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Rollingstone has revealed their 100 best 21st-century R&B tracks.


The list compiled by Rolling Stone, titled “100 Greatest R&B Songs of the 21st Century,” is a carefully chosen collection that honors the most important and significant R&B songs that have been published since the year 2000. This compilation exemplifies the progression and variety within the R&B genre throughout the last twenty years, highlighting the skill and creativity of numerous musicians.

Below is an in-depth analysis of the five most popular songs and the performers who achieved the esteemed position on that list:

Usher’s song “Yeah!” features Lil Jon and Ludacris. Debuted in 2004, “Yeah!” had tremendous success, highlighting Usher’s velvety vocals in combination with the dynamic production by Lil Jon. The song’s memorable chorus and captivating rhythms propelled it to become a popular choice in clubs and a lucrative achievement in terms of sales.

Beyoncé’s song “Crazy in Love” features Jay-Z. Beyoncé’s inaugural solo single, unveiled in 2003, “Crazy in Love,” is a renowned R&B composition celebrated for its commanding vocal performance, captivating rhythm, and Jay-Z’s unforgettable rap segment. It cemented Beyoncé’s position as a solo artist and continues to be one of her iconic songs.

The song “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” by D’Angelo: This passionate and heartfelt song by D’Angelo, which was published in 2000, is renowned for its unfiltered sentiment, sensuousness, and D’Angelo’s remarkable vocal prowess. The music video, which showcased D’Angelo’s exposed torso, enhanced the song’s enigmatic quality and influence.

Mary J. Blige’s song “Family Affair”: “Family Affair,” released in 2001, introduced a novel sound to the R&B genre through its captivating rhythm and contemporary production. The chart-topping success of the song can be attributed to Mary J. Blige’s assured vocals and the infectious catchiness of its hook.

Mariah Carey’s 2005 comeback single, “We Belong Together,” highlighted her formidable vocal abilities and profound emotional expression. The song’s emotionally evocative lyrics and Carey’s expressive vocal performance deeply connected with listeners, propelling it to the top of the charts and solidifying its status as a pivotal song in her career revival.

These songs not only attained economic success, but also had a profound influence on the R&B genre, shaping following performers and contributing to the musical landscape of the 21st century. The list compiled by Rolling Stone seeks to acknowledge the importance of these songs and their lasting impact on the history of R&B music.

Frank Ocean’s 2012 single “Thinkin Bout You” demonstrated his distinctive vocal style and skillful lyrics, with its soulful and introspective nature. The song’s profound emotional depth and tragic lyrics deeply connected with audiences, garnering widespread critical acclaim and significantly bolstering Ocean’s growing fame in the R&B genre.

Alicia Keys’ inaugural single, “Fallin'”, was unveiled in 2001, showcasing her formidable vocal prowess and songwriting aptitude to a global audience. Keys received international acclaim for her song’s fusion of soulful vocals and meaningful lyrics, which served as the catalyst for her successful career in R&B.

“Ordinary People” by John Legend, released in 2004, demonstrated his exceptional vocal ability and heartbreaking lyricism. The song’s uncomplicated nature and sincere lyrics deeply connected with listeners, garnering Legend widespread praise and solidifying his position as a key player in modern R&B music.

Erykah Badu’s song “Bag Lady,” published in 2000, showcased her distinctive fusion of neo-soul and R&B, with its melancholy and introspective nature. The song’s powerful message and Badu’s captivating voice propelled it to become a remarkable success, solidifying her position as a prominent player in the genre.

Brandy’s 2002 song “What About Us?” displayed her potent vocal skills and talent for storytelling, evoking strong emotions. The song’s unfiltered sentiment and Brandy’s vocal rendition deeply connected with listeners, establishing her status as a highly regarded R&B performer.

These musicians and their songs have greatly influenced the R&B genre in the 21st century, making notable contributions through their unique styles, strong vocal abilities, and captivating songwriting. The recognition by Rolling Stone magazine highlights their significant impact and significance in the field of modern R&B music.

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