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REAL R&B – REAL HIP –HOP IS BACK! this new hybrid, and rap was still separate and hungry for acceptance. This would change in the mid-’90s, as hip-hop started falling out of love with R&B mainstays such as Freddie Jackson and Regina Belle. They were getting pushed out and in their places were hip-hop-savvy artists, such as TLC and Montell Jordan, or those who evolved with the undeniably popular hip-hop sound, such as the Isley Brothers, who saw their careers re-ignited thanks to R. Kelly. The number of black-owned radio stations also began to decline, with ownership going to corporations who programmed black-targeted R&B stations to now serve urban multicultural audiences who liked rap music. Rather than being integrated with contemporary tunes on the radio, classic R&B songs are now becoming just a source for hooks or refrains for the of-the-moment rapper’s latest hit. Soul song topics have been gearing themselves toward materialism and sexual conquests rather than racial uplift and romance. Arguments can be made about when exactly hip-hop and R&B began to commercially cross-pollinate, but the Sugarhill Gang’s beat-borrowing of Chic’s discoflavored “Good Times” and the early ’80s R&B “boogie” songs that utilized electro and break-dancing beats come to mind. R&B and hip-hop very publicly started to court in the mid-to-late ’80s. That was the era of Janet Jackson’s Control, produced by innovators Jimmy “Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis, and the new jack swing era made famous by the likes of Teddy Riley, Guy, Keith Sweat, Babyface, L.A. Reid, Bobby Brown and others. Like any budding relationship, it was at first innocent and exciting. The brand-new sound melded the rhythms of hip-hop with the soul-sung vocals of contemporary singers. R&B and pop artists alike included new jack tracks on their albums, sometimes even inviting rappers to add a few bars during the break. While several acts were exclusively new jack, R&B still maintained its diversity, welcoming traditionally sung tunes as well as

Is this to say that all hip-hop is bad or that it should apologize for its success? Most definitely not, but let’s recognize the major problem: R&B is a dying art, not only because it’s getting pushed off black-focused radio and video, but because the elements that make it unique are being masked to make it sound exactly like its hiphop cousin. While the hybrid of the two was initially loved and innovative, as time progressed, hip-hop has grown to overshadow R&B and is robbing black music lovers of a critical foundation of black music culture. While hip-hop thrives today and finds mainstream success, R&B is barely hanging by a thread, relegated to an almost alternative form of music. If it does not divorce itself from the mentality and methods of hip-hop, it runs the risk of being buried and forgotten.


KENNY LATIMORE International R&B singer, Kenny Lattimore embodies the elements of traditional R&B with a decidedly contemporary flare and feel. He has established himself as a soulful song stylist of the first order receiving the NAACP Image award for Best New Artist, and nominations for the Grammy, Soul Train and Stellar Awards. Whether putting a distinctive stamp on classic songs recorded by such musical icons.

His vocals have graced albums by such diverse musical colleagues as Musiq Soulchild, Rachelle Ferrell, Nancy Wilson and Brian Culbertson. He continues to demonstrate his creative stability as a performer, singer, songwriter and producer, earmarking him as a leader amongst artists who are keeping the tradition of classic R&B, Soul music and Gospel very much alive in the 21st century. Kenny is also known for his dramatic stage shows, vocal agility, and romantic ambiance. He has been hailed "modern soul man" on stage by The New York Times. Although music is Kenny’s dominate muse. He has loaned his talent to the world of TV, film and theatre. He has appeared in numerous television shows such as,” The Young and the Restless”, “Moesha”, “The Parkers”, “Abby”, the movie “The Seat Filler, and recently “Holiday Love” directed by Kim Fields and “A Cross To Bear” for the

Gospel Music Channel. In his theatrical journey, Kenny has starred a long side reality television star NeNe Leakes, singer Angie Stone, and supermodel Tyson Beckford in the hit play “Loving Him Is Killing Me.” He also starred in two of Don B. Welch's productions, “Heavenbound” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” along side the talents of actors Vanessa Bell Calloway, Dorien Wilson and hilarious Jackee Harry. Lastly, television legend Ernest Thomas and Bobbi Baker of Tyler Perry’s TV sitcom “The House of Payne” starred with Kenny to rave reviews in the hit stage play “What Ever Happened to Black Love” directed by Thomas Meloncon. Evolving into a devoted humanitarian, Kenny has extended his influence to several non-profit organizations. In 2008, he served alongside actor Lamman Rucker as spokesperson for Tied To Greatness, an outreach program to improve the self-image of at-risk inner city high school males. In 2009, he served as the spokesperson for The ASHE Foundation, an organization focused on providing shoes and basic necessities to children in African nations who have been orphaned by wars, poverty, and the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS. In early 2011, he established his own non-profit organization, The Kenny Lattimore Foundation, which uses mentoring, education and the arts to transform the lives of young people. Since 1997, he has on many occasions supported the United Negro College Fund in their efforts to encourage college attendance with young people throughout America. Currently he is touring with Brian White, Monique Jackson, Keita Williams (of The T.O. Show) and other celebrities to support the UNCF Empower Me 2011 tour. Currently in the works is Kenny’s next original recording project “Back 2 Cool” slated to be released in 2012 on his own label SincereSoul Records. As the Washington Post has declared Kenny Lattimore “a new master of the new soul”, Kenny remains committed to making expressive and enduring music that gives him the freedom to be himself.

WWW.RANDBLIVE.COM Chris Kerry Group 2012


R&B LIVE MAGAZINE-JULY