There was a rumour that R&B was off on a new tip with Frank Ocean and Miguel leading the way, and would be riding on the blunted beats that the likes of Clams Casino had produced up for ASAP Rocky and Kendrick. And there was no doubt all we hipsters loved those albums more than anything that had happened since D’Angelo swept the world before him.
But for me the album that kick started it all wasn’t mentioned much at all. So let’s hear some props for this album by Cassie.
It was dropped on Atlantic Records back in 2006 shortly before the label dropped her! It was produced by Cassie and Ryan Leslie and introduced an amazingly modern electro flavour in the production that moved her straight on from where Pharrel & Co were at the time. So far on that (a) no one understood to buy it, and (b) it still sounds freakishly modern right now. Even the bhangra flavours sound fresh! It was ice cool, as you can easily hear on the groundbreaking single “Me & U” which could easily be out now:
Since then, there’s been nothing much we loved (apart from the Rock-A-Bye Baby collabs album with the likes of Rick Ross and Pusha T and a Drake feature) until Solange (nice ride fashionista!) announced that her new Saint label would debut with a sampler called Saint Heron and would feature… Cassie. Yes! And with a single from the brilliant Kelela. So maybe there is hope for a return. And until then (or until Solange’s selection gets here) here’s a little playlist of some nu-R&Bsters carrying the alternative R&B sound forward in 2013, enjoy!