The Game of Thrones

Staff Writer: Alexandria Weaver

On Dec. 9 artist Jacquees claimed he was the “King of R&B” of today’s generation. The internet was in immediate uproar. Other artists including J. Holiday, Pleasure P, Tyrese, and Tank have had a lot to say about his claim.

Jacquees

Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax, better known by his stage name Jacquees, is an American singer-songwriter from Decatur, Georgia. In 2014, he signed a recording and management contract with Cash Money Records. His 2016 single, “B.E.D.”, was on the Billboard charts for 7 weeks, peaking at number 69. Photo Courtesy: Urban Islandz

Tank- R&B singer-songwriter- posted on Instagram (@therealtank): “First R Kelly is the King of R&B. The accusations don’t disqualify what he’s accomplished! Second if you can’t go in the studio BY YOURSELF and make a hit record you’re not my king! If you can’t sing it better live you’re not my king! I appreciate all the talent out there but we are using this word “King” way too loosely!. #TheGeneral” (sic)

Tank

Durrell Babbs, better known by his stage name Tank, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known for the singles “Maybe I Deserve”, “Please Don’t Go”, and “When We”. Photo Courtesy: Essence

His caption read: “Every artist is supposed to believe they can fly but only one man made it happen. @rkelly body of work is still bible. I love ALL of the artist out now and some are having amazing success but to be the King you have to beat the King at his stats still stand. Imagine if ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ had streaming when it dropped..geesh!!! I’ll let you guys focus on kings and queens.. I’ll stay focused on being around for another 20yrs! #Elevation #RnBMoney #TheGeneral” (sic)

Tyrese

Tyrese Gibson, also known mononymously as Tyrese, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, model, VJ, screenwriter, film producer, author and television producer. Photo Courtesy: Vulture

Tyrese- singer, songwriter, rapper, actor- posted, on Instagram, an edit of Jacquees’ video with a caption that read (@tyrese): “How Sway…? How.??…….The way we ALL reacted………….Let me put you up on what’s really movin bruh… This ain’t Hip Hop my {n***a}.. You can’t come in this game get hot for a year then try an #T69 {n***as} and throw that there word #King around….. Imma keep it a stack with you… The young kings of your generation that’s #been runnin this {s**t} is 1 @chrisbrownofficial and 2 @treysongz ….. BIG facts! FYI the last real R&B album through and through that has the integrity and blueprint of the culture that was made with NO skips was #ThreeKings you got this out of the T69 play book stop trolling my {n***a} get back in the booth…..” (sic)

Who is the real King of R&B of this generation?

To answer that three questions must be answered: “What is the exact time frame for this generation,” “What is R&B,” and “Who are the male R&B artists of this generation”?

According to Social Marketing the current generation is Generation Z, people born in 1995 to 2012 (coming to age: 2013-2020). The current ages of these persons are 6 to 23.

Rhythm and blues, often shorted to R&B, originated in African American communities in the 1940s. It is typically jazzy and has a lot of natural rhythm and flow. Popular artists include Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

James Brown

James Joseph Brown was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music and dance, he is often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul”. Photo Courtesy: PBS

Contemporary R&B combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music. It features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, pitch corrected vocals, and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangements. Popular artists include Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Usher, R. Kelly, and Luther Vandross.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. Photo Courtesy: whitneyhouston.com

The current male artists (born in or made music in this generation) in R&B genre are: Usher, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Drake,  Jon B., The Weeknd, Maxwell, Trey Songz, Bruno Mars, Jeremih, Khalid, Joe, Tyrese, Ne-Yo, Tevin Campbell, Ginuwine, Bryson Tiller, Lloyd, Justin Timberlake, Jahiem, Pleasure P, Jamie Foxx, Keith Sweat, Avant, Miguel, Robin Thicke, John Legend, August Alsina, Frank Ocean, Musiq Soulchild, Babyface, Daniel Caesar, D’Angelo, J. Holiday, Tank, Jacquees, and Anthony Hamilton.

R. Kelly

Robert Sylvester Kelly is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former professional basketball player. A native of Chicago, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. Photo Courtesy: Twitter

What goes into being the greatest? Record sales/streams. Vocal ability. Longevity. Album(s). Consistency. Undisputed international presence. Relevancy.

Usher’s album Confessions is number nine on the Billboards’ “Greatest of All Time R&B/Hip Hop Albums.” Drake’s Take Care is 32nd. Babyface’s Tender Lover is 41st. Keith Sweat’s Make it Last Forever is ranked 52nd. R. Kelly’s 12 Play is ranked 55th.

Usher

Usher Raymond IV is an American singer, songwriter and dancer. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee until moving to Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 12, his mother put him in local singing competitions, before catching the attention of a music A&R from LaFace Records. Photo Courtesy: Capital FM

Based on the “50 Most Influential RnB Stars” list from Essence top five male artists for this generation are R. Kelly, Maxwell, Usher, D’Angelo, and Babyface.

Maxwell

Maxwell, also known by his stage name Musze, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. Along with fellow musicians D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, Maxwell has been credited with helping to shape what has been termed the “neo soul” movement that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Photo Courtesy: amazon.com

Nonetheless, the real answer can never be answered because of the power of opinion.

The majority opinion is that the King is Chris Brown. As posted on Instagram @publicloyalty, the current kings are Usher, R. Kelly, Chris Brown, Tank, and Trey Songz.

Chris Brown

Christopher Maurice Brown is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year. Photo Courtesy: BBC

Every individual to read this will have a different opinion, however, everyone can agree Jacquees is nowhere close to being the King of R&B.

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