Diddy thinks that R&B is dead, and he was very passionate about his point as he ended up in a one-sided screaming match with Timbaland, who disagreed with him.
On an Instagram Live on Wednesday night (August 17), Diddy asked the question, “Who Killed R&B?” which led to a heated debate with Timbaland. The “Gotta Move On” artist says that the genre has lost its sparkle.
“R&B is mutha***in’ dead as of right now,” he Diddy said at the top of his voice. “The R&B I made my babies to? R&B gotta be judged to a certain thing — it’s the feeling though, doggy. No, no, no. It’s a feeling. You gotta be able to sing for R&B and then you gotta tell the truth. R&B is not a hustle. This sh*t is about feeling your vulnerability,” he said.
The artist spoke about his idea of good R&B music and also explained that the genre is watered down due to mediocre talent in the pool.
“You gotta muthaf**kin make a n****a d*ck hard or a woman’s vagina wet. You gotta cry. You gotta be able to get your girl back. I don’t wanna hear all this bullsh*t […] It’s our fault for accepting anything less for anybody getting on a mic. I feel like there was a death of R&B singing, and I’m a part of bringing that sh*t back! I ain’t feelin’ no emotions.”
Timbaland, however, tried to reason as he disagreed that R&B was dead. However, the beatmaker was unable to name five good R&B artists when asked by Diddy, thereby proving the Bad Boy mogul’s point.
“R&B don’t sound too alive. You don’t even know anybody’s name,” Diddy said.
Meanwhile, nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. also joined the debate as he disagreed that the genre is dead, noting that the R&B sound will not remain the same throughout generations as music, including R&B, constantly evolves.
“You can’t kill something that’s in our DNA,” Blige said. “It’s gonna keep transitioning from generation to generation to generation to generation. They was trying to kill it. Before I say what I’m gonna say, let me just say this: I wanna thank all the radio stations around the country that are playing R&B music and sincerely support it,” she said.
She added that many stations have not been playing R&B music as they used to in years gone by.
“But, you know, a lot of the radio stations killed it for the same thing that Tank was saying. They ain’t gon’ jump on the bandwagon of whatever the hottest things is — but, let me just say this. We have to keep ourselves alive as R&B singers,” she said as she referenced similar comments made by Tank on Drink Champs recently.
Mary J also listed some of the greatest R&B singers- Chaka Khan, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Jazmine Sullivan, and SWV, whom she said are the founding artists for the genre that is now re-named and repackaged by younger artists.
“They wanna call it ‘Popular Music’ with Adele and Justin Timberlake get ahold to it, so now it’s ‘Popular Music,’” she added. “But it’s been popular music! We’ve been had it!”
In the meantime, several artists also disagreed with Diddy, including Hitmaka and artists and songwriter Muni Long (formerly Priscilla Renee), who wrote some of the biggest R&B hits in the last decade and a half.
“Diddy done lost his whole damn mind talking bout R&B dead. It’s so much good R&B out if u can’t notice u gotta be outta touch. Stop trolling,” the artist wrote in a post which also tagged several Grammy-winning R&B artists, including Chris Brown, H.E.R, Jazmine Sullivan, Tink, Jhene Aiko, Usher, Jeremih, Bryson Tiller, Ty Dolla Sign, Sza, Summer Walker, and many others.
He criticized Diddy for attempting to promote his own single “Gotta Move On” by dogging the genre as not having good R&B but insinuating his song is.
“I feel you tho, whatever to make the single go #1,” he said with several shady emojis before asking, “is “Gotta Move On” bringing back R&B back 2 life,” HitMaka asked.
Muni Long also chimed in the comments section on Shaderoom, adding that artists in the genre lack investment.
“Who killed R&B FUNDING?! Cause it’s just as expensive to push/create R&B hits s it is anything else, maybe more if you’re using real instruments and not just programmed ones. Iykyk. FUND R&B instead of continuing to work the narrative that it’s dead. It gives the illusion that pop music and other genres just MAGICALLY arrive at the top when we all know that’s not true. It’s a balance of both great product and a BUDGET. That’s the real conversation,” Muni Long wrote.