Following Chris Brown, Usher is coming to the defense of R&B.
During his conversation with Bevy Smith on SiriusXM’s Bevelations, the R&B superstar pushed back at Diddy’s controversial suggestion that R&B is dead, which sparked a hotly-contested debate on social media.
“When I hear people say stuff like, ‘What happened to R&B?’ or ‘R&B is dead,’ it’s not, you just don’t understand the basis of it,” Usher said. “How can something come out 20-some-odd years ago and all of a sudden have a resurgence in a way that people just want to talk about it, sing it, enjoy it?”
He went to explain that there would be no hip-hop if not for R&B. “R&B is timeless. It ain’t gonna go away,” he added. “So when I do hear people, even like Puff saying R&B is dead, he sounds nuts to me. It sounds crazy. You know, especially knowing he was a pioneer in understanding and beneficiary of it. 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 people say anything, especially hip-hop cats, to say anything about R&B.”
Bevy defended Diddy, suggesting he was trying to promote his upcoming R&B album and didn’t really mean what he said.
“If you really want to make something happen, I say celebrate it more than decline it,” Usher said. “If anything, why don’t you take two minutes to really recognize the cats that are doing and give them that recognition and celebration?”
Usher explained that all music is rooted in R&B, while showing love to his “little brother” Chris Brown, Pharrell, Dr. Dre, and Justin Bieber. “When I heard [Bieber] do songs like ‘Peaches,’ he gets it. It lives forever,” he said.
He also cited Diddy’s upcoming hits battle with Jermaine Dupri in Atlanta, while calling out Puff for igniting the “R&B is dead” debate.
“Y’all don’t live without R&B. Neither one of y’all,” he said. “If this a thirst trap moment or you trolling, keep that shit in the comment section. I’m not fu**ing with none of that.”
Just last week, Chris Brown echoed similar sentiments, slamming the notion that R&B needs saving. “THESE NI**AS SAYING R&B IS DEAD??? WATCH YOUR MOUTH NI**A… IT AINT DEAD,” he said. “ALOT OF PEOPLE ARE DEAF TO WHAT Real MUSIC IS… DAMN NEAR EVERY RAPPER WANNA BE A SINGER.”
Amid the backlash, Diddy explained that he didn’t intend to offend anyone. “It’s been 3 days of the debate…This is the clarity of the message…It’s not disrespect to anybody,” he 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!!!”