Best R&B Releases So Far This Year
Written by Reid Smith on May 22, 2017
Images courtesy of Nubi Magazine, Vulture, Saint Heron
By: Akii Butler
We are currently five months into 2017 and I will be the first to say that the music we have been getting lately is very lackluster. Don’t get me wrong, I know we had all of our big releases last year but, I still expected artists to push through and drop their best body of work, which has happened but mostly it’s been filler album after filler album.
Though things are not all bad in the world of music. Pop is finally dying, don’t get me wrong, I love Pop music but I miss R&B and lately it seems to be making a comeback. Recently, Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” has hit #1 on the billboard Hot 100 and it looks as if Hip-Hop and R&B have been making their way back to the top 30.
With all of the new R&B releases this year, it’s hard to say which is the best, but no worries. That’s why I’m here. Here are the top 10 R&B releases this year.
10. Ready – Victoria Monet
You may not know this upcoming R&B artist, but you’ve definitely heard some of her music. She has songs for Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony, Chris Brown, Nas and more. Currently she is getting ready to release her debut album and the lead single “Ready”, is a smooth R&B song that is all about getting yourself ready for a man while you’re single so you don’t have to do it when you already have it. The production is amazing and the hook is very catchy. I’m definitely ready for her debut album.
9. Whiskey Kisses – MiC LOWRY
Who would’ve thought that the next great R&B male group would come out of the UK. MiC Lowry are fairly new in the music industry, their debut single was released in 2016 and ever since, they’ve been getting their name out there. Their newest single, Whiskey Kisses is amazing. Though it is a bit poppish, it’s kinda hard not to be when the current wave is to incorporate edm and dancehall into R&B and hey I’m here for it. This group has the soul and harmonies and they’re only getting started.
8. Love Galore – SZA feat.Travis Scott
SZA has been on the rise for awhile now. Many may recognise her from her feature on the song “Consideration” on Rihanna’s Antialbum. On her latest release, “Love Galore,” SZA asks the question that many have asked or thought of asking: “Why are you bothering me when you know you don’t want me?” The production of the song is amazing and the video is everything.
7. Think About Me – DVSN
Our favorite OVO duo is back and their newest single is FIRE! “Think About Me” is the typical no one can do it like I do it, type of song, but where others have failed, DVSN has definitely succeeded. One of the hottest releases this year, it’s time for everyone to wake up and realize DVSN is the next big thing in R&B music. Especially when they aren’t writing for Drake.
6. Get You – Daniel Caesar feat. Kali Uchis
Technically this song was released in 2016 but it just started to gain traction with the general public. Daniel Caesar is a fairly new artist who has been gaining a fanbase since 2015. “Get You” is the perfect laid back R&B track you listen to with your significant other and just vibe. Daniel and Kali voices compliment each other’s voices well and the chemistry is off the charts.
5. Redbone – Childish Gambino
Donald Glover can do no wrong it seems. This track was technically released in 2016 as well but like “Get You”, it reached the height of its popularity in 2017. The song isn’t your typical R&B song it has elements of soul, funk, and so much more. It’s one of the best songs released in a while so give a huge shout out to Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino.
4.Personal – Kehlani
This year Kehlani released her long awaited debut album SweetSexySavage. The album track quickly became a fan favorite due the the fact it samples Aaliyah’s “Come Over,” the lyrics are very relatable and the 90s vibe to the song adds something different which has been missing in R&B lately. The album as a whole is one of the best releases this year and I highly suggest you give it a listen.
3. Don’t Love Me – Janine
You may remember Janine by her earlier moniker, Janine and The Mixtape. The New Zealand R&B songstress came onto the scene in 2014 with her debut EP Dark Mind and has been killing it ever since. Her most recent release “Don’t Love Me” is an emotional track about leaving a destructive relationship and realizing it’s over. Staying true to her R&B roots, she belts her emotion telling her ex lover “you made your bed, now it’s time to sleep.” It’s time you all got into her.
2. Too Fast – Sonder
This R&B Trio comprised of vocalist Brent Faiyaz, and producers, Atu and Dpat is fairly new to the scene. Their debut EP Into was released earlier this year and it is filled with the alternative R&B vibes we have needed for a while.
1. Your Way – H.E.R.
It’s 2017 and we still don’t know what H.E.R. looks like but her music continues to impress us all. Released in early 2017, “Your Way” is that smooth R&B song that stays true to H.E.R.’s signature sound. The song itself samples the late Aaliyah’s “Come Over” (that’s two already this year) and talks about how her lover can have it their way. The song seems like something the radio would eat up and definitely belongs on this list.