DAR Music: 7 Underrated Female R&B Artists

By @TrueGodImmortal

When we discuss famous female R&B artists, a number of names come up. You might hear Mariah. Mary J. You might hear Anita. Beyonce even. There are a number of names with legacies attached to them that are rightfully recognized as the best of the best. However, there are some that don't get the credit they truly deserve for numerous reasons. There are always the unsung heroes in music, and R&B has a number of them. Today, I wanted to cover 7 of those women who make great R&B music, but haven't been seen in the higher rankings of some or are just underappreciated artists in general. Let's take a look at 7 women in R&B that are underrated.


-You might be surprised by her inclusion on the list, but in reality, Brandy is an underrated legend that hasn't gotten the appreciation she really deserves. Her vocal range is actually stronger than believed, and she has a solid album catalog, but of course, her true legacy is rooted in her first two projects. While Full Moon is a truly slept on project, it's the self titled debut from Brandy that takes the cake for her albums. A masterful arrival, Brandy delivers some upbeat hits like "Baby" and the iconic "I Wanna Be Down", and manages to give us one of the most slept on slow jam gems of the 90's in "Brokenhearted" alongside Boyz II Men lead vocalist Wanya Morris. After the success of her debut, Brandy would return with another classic in her second album Never Say Never. Brandy would have a number of hits on that album and a number of tracks that were classic like "Have You Ever", "Top Of The World", "Angel In Disguise", the title track, "Almost Doesn't Count", and of course, the Monica duet "The Boy Is Mine". Those two albums along with the projects like Full Moon and Afrodisiac make Brandy one of the most underrated without a doubt.


-One of the most beautiful women to come through the genre wasn't the best vocalist, but she had the right voice for the songs she would craft. She was talented, engaging, and her production always delighted ears. Her first album All I Have was a solid listen, backed by her classic introductory single "Why Don't We Fall In Love", and the second single that gained some success "Talkin To Me". With producer Rich Harrison in tow, Amerie delivered a solid debut album, but she experienced more success when she released her next album Touch in 2005 with her biggest single "1 Thing" included. After her biggest single, she would release a few more albums before adding another I to her name (she goes by Ameriie now), and she has plans to release more music in the future. Amerie is definitely slept on.


-Usually, an artist that works with Missy Elliott and Timbaland succeeds at the highest rate possible, and Tweet got off on the right foot at least. Striking platinum with her first single, the sly "Oops (Oh My)", Tweet would capture attention from the start with her vocal style and her overall singing ability. Starting out as a part of the failed group Sugah, which was a part of the Devante Swing collective Swing Mob, Tweet through a tumultuous journey just to become a star. After working with Missy and Timbaland on background vocals for their albums, Tweet would step out on her own, releasing her slept on album Southern Hummingbird in 2002 to much fanfare. In addition to the hit single "Oops (Oh My)", Tweet would have another hit in "Call Me", along with good reviews for the album, leading it to nearly go platinum, a huge success for her. In the years following Southern Hummingbird, her musical success wasn't quite the same, but albums like It's Me Again, Simply Tweet, and her 2016 return album Charlene were still well received and enjoyable, proving why she is one of the more underrated ladies in the game.

*Deborah Cox 

-For many, Deborah Cox is a well known name, but she hasn't got the credit and the attention that her counterparts have and that's criminal. Her voice is large and resounding, impacting any melody it touches with a refined touch. Arriving in 1995 with her self titled debut, Deborah wouldn't impact the world and the music game right away, but her debut was a solid album. It would feature contributions from Babyface and Dallas Austin, but wouldn't garner the mainstream appeal that her next album would. Backed by the Montell Jordan penned smash hit "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here" and the R.L. from Next featured "We Can't Be Friends", her second album One Wish would strike platinum, making her well known and more popular in the process. Deborah was gifted vocally and though she doesn't make a ton of hits, she does a lot as a vocalist and she should be recognized for her ability and the music she's made over the years.

*Janelle Monae 

-Her profile raised due to her film contributions and outspoken nature, but the truth is, Janelle Monae has been an amazing artist in the game for over a decade. Her music is hard to define and that's what makes it so endearing to listeners. She is a mix of R&B, soul, funk, and electric pop, blending all of those sounds together to make her dose of music. My first time hearing Janelle came when she appeared on the Outkast soundtrack for Idlewild, as she would be a guest on two tracks for Big Boi, and from there, Bad Boy Records would come calling. After that, she would release her first EP in 2007 with the slept on gem Metropolis Suite I (The Chase), which was a conceptual project. From there, she would release her official debut album The ArchAndroid in 2010, which featured her first big hit "Tightrope".  Her next album was even bigger, as the 2013 release The Electric Lady boasted appearances from heavy hitters like Erkyah Badu, Miguel, Solange, Esperanza Spalding, and most importantly, Prince. Janelle has a future in films and television if she wants to travel that route, and I'm sure there is more music on the way for the world to sing along to, like her 2015 hit "Yoga". Janelle doesn't seem to miss and she keeps her creativity flowing at all times.

*Jazmine Sullivan 

-When we speak of vocalists, and those who can showcase pain and hurt and joy in their vocals flawlessly, Jazmine Sullivan comes to mind instantly as one of those very few. She was born with a gift as a vocalist and she manages to shine as bright as possible when she is heard. Making her debut nearly 10 years ago with the 2008 release Fearless, Jazmine delivered right out the gate with an album that not only go gold, but also feature some amazing songs, such as hits like "Need U Bad", "Bust Your Windows", and "Lions, Tigers And Bears", all three of which display her vocal range. To many, Fearless is a classic album, and there's a lot of reasoning to support that claim. While her 2010 release Love Me Back amd 2015 release Reality Show didn't gain the same type of classic vibe that her debut did, those albums still delivered and were enjoyable. She is one of those artists of the more recent era that does what all generations can love and that should make her a rare breed of artist, it's just a shame that she hasn't got the recognition that she deserves.

*Syd Tha Kyd

-Known mostly as just Syd these days, Syd is one of the better artists of our time and one of the most engaging women musically of today. Starting out as a member of Odd Future and growing to become the lead singer of The Internet, Syd has grown to be one of the best in this era. She is unapologetically herself, and her talent is so strong, you can't help but vibe to the music she makes. She is carving out a nice legacy for herself in music, as The Internet have some great albums including the 2015 classic Ego Death, which solidified her as a force in the music world. Since then, Syd has showcased solo aspirations, releasing two projects in 2017, one full length LP and a short three EP, both of which were very enjoyable. Her solo album Fin was a hit and one of the songs from the album,  "Insecurities" showcases some of her best work as a writer and vocalist. Her EP Always Never Home is short but a great teaser for whichever direction she goes next. Syd, like all the women on this list, is immensely talented and deserves much more credit for her output.



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