Last week (August 17), Diddy took to Instagram Live for a conversation with Timbaland, on which he posted the question: “Who killed R&B?”
In an impassioned speech, he said: “R&B is muthafuckin’ dead as of right now. The R&B I made my babies to? R&B gotta be judged to a certain thing — it’s the feeling though, doggy. No, no, no. It’s a feeling. You gotta be able to sing for R&B and then you gotta tell the truth. R&B is not a hustle. This shit is about feeling your vulnerability.
“You gotta muthafuckin make a n-gga dick hard or a woman’s vagina wet,” he added. “You gotta cry. You gotta be able to get your girl back. I don’t wanna hear all this bullshit […] It’s our fault for accepting anything less for anybody getting on a mic. I feel like there was a death of R&B singing, and I’m a part of bringing that shit back! I ain’t feelin’ no emotions.”
In a new conversation on SiriusXM show Bevelations, Usher defended the cultural importance of R&B in 2022, saying: “When I do hear people, even like Puff saying, you know R&B is dead, he sounds nuts to me.
“It sounds, it sounds, it sounds crazy. You know, especially knowing he was a pioneer in understanding and beneficiary of it.
Usher added: “You know, the source that is R&B created the breath of life that was breathed into Hip Hop. It wouldn’t be. There would be no Hip Hop if there were not R&B, so it’s blasphemous to hear me say, to hear people say anything, especially Hip Hop cats, to say anything about R&B.”
Another to defend R&B was Mary J. Blige, who appeared on Diddy’s livestream and commented: “You can’t kill something that’s in our DNA. It’s gonna keep transitioning from generation to generation to generation to generation. They was trying to kill it. Before I say what I’m gonna say, let me just say this: I wanna thank all the radio stations around the country that are playing R&B music and sincerely support it.”
She added: “But, you know, a lot of the radio stations killed it for the same thing that Tank was saying. They ain’t gon’ jump on the bandwagon of whatever the hottest things is — but, let me just say this. We have to keep ourselves alive as R&B singers.”
Elsewhere, Diddy returned this summer with his first new song in five years, teaming up with Bryson Tiller on the feel-good anthem ‘Gotta Move’.
The track is the first preview of Diddy’s fifth studio album – his first since 2006’s ‘Press Play’ – which is set to be released via the hip-hop mogul’s new label, Love Records. It’s his first track as lead artist since 2017’s ‘Watcha Gon’ Do?’ featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Rick Ross.