R&B Blog

Contemporary R&B recommendations and commentary

Pitchfork Staff: People's Lists


Lots of good lists here; I haven’t gone through all of them but other than my own I definitely recommend Jordan Sargent’s, Tim Finney’s, Tom Ewing’s and Jeff Weiss’s for variety/context.

Late Summer Nights Mix


So, I wanted to put together a playlist as a thank you to all of you followers. There are almost 50 000 of you now! Now, the weird thing is that this mix hardly contains any R&B. Instead it’s filled with tracks perfect for warm evenings (not that we’re gonna get many of those up here in Sweden) and long nights in August . Hope ya dig it! You also download the mix here.

Jhene Aiko - “3:16 A.M.”

Jhené Aiko teams with Miguel producer Fisticuffs on this track, and it’s a nice fit; it’s nice to hear her on a track with some meat on its bones.

Jeremih - Late Nights with Jeremih (Mixtape)

Jeremih has been teasing good tracks from this mixtape for a while, and the final product does them justice. Those only familiar with Jeremih through his boyish radio features might be surprised by how weird and spirited and adventurous and entertaining this whole mix is; there’s a whole lot of Madlibby oddness and Native Tongues whimsy in these minimalist club jams.

Stream or download the mixtape here. (Apologies for the lack of an embed; I’m having incredible difficulty on the tech end updating these posts lately.)

Aaliyah ft. Drake - “Enough Said”

Drake ruffled feathers by volunteering himself to steer Aaliyah’s legacy, and sure enough, as his critics feared, he’s done his best to recast his idol in his own image on this new track. That’s tasteless on principle, and his Drake-by-numbers verse here won’t win him any favors with listeners who were already uneasy with this project. But that said, the song itself isn’t bad at all. Though 40’s beat won’t stand the test of time like Aaliyah’s peak output, it flatters her voice by giving it plenty of room, and mostly leaving it alone. If having to put up with a presumptuous Drake verse is the price we have to pay to hear an inspired vocal performance from Aaliyah, I’d say that’s worth it.

Mateo - Suite 823 (mixtape)

Like a couple of other R&B blogs, I’ve been posting Mateo tracks nobody seems to be listening to or carrying much about for a while now, so by now you know the drill. He’s a talented singer with no particular identity—he’s middle of the road in a way that might have flown six or seven years ago, when R&B had the commercial winds at its back, but now he just seems like a tough sell, even with the Alicia Keys backing. I can’t about whether his new mixtape will change that, but it’s solid from top to bottom, and its presumptive single “Carry On,” embedded above, is as strong of a track as I’ve heard from the guy.

Stream the whole thing here.

Lucille Ghatti - “High Grade”

Make no mistake about it, this really is the golden age of free R&B. Today I am slowly working my way through four or five very good free mixtapes or albums, including two or three that really seem like something special, including this beguiling work from 20-year-old Lucille Ghatti, which is so riddled with surprises and delights that I can barely get any work done while listening to it. I pinned Ghatti somewhere between Jhene Aiko and Erykah Badu at first listen, but those comparisons don’t really do justice to the scope of this work; every time I think I’ve got her figured out, the mixtape takes another curve. She’s accomplished something really rare here, making a zone-out mixtape so involved that it refuses to let you zone out.

Enjoy this one:

And here’s a short video for one of the tape’s standouts.

Quick Straw Poll


Which is the better affectionate nickname for Miguel’s sure to be awesome, but ridiculously titled, new album?

(a) Kaleidoscope Dream: The Last Airbender

(b) Kaleidoscope Dream: The Legend of Korra


(d) Captain Planet’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Since naming a multi-part digital album Kaleidoscope Dream feels like a deliberate Smashing Pumpkins homage, I’d run with the theme and go with something like Kaleidoscope Dream: Infinite Oceania. Seems like the perfect way for Miguel to follow his awesome EP trilogy, Art Dealer Gish.

Heard it through the Snapesvine: Stop reblogging that Chris Brown album review


It’s not big.

It’s not clever.

It’s not funny.

The dignified thing to do would have been not to review the album at all— as many publications didn’t— rather than spin a few incredibly feeble “lols” at an unmissable sitting duck.

Or if you were that incensed by Brown’s crimes, you’d write…

This is dead on mostly (although I think it’s fair game to review the album, obviously). It seems that a lot of critics smell blood in the water, and I understand why that’s exciting—so many people have waited so long to see this guy get his comeuppance—but what’s getting lost in some of these dismissively overstated reviews is that Brown made a genuinely terrible album, a record that’s not bad just on principle but also in spirit and execution. To me that’s the headline here; the fact that he’s a less than stellar guy who committed a horrifying crime is old news.

for my brother...


I wrote and recorded this myself on my lap top, for my brother…. Miyagi . this song was really just intended for him to hear….. but i thought it would be nice to share ….

i was so nervous to play it for him myself, so when i left to San Francisco on Thursday I had my TT play it for him….

She said his breath got calm as he listened and i know he heard every word ….

later that night he became the angel he was born to be and i am so grateful that he got to hear this before he left on his infinite journey….

now i hear him telling ME , what i was singing to him…  to not give up . 

i love you SO much Miyagi!!!! . Everything x2 now. Everything for you now ….