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The Year In R&B: 2012


Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal 
-2012 was the year that the world was supposed to end. At least if you listened to the Mayans. For many of us, 2012 was an interesting year musically, as R&B seemed to get further and further away from the essence of it. Even though the essence began to be lost, there were a few artists who kept the genre thriving and rolling such as Miguel and Frank Ocean. A few artists like Trey Songz and Alicia Keys were veterans and played it safer on their albums from this year. Today, the team gathers to talk 2012 and the albums that helped R&B stay afloat. Let's get into it.





@SpeedOnTheBeat
2012 was a crazy year for me. I went to war with everyone and fucked women to "Panty Wetter." But, musically, it was a diverse year. Speaking of "Panty Wetter".....

Let me start off the year talking Trey Songz and Chapter V, was probably his best project. It let go of a lot of the cheesy Pop&B that we saw on "Say Aah" and the "I'm gonna fuck you stupid" tracks like "I Invented Sex" and went straight for gettin' in dem guts mutually. But, what made Chapter V his best is that he didn't stay in "let's fuck" mode for the entire project. It was the first Trigga release I could listen to more than once, to be honest. Why? It showed slivers of maturity and acceptance of the fact that he's in that R. Kelly, circa "Bump N Grind" position. There's the sex talk (the album starts off with several tracks devoted to making a woman's juices flow), but then there's a track like "Heart Attack" that catches you off-guard with his emotions.

"Heart Attack" was probably my favorite song off the album because it showcased Trey outside of his sexual comfort zone and presented him as more vulnerable than some of the Ready tracks had. Then you had stuff like "Fumble." "Fumble" wasn't a perfect song, but it was sweet to go with the sauciness of the sex talk. The man was figuring it out. He couldn't just be a nympho and do dumb shit with smart phones (that's later). He had to figure out what he needed to do to gain his lover's love back.

But, then he fucks it up with shit like "2 Reasons" and "Hail Mary," club bangers that still felt out of place on this project for me. So, as solid as Chapter V was for the most part, it wasn't without its flaws. Overall, though? It's his best work to me, and not just because a few women let their love rain down on a young squire to his voice. It's disjointed at parts, but when it works, it works well. I want more of this evolving Trey, not the one who's hellbent to turn up and fuck everyone who wants him to.

Moving along, I kept Channel ORANGE on repeat, even though it still paled (for me) to NostalgicULTRA. It was a dope evolution of Frank Ocean and stayed in my rotation on and off. It didn't hit all the feels and whatnot that NU brought me, but it was still a great CD. Plus, it brought us a dope Andre 3000 verse. That, and Frank Ocean's songs were so smooth and beautiful. The man was and is a genius and should be revered as such...even when he goes on his musical sabbaticals and makes me wonder if we should give a damn about what he has to say anymore.

Miguel's album was another one that stayed in my rotation. You couldn't go anywhere in 2012 without hearing songs like "Adorn" and the sexually-consenting "How Many Drinks." The man was a savage, but gentlemanly about it, which made it "okay" and beautiful. I mean, he had a song asking a woman to tell him the pussy is his, then followed that up with "Candles in the Sun." Aside from legends like Prince, you don't find too many artists that'll switch it up that quickly and still keep the album flowing.

Finally, I want to talk about Melanie Fiona's The MF Life. That album was great and showed her range. Plus, it featured 6AM with T-Pain (thus completing his 5:00 in the Morning conversation in some ways; such an underrated song). But, no, that song is a dope call-and-response and an actual sequel to Fiona's "4AM." Then, she goes IN with songs like "Wrong Side of a Love Song." If this album missed your radar in 2012, make up for it ASAP and listen to it.





@JADBeats
2012 had albums from Ne-Yo, Keyshia Cole, Miguel, Melanie Fiona, Trey Songz, Elle Varner, Frank Ocean, Brandy and more.
Usher was still on his pop wave, fusing that sound with his R&B releasing "Looking For Myself".
After a 15 year hiatus, SWV reunited their smooth harmonies and came with a solid project in "I Missed Us". Chris Brown dropped "Fortune" which was also R&B/pop infused. This album was nice all around.
Tanks "This Is How I feel" was a true R&B album. Nice features, production and vocals.

Some of the better tracks I liked:
Miguel- Adorn
Ne-Yo- Cracks In Mr Perfect
Rihanna- Pour It Up & Love Song
SWV- Show Off
Trey Songz- Heart Attack & Fumble
Solange- True
Chris Brown- Dont Judge Me
Usher- Climax
Emeli Sande- My Kind of Love & Next To Me
Tank- Compliments
Frank Ocean- Thinking About You








Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-My favorite albums of 2012 in R&B were easily from Eric Benet and Miguel. Eric Benet followed up his classic "Lost In Time" with the new album "The One", and the soul kept flowing through this project. From the smooth "News For You", to my favorite "Runnin", Benet stepped up with a great album for the indie soul crowd. The same could be said for Miguel with his electric album "Kaleidoscope Dream", and the timeless hit "Adorn". Other songs like "How Many Drinks", "Pussy Is Mine", and "Do You" helped round out a very solid sophomore effort which solidified Miguel as one of the best artists today in the genre. Aside from that, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, R. Kelly, Chris Brown, Tank, Usher, and more kept the music alive in 2012. Overall, though it wasn't the greatest year, there was enough dope music to make it worthwhile.

-DAR 

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