Where was this internet thing back in the so-called “good-ol-days” of rhythm and blues?
Can you imagine seeing Marvin Gaye clarifying the sexual innuendos contained in his legendary records?
What about waking up to see Usher and Justin Timberlake subtweet each other?
Or Anita Baker and Cheryl Lynn engaging in … O.K. some things may be too ridiculous for reality but you see where this is going.
Thanks to the internet, Jacquees lengthened the reach of his name when he decided to flat-out call himself “The King of R&B” because, fuck it.
Chalk it up to a slow news day or whatever but the “B.E.D.” singer’s comments ruffled a down factory worth of feathers; prompting everyone from Jamie Foxx to Trey Songz all the way back to Tank and Tyrese to offer up an opinion.
We here over at HipHopDX decided to huddle up to get down to the truth. While no one hopped on Quees’ troll bait, he did expose some interesting points.
This is our discussion.
Who’s The Reigning King Of R&B?
Trent Clark (HipHopDX Editor-In-Chief): Drake is never going to flat-out claim the R&B throne because then it will diminish the perception on his rapping.
Cherise Johnson (Three-Year HipHopDX Contributor): Does anyone think Jacquees has potential to be the king of R&B? The rest of the R&B boys are shook by his statement.
Riley Wallace (Two-Year HipHopDX Contributor): He has potential. I like his attitude — shaking shit up.
Cherise: But as much as people hate Chris Brown, it has to be him.
Riley: The thing with Jacquees is that he has lots of music. However, if we’re talking king, that implies a certain level of “success” should be achieved. So, like Cherise said, Chris is definitely that guy.
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@kingjholiday you know i love you bro but i want all the smoke. Let lil bro @jacquees liv. I’m all the way in Fiji but i got time today. Let’s do a Friendly competition between all of us in R&B and see who put out the hottest record!! tell me what day n time and I’m ready for whoever. Oh and PS love n hip hop miami season 2 is on the way Jan 2 😂😂 just thought I’d drop that in there. Love you bro but you wrong.
Dante Smith (HipHopDX Social Media Manager): When the last time Chris had a hit? Who really remembers that 45-track of an album?
Daniel Spielberger (One-Year HipHopDX Contributor): I’d say Chris Brown commercially, Frank Ocean artistically.
Riley: Frank Ocean is the R&B Andre 3000.
Cherise: “Party” was a huge single off that 45-track album. So was “Privacy” and “High End.” Chris’ past catalog and talent speak for itself. There’s no one out there today doing it like him on that level, period.
Dante: When you speak on the commercial level, what about The Weeknd?
Riley: You know what? I’m thinking pretty linear here. Weeknd is definitely in this convo.
Maybe we need to decide the criteria. Is it commercial success or just overall being the best?
Trent: Forget all of that. The KANG lets their ding-a-ling SWANG. Is The Weeknd really commanding the space like that? Did anyone “bow” to that last release?
R&B was lowkey wack in 2018. But anyway, I’m seeing Breezy and Abel. What about R. Kelly? Should we just go ahead and crown Drake?
Dante: No one in R&B has that same hold Drake does in rap. And Chris puts out quantity over quality.
Cherise: Do we have to mention R. Kelly? I would say the king would be someone who is dominating and owning the R&B male space. I think a different conversation could be had if we look at who has the potential to be that.
Riley: I mean, there’s Ty Dolla $ign. A few months ago, I wrote an editorial questioning if he was already a legend.
Daniel: Ty Dolla $ign for sure!
Riley: What about Daniel Caeser?
Cherise: Daniel is extremely talented but I don’t see people getting excited or pining to hear music from him. To be King I feel like you got to be able to get the people excited, he doesn’t do that.
I’m going to say if we’re talking the past year or so, King of R&B has to go to Ty Dolla Sign as Riley mentioned above. This conversation is depressing the more I try and think of people (Laughs). Maybe we don’t have one at all and the lane is wide open for someone to do their thing?
Daniel: Khalid? Post Malone? He’s genre fluid but definitely had a big year.
beyoncé is the king of rnb
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) December 10, 2018
Cherise: Absolutely no to Post Malone. He doesn’t even want to be labeled Hip Hop. He’s not R&B at all. Khalid has potential but hasn’t proven himself in my opinion.
Daniel: I forgot about Post’s comments. What if its a list of up-and-comers and an acknowledgement of how ambiguous the genre has become? As pointed out, everyone is doing their own thing; each artist is excelling in their own lane. Drake is “dominating” but not acknowledging it for marketing. Ty Dolla $ign is dominating with features/work ethic? Khalid can make it as an up-and-comer? 6LACK’s album is worth mentioning/ suggests potential? Frank Ocean didn’t have a big year, but the rise of other artists this year like Brockhampton and Jaden Smith suggests a level of lasting influence?
Cherise: If they even want the crown, I suggest they get serious about R&B and give the people exactly what they want. I know these guys love the genre, and they should channel that love into their music. Jacquees and Ty$ are the only two doing that. Trey Songz is stuck in his Anticipation series but I wish he’d at least try to give us I Gotta Make It Part 2.
— Ty Dolla $ign (@tydollasign) December 10, 2018
Dante: Have we forgotten about John Legend and Bruno Mars?
Riley: Bruno Mars has to be on this list for sure.
Cherise: Bruno Mars definitely has a seat at the table!
[Editor’s Note: During the discussion, John Legend tweets]
Honestly I don't think there is a king of r&b right now. Anyone consistently dominating the charts, selling out arenas, etc, a la Usher at his prime. Not a comment on quality. I think the throne is open right now.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 10, 2018
Trent: John Legend said exactly what I’ve been alluding to. I think the seat is vacated right now. There’s plenty of R&B royalty right now but no one undeniable force.
So y’all can stop with this participation trophy horseshit! (Laughs). Who has the crown? Who’s the muthafuckin’ Baratheon of R&B? It can’t be a new jack like Daniel Caesar, Jacquees or Khalid— those are princes. It doesn’t make sense to consider legends like John Legend, Usher or R. Kelly because they’re not actively pushing the culture forward anymore.
Ty$ has the hits and it’s probably the hardest working artist winner of 2018. But does it feel like he’s commanding the crown? Is anyone in this climate?
Riley: Ty$ seems like the closest. However, 15 years could derail that…
Trent: When it comes to Bruno. Isn’t he a better contender for reigning King of Pop? When it comes to Ty Dolla $ign, “legend” or not, I don’t feel like his “moment” has arrived yet. Chris Brown doesn’t have any classic album. And is The Weeknd really in that King’s Landing slot???
Are we all in agreeance there’s NO KING?
Riley: Not in my eyes.
Cherise: The lane is definitely wide open! R&B will be better next year cuz everyone is trying to prove themselves. I’m here for it.
Daniel: No king!
All hail the empty throne for the King of R&B!
Check out the official review for Jacquees’ most recent album, 4275, right here.