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Spin: “Female Trouble, Is Rap More Mature than R&B?”


This week’s column is on the uncomfortable date-rape qualities of most R&B, how Chris Brown is a shitbag (duh), why Miguel rules, and how rap’s a lot smarter about chick stuff than it’s given credit for. Shouts to Joe Coscarelli for partially inspiring this one.

Rap and R&B right now are, for the most part, interchangeable. That’s not a complaint, it’s a simple fact of contemporary urban music. R&B grabbed some of rap’s edginess so it didn’t become mom-and-girlfriend music, and rap successfully teamed up with R&B to create what De La Soul once called “rap and bullshit.” But even though rap’s still up for criticism by any and everyone (even Ashley Judd!), it’s rare to hear serious complaints about the content of the latest slow jam. If rap has to deal with all of R&B’s corny nonsense, then R&B should have to deal with some of the fallout from those who still claim rap is corrupting America.

A fun game is spotting the random African-American male crooner who gets tagged as a “rapper” by any number of clueless newspapers or magazines. There’s an implicit value judgment made when, say, Ne-Yo receives the “rapper” label: This stuff, with it’s futuristic synths and bold drums and sexually explicit lyrics, is not R&B (a.k.a., love songs for grown-ass men and women). Even more common is the act of referring to a troubled R&B singer as a “rapper.” Google “rapper R. Kelly” and see what comes up. Chris Brown was suddenly a “rapper” around the time he viciously assaulted Rihanna and, once again, when he threw a chair at a window after he was asked about Rihanna in an interview with journalistic heavy-hitters Good Morning America.

Written by Brandon

April 15th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Spin, Spin column

4 Responses to 'Spin: “Female Trouble, Is Rap More Mature than R&B?”'

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  1. Dude’s name is Miguel, not Miquel. And yeah, he’s pretty great.


    16 Apr 11 at 12:39 am

  2. Thanks man, just a typo though, relax.


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