Boyz II Men Singer Says R&B Artists Have ‘Lost Their Identity’

R&B Super Jam Ladies Night

Source: John Lamparski / Getty

Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men fame says R&B artists are trying too hard to be hip-hop stars.

Stockman noted his stance on the issue in a series of tweets last week.

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“There was a time when it was kool to identify as an R&B singer. It was kool that there was a clear distinction between a rapper and a singer, persona-wise. And it was respected. It wasn’t viewed as being ‘soft’ to be smooth and to speak to ladies a certain way,” he wrote, as reported by All Hip Hop.

“R&B has lost their identity because it felt like it had to compete with the bravado of the hip hop world,” he continued. “Because labels stopped supporting the perception of Black men being more than displaying a ‘thug image.’”

“Let me disclaim, my tweets are not to say there aren’t any great singers out there. There always have been great singers, but the love they get is disproportionate. So let’s do this: send me some artists y’all think are and I’ll repost! I’ll go first,” he added.

He then praised new artist Manana and encouraged his followers to “Check him out!”

Adding, “If y’all really about support, then I should see a bunch of retweets. Let’s start getting proactive!”

One Twitter user said in response to Stockman’s tweets, “So accurate!!! Women miss when men used to saaaaannnggg!!! I love hip hop, but we got enough rappers.”

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Another commented, “It comes down to those running the music industry too. They got these artist out here doing anything to shine or be on top. The musical/vocal art isn’t the goal anymore. It’s how flashy you are. The attention you can draw. Seems the goal of Black music is over sexualization now.”

A third said “R&B artists did not stay true to themselves. They tried to be pop artist, hip-hopers, some even tried country! It was the best genre and still is if the artist stay true to it! People gravitate to what sounds good, not imposters! The world has always followed our lead musically.”

R&B Super Jam Ladies Night

Source: John Lamparski / Getty

Do you agree with Stockman’s take on the current state of R&B music? Sound off in the comments.

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