R&B and Dance Music Hits of 2017

R&B music, from classic Etta James tracks to more modern Missy Elliott offerings, makes an excellent addition to any dance floor. R&B has long been associated with dance music since Chubby Checker popularized “The Twist.”

To emphasize this blend of styles, utilize blues footwork variations and syncopations to showcase its blues roots. Soften isolations and loosen the slot for fluid legato sections in songs.

Aaliyah’s “Try Again”

Aaliyah is revered for her impeccable musical talent, iconic music videos and tomboy style; but often underestimated is the sheer power of her lyrics and how they touch so many. That’s what made “Try Again” such an enduring classic; its track was an irresistibly catchy jam with smooth vocal harmonies that showed Aaliyah at her peak while simultaneously exuding Aaliyah’s brand; its production was minimal yet focused solely on Aaliyah’s vocals – stunning harmony that showcased her smooth voice while lyrics described a passionate love affair that was truly electrifying yet exciting and stimulating all at the same time.

The video for Aaliyah’s song encapsulates its seductive charm perfectly, directed by veteran glam-rock director Wayne Isham and featuring Aaliyah in an expansive room filled with mirrors and floating platforms, wearing an eye-catching bra/choker combination that emphasizes her star power and an edgier look than what was worn a few years earlier when wearing baggy leather jeans and skullies.

Static Major and Aaliyah had an intimate working relationship that resulted in numerous songs that addressed different aspects of romantic relationships. Here, Aaliyah encourages her crush not to give up when things don’t go according to plan; its lyrics might not be quite as catchy as some of her other tracks but still convey an important message of empowerment. Aaliyah was one of pop music’s most groundbreaking artists when she tragically passed away in an airplane crash in 2001.

Bruno Mars’ “Finesse”

Bruno Mars is one of the top selling artists in pop music, and his 2016 album 24K Magic was an enormous success. Winning Grammy awards for album, record and song (including its hit track “That’s What I Like”) it heavily drew inspiration from 1990s R&B music influenced it further with this remix featuring Cardi B to take this remix even higher.

The song features a laid-back, conversational atmosphere with low BPM and an easygoing feel, offering upbeat lyrics about body positivity. Its style recalls R&B boy bands of its time like Jodeci, New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe while its catchy harmonies might remind listeners of a Blackstreet hit from years earlier.

“Finesse” utilizes sound design elements reminiscent of other hits from its time, such as auxiliary percussion sounds, peanut gallery screaming noises, and siren synth crescendoing during bridge section to emphasize beat drops, accent certain lyrics, and create an overall energized feeling to the song. Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle deserve great credit for keeping R&B music relevant decades after its peak popularity.

Cardi B adds her own signature flair to the song with her verse and vocal stylings, perfectly complementing Mars’ style and making this collaboration a huge success.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”

Kendrick Lamar’s single, “Humble”, features religious imagery and themes to create one of his most boastful tracks to date. The music video depicts Lamar himself donning a robe similar to those worn by gods – reflecting the overall braggadociosness seen in most rapper lyrics; its chorus puts down competition while simultaneously proclaiming his nouveau riche status with one of the catchiest lines this year (“parmesan where my accountant lives”).

This track also has a deeper message. In a society rife with materialism, Kendrick warns against becoming part of it – something which is reflected in both production and visuals of its music video. Kendrick stands in church with light shining down on him as an initiating figure; then we switch to scenes showing him covered with money using traditional conventions found in hip hop videos depicting money as a sign of power; before finally moving to a recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, an obvious nod towards Jesus Christ himself!

“Humble”, produced by Atlanta producer Mike WiLL Made It, marks a departure from the jazz-inspired sound of To Pimp A Butterfly and untitled. Featuring catchy piano riffs and one of 2018’s punchiest 808 bass lines, “Humble” stands out as more commercial sounding than some of his previous work – something which should not necessarily be taken as a bad sign – rather it signals artistic growth rather than sellout or stepbacks.

Usher’s “Yeah!”

Usher emerged at the peak of one of R&B’s most explosive booms of the 90s – featuring legendary vocal groups and solo superstars alike – thanks to an exceptional catalog encompassing uptempo dancefloor jams to mournful ballads, showing his talents across an impressively wide spectrum. His songs connected emergent underground trends with pop hooks. Usher rose quickly in popularity over his five studio albums and singles that bridged both emergent underground trends with catchy pop hooks.

This first song on this list showcases Usher’s versatility. His music video starts off with him sitting in a club, then transitions into him dancing under blue lasers as women attempt to seduce him as they sing their lyrics. It’s a high-energy jam that serves as a sonic signpost for his Confessions album.

Usher had originally intended to release “Burn” as his debut single from his album. But Lil Jon sent a version of “Yeah!” out before Christmas break to mixtape DJs – and it quickly became a smash hit before even its official release date! Usher took this cue as his signal and put “Yeah!” at the top of his chart.

Usher brought his signature sound of R&B music with an energetic and sensual performance of “I Need U” during Super Bowl XLVII’s halftime show, mixing uptempo tracks with sensual roller skating dancers on roller skates; an homage to Atlanta’s Black roller rink culture while simultaneously honoring its sound which played such a prominent role in creating Usher’s song’s appeal. Usher is known for mixing his work blending rap, rock and intricate footwork – precursors to what has come to be known as rockaway styles like what Usher created his performances are known for.

Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison”

Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe’s band from the remnants of New Edition formed in 1990 set off a revolution in R&B music with their debut album and classic single. These unlikely trailblazers provided future artists a path for them to embrace an aggressive, harder sound while simultaneously incorporating hip-hop and other contemporary forms into R&B genre.

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, two pioneers of new jack swing, produced this album as a perfect example of its sound that eventually became standard for the genre. While most tracks follow a formula (drum machines, samples, synths and groovy basslines), which can make tracks sound similar; at their best moments the trio deviates from this formula–such as through creative use of samples in “Ain’t Nut’in Changed!” or with extra instrumentation on saxophone in “I Do Need You”.

One of the revolutionary aspects of BBD’s music was that it gave R&B singers permission to speak like rappers. Ralph Tresvant was New Edition’s voice; upon wearing baggy green pants with gold chains at the 1989 Soul Train Awards he signaled their breakaway from bubblegum soul music.

As with the song itself, its official music video also marked a landmark moment for hip-hop/R&B culture. Shot at a basketball arena, this clip featured dancers wearing black sweatsuits with “Poison” written in bold red letters on them – also starting trendy fashion trends such as leaving tags off baseball/bucket hats, mismatching Timberland sneakers and donning oversize parkas.