an eye for an eye makes the whole world fat
Well, these guys were no doubt influenced from both sides; if I had to compare them to contemporaries, it'd be a hybrid of the crisp/clean-produced, spoken word pop-rap of Drake with some Chris Brown/Mario-ish vocal riffs with hints of Bone Thugz and Usher. If we're talking history of R&B and where it fits, I can't help mentioning some songs that have been Billboarded in that genre over the years, from Jackson 5/Diana Ross/Stevie Wonder to Funkadelic/Earth,Wind and Fire/Prince to Aretha/Whitney/Mariah to R. Kelly/Destiny's Child/Toni Braxton alllll the way to Jeremih/Maxwell/Usher. There's the recent evolution for you. This stuff is by no means groundbreaking; it's in the same vein as recent young black solo artists, though to get discovered in this flooded market it has to be fresh/creative, even if Ocean might be riding on Tyler's coattails a little bit. The stuff is just not hugely popular (which is why I suppose it's referred to in the hipster way). Great article; you should consider writing about the whole urge to define music and the connotations it all results in, especially considering the particularly head-scratching racial pigeonholing in this genre (which, whether on purpose or by accident, your juxtaposition of Adele and Chris Brown's current stylings show that the genre blur effect is way past race). You see the comments above saying how white people don't get it but they like it, like the sound is inseparable from the skin, which to a certain extent it absolutely is (as much as our thoughts and actions are inseparable), but it's just not that interesting to talk about music rather than enjoying it and feeling it viscerally. Mint Condition has the fucking groove, and as soon as I saw that video I learned the words and tried my falsetto on for size. I'm whiter than Kelsey Grammer. Who gives a shit? The effects of pop/dance radio and indie acts are equally apparent in acts like The Weeknd and Ocean. Here's to enjoying things for what they are and not asking so many questions unless they absolutely beg to be asked.
I partially agree with this. I don't know if there is a line between narcissism and excessive self-awareness because they are definitely not the same thing (though similar). You may have heard it said that things are only awkward when they are acknowledged as so. A lot of this article could be just as true if you substitute "different" for "awkward". Of course there is a disconnect between our perception/expectation and reality. Awkwardness should stay a comedic ploy in self-deprecating television where the protagonist is endearing rather than heroic (rather than seeping into daily encounters made even more cowardly). Am I right in saying that the whole thing sounds like the inner ramblings of an exiled hermit who has renounced the moment he is present in? What purpose does it serve other than activities propelled by fear and loathing, a half-smile on a failure that has been internalized?
Yeah, I tried thinking about it, and it was worth trying. But like you said, it really doesn't deserve that much thought. Excuse me while I get back to my devices.