Tank has once again spoken out about the current state of R&B, which remains a hot topic of discussion since Diddy’s recent proclamation that the genre is dead.
The veteran singer released his 10th studio album, R&B Money, last month, and to celebrate its release he spoke as a guest at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles as part of The Drop conversation series.
He described his new 17-track album as “an uninterrupted sex tape,” and explained the title derives from wanting to bring back the “expensive part of R&B that’s missing, the emotional and spiritual connection.”
“We gotta get back to the expensive part of our music,” he said (via Variety). “The priceless, which we like to call R&B money. That’s where the money is. The money is a byproduct of helping people create those experiences and wanting to continue to experience that. They’ll buy into it if it feels good, if it connects.”
Later during the Q&A, one audience member asked Tank about Diddy’s controversial comments and whether R&B was in fact dead. The conversation then shifted to the lack of money being spent on R&B by record labels.
“Record labels are in this to make money,” Tank said. “Radio conglomerates are in this to make money. Venues are in this to make money. A rap record that was made for $2,500 in somebody’s basement sold a million copies. An R&B record made in the biggest studio in the world, had already spent $1.2 million, sold the same one million records.”
He added: “As rap takes over, all of a sudden melodic rap sneaks in. Now, people would rather hear rappers singing bad than singers singing good.”
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Tank isn’t the only one who disagrees with Diddy’s statement that R&B is dead, the likes of Brent Faiyaz, Arin Ray, Chris Brown and Mary J. Blige have all weighed in.
Usher also responded, scoffing at the notion the genre was anything but alive and well.
“When I do hear people, even like Puff saying, you know R&B is dead, he sounds nuts to me,” he said on SiriusXM show Bevelations. “It sounds, it sounds, it sounds crazy. You know, especially knowing he was a pioneer in understanding and beneficiary of it.
“You know, the source that is R&B created the breath of life that was breathed into Hip Hop. It wouldn’t be. There would be no Hip Hop if there were not R&B, so it’s blasphemous to hear me say, to hear people say anything, especially Hip Hop cats, to say anything about R&B.”
Diddy later doubled down on his opinion that R&B is dead, however, the Bad Boy mogul made it clear that he’s not shading anyone with his comments.
“It’s been 3 days of the debate…This is the clarity of the message…It’s not disrespect to anybody,” the “Gotta Move On” hitmaker tweeted.
“This conversation was out of love and me purposely wanting to bring attention to R&B! It was something that I saw the effect of the Hip hop and R&B balance. That balance is honesty and realness when it comes together, melodies, vulnerability and most importantly LOVE!!!”
He added: “This message is that R&B game needs more love, vulnerability, support!!”