’s no wonder why the lines defining “what is what” are so gaussian blurred.
Then, of course, there’s the politics of race.
Rihanna releases an album that is more Pop/Urban than it is Urban/Pop and is labelled “R&B.” Yet, her lighter hued rivals make similar music, but are placed in the “Pop” categories. Something is off and has been off for a while.
For yours truly, there is nothing wrong with the likes of Sam Smith or Adele being deemed soulful. However, the problem arises when said artists are scooping awards and nominations in both the Pop and R&B categories, whereas many of their darker contemporaries making the same music aren’t getting recognition in either. And when they do, drawing on the Rihanna example, there tends to be a misclassification.
From where we’re standing, Ms. Fenty’s McMusic skews more Pop than it does Urban, hence it’s understandable why her being up for R&B awards for Pop music is rustling the feathers of Tamar and more.
There truly is space for everyone, but the framework to accommodate and reward needs revising.
Anyway, enough of our rambling…