Teyana Taylor, Summer Walker, Kehlani & Jhene Aiko Cover Billboard / Talk R&B’s Hardship & Resurgence

Published: Thursday 12th Nov 2020 by Sam

Four of music’s most resonating names – Teyana Taylor, Jhené AikoKehlani, and Summer Walker – cover Billboard‘s new R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue.

Rap’s stronghold on the stream scene had many wondering whether R&B would ever make headway.

And these talented young ladies have helped dispel doubt – while galvanizing a whole new generation of listeners.

In their feature interview, they dish on a wide range of topics, including conquering female stereotypes, social media, motherhood, and their thoughts Pop artists veering into R&B.

Join us below…

Aiko, on Pop artists diving into R&B and getting more air time…

“Meanwhile, some of the biggest white pop stars are diving into R&B styles, and getting the kind of pop radio airplay that artists of color who make similar music don’t receive. The industry will still pigeonhole [my music], saying, ‘Oh, this has to go to urban,’ I’m like, ‘Why?’”

Aiko on how she defines R&B…

“It’s true self-expression. R&B has roots in blues, so it’s not just singing about the good times. People are digging into the depths of what they’re going through [more than ever]. With a lot of the R&B I listened to growing up, I didn’t feel like I was getting their true personal stories.”

Walker on how she defines R&B…

R&B is better than the hip-hop of 2020 to me because that can get super shallow and repetitive. Or there’s the whole mumble rap trend, where you don’t even know what they’re saying. We’re really opening up, getting deeper — and that’s good.”

Aiko on how what we’re seeing now compares to the commercial peak R&B experienced in the late ’90s and early 2000s…

There are different sounds within R&B that I’m seeing reflected in other genres. We’re seeing more rappers singing, being more melodic, doing more love and sexy songs. You probably wouldn’t have heard that from a straight-up rapper back in the day. And now there are traditionally pop artists doing R&B albums, but it’s called pop.”

Taylor on wanting the same recognition as male Pop artists…

“We just want the same opportunities. However, we’re not a bunch of bitter, angry R&B chicks complaining either. We want to be honest without coming off feeling a type of way. These are our truths.”

Kehlani on dealing with female stereotypes in the industry…

There’s also a certain respect level that men uphold for each other in this industry that they don’t do with us. Why is the respect level knocked down just because I’m a woman? Why do men feel able to talk to me any type of way when I’m handling business?”


Taylor on engaging on social media…

“It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. If you don’t address something, then it’s, “Why is she quiet?” But what’s the point of explaining myself if you’re not going to believe me? It’s annoying how social media is one big jury saying who’s guilty and who’s not. I’ll say my baby turned 1 today, and they’ll be like, “No, she did not!” 


Taylor on why female R&B artists like to collaborate…

Females collaborating is always dope — even more so when it’s genuine. I’m not trying to be in no competition. I listen to your sh#t, be having sex to your sh#t. Let’s just do what we’re going to do and be cool. The world has pit women against each other for so long that they believe it.”


Your thoughts?

[Photo Credit: Billboard / Gizelle Hernandez]

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  1. QUEENDOM November 12, 2020

    I loved Ariana R&B album that are pop because she’s white. Go Ariana!

  2. 🍭marilyn monh-O-E🍭(💫Perfectly Splendid✨) November 12, 2020

    None of them had a top 10 hit yet. Flop ass b:itchessssssss💅🏿💅🏿💅🏿💅🏿

  3. Lmfao_Hoe November 12, 2020

    They said absolutely NO LIES.

  4. Chez November 12, 2020

    They all look beautiful and spoke facts!

    However Summer Walker mumbles a lot in her music. The nerve lol

  5. Pat November 12, 2020

    R n b actually has a nice crop of girls now. They get no pop radio play. Funny cuz mainstream radio is all hip hop and white artists singing r n b

    • Whoops 💅🏾 November 12, 2020

      That’s how it goes. White people make watered down and inauthentic r&b and hip hop music (written and produced by their black “friends”) and get praised for making music that’s “fresh” and “new”. They come and go, moving from genre to genre, whenever they please.

  6. Sandra November 12, 2020

    They could’ve added Ari Lennox, Alina Baraz, Cleo Sol and Amber Riley to the mix.

    • Ace Blanks November 12, 2020

      I agree with Ari Lennox for sure but everybody else I’m not so sure! Amber just getting started and while I loooooovee her EP she not there yet with these 4 as far as being a music/recording artist! Love her though! While I love Alina Baraz she is not a true R&B Artist. Her music has urban influence but not R&B. And Cleo is not mainstream like these girls.

  7. Dani November 12, 2020

    One thing Jhene can’t do is shade someone’s vocals. The b**** is boring, can’t sing live and hops industry dícks for relevancy.

    Mainstream r&b music is in the gutter right now. The fact that 2 whisper singers are being used as the face of r&b just proves how shítty the genre has become.

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