Rhythm and blues artists that might have you looking at that Chris Brown station on Spotify a little funny…
Being a hip-hop head can be very taxing at times, between all the ‘lyrical, spiritual miracles’ I’m getting and the high dosage of Xans, big booty strippers, and Dracos… being a hip-hop listener becomes very exhausting. Sometimes I want to just kick my shoes off, sit criss-cross on the floor and think about well… not getting shot, or serving bricks, or the political & spiritual warfare that the government has put us in. My favorite way to do that is to cut off my lights, light some candles and turn on some of my favorite R&B tunes. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, new age rhythm and blues can be just as drugged fueled and misogynistic as today’s rap. Well, today I’m here to turn that tide for you, I’m going to put you on a few lesser-known rhythm and blues artists that might have you looking at that Chris Brown station on Spotify a little funny.
A. Chal is a Peruvian born R&B singer/songwriter. Chal describes his sound as “alien music.” I wouldn’t put it that way, but he does seem to find pockets that are untouched by conventional R&B singers. His limited use of auto-tune gives him a very refreshing sound in today’s R&B soundscape, although he does cross the line of being a hybrid artist–singing and somewhat rapping–he’s a lot more melody than 808. He’s toured with heavyweights like Partynextdoor & Jeremih with only 2 projects in the game, and his third project On Gaz will definitely catch your ear. The unmissable club/radio banger “Matrix” definitely got lots of play this summer. Another great track off this project is “Perdoname.” Chal gets a chance to flex his Spanish and his auto-tune skill.
Brent Faiyaz is 1/3 of the R&B collective, Sonder. If you haven’t heard their latest group project Into you need to listen to that ASAP. Now, back to Brent, he’s a Charlotte, NC native with a soulful voice. He dropped his first solo project in 2016 titled A.M. Paradox. The standout song has got to be “Insecure.” It’s a very smooth, milky ride from beginning to end. Faiyaz is more on the conventional end of the R&B spectrum. I haven’t heard him spit not one bar or sing over any hip-hop beat on his own. Faiyaz is great for this fall weather we’re about to have, so get your brown leather and Kangol paperboy hats ready.
This Brampton, Ontario R&B singer was the mind behind Travis Scott’s “Guidance.” Originally Forest’s song, Scott approached him about using it and putting it on his album and giving him album credit. Now, aside from the exposure from one of the biggest stars out right now, Forest has garnered his own fan base organically–including me. I bumped into his 2016 project Forest Fire scrolling through the mixtape section of hotnewhiphop.com and boy was I glad I clicked on that thumbnail. From beginning to end Forest never fails to impress, he does fall in the hybrid (rapper/singer) sub-genre of R&B, but he does it well. He’s not just weaving from singing to rapping in the same verse. Often times, whole verses are sung and whole verses are rapped. Since Forest Fire, he’s put out several singles on streaming formats. K. Forest is a name you should be up on and get ready to hear often.