How R&B Has Lost Its Soul//
As the 80s moved into the 90s, a new wave of R&B, known as New Jack Swing, would take over and give rise to groups like Boyz II Men [MV], Mint Condition [MV], and Shai [MV]. This new form of music would further alienate the genre, while still allowing most people to bask in its overall mainstream appeal.
Black artists, musicians, and singers became such commodities that it seemed there was no end to the amount of groups (and money) that could be made from the genre. SWV [MV], TLC, Tevin Campbell [MV], Mary J. Blige [MV], En Vogue [MV], and Toni Braxton [MV] all made music that, while consumed by many, was still isolated by who made it and what it sounded like.
As the 90s bled into the new millennium and the audience therein began to mature, artists like D’Angelo [MV], Maxwell [MV], Erykah Badu [MV], Lauryn Hill [MV], Amel Larrieux [MV] and Goapele [MV] began to emerge with a sound that was as organic as the origins of the genre while still being tinged with beats that were meant to make the body sway. Because of their dedication to making R&B that was more varied in content and maturity, these artists managed to stay afloat as the R&B tide began shifting.
Artists from the UK were always side-by-side with their US counterparts. Bands like Jamiroquai [MV] and The Brand New Heavies [MV] brought their love of Rare Grooves and R&B to the forefront and produced some electrifying music, while lesser known Brits like Lewis Taylor  were still finding their way into the industry with their rawer R&B musical and vocal stylings.
At some point, however, it all became too predictable, too easy to fall into a set of guidelines that meant the music would make more money. As the new millennium arose, R&B acts became less and less about finding the middle ground between soul, blues and dance and more about the easiest route to fame and fortune.
The music became elementary, the lyricism lackluster. It was almost as if people thought R&B was something separate, something that no longer was able to garner the attention it had before. So as a means to make the companies and artists more money, they were searching for a sound that would pique interests and open wallets. Hence the new wave of so-called R&B, heavy with recycled disco beats and an overabundance of monotone gibberish that allowed people with unspectacular talent to shine brightly.