For The Love Of R&B

An Ode to Rhythm and Blues

by Jensen Bernard / Garnet & Black

For the love of R&B,

real R&B.

The melodies and the lyrics 

that have you reciting in the backseat.

At times, you may not understand the meaning,

but there is comfort in the delivery. 

That’s the power of R&B,

the lack of fear to feel vulnerability;

an artistic spade that digs into the deep trenches of our being. 

Rhythm and blues,

vibes that move with the trees. 

A strong presence, one like Maxine, reclaiming its time on music’s clock. 

A glowing aura, a phenomenon in the industry.

R&B is sonically pleasing masterpieces. 

The fitting 808’s fill the void of the strong bass that rap brings, 

the hi-hats adding the style, the flavor;

the subtle strumming of the acoustics, with the deep bass following the lead.

The real show stopper is the presence of the sax, violin and harp,

they are sprinkled in like fairy dust.

The magic it brings is what sets R&B apart,

it creates a fantasy, one that you don’t want to leave.

The piano being the backbone, the bridge to complete euphoria.

Smooth R&B,

with vocals that complete the cohesion in harmonies, 

from whistle tones, vibratos, and a nostalgic rasp.

High class vocal ranges illustrate what feeling used to be:

Unapologetic and expressive. 

R&B wears the pants, but it can wear a skirt too. 

Its red carpet bares no theme, it dresses the way it pleases.

There’s freedom in R&B--experimentation designing the best pieces. 

Raw R&B,

there’s creativity in transparency,

connectivity within the masses, 

because, R&B has mastered the recipe of pulling strings without overstepping.

Whether we’re picking up pieces, or doubling back,

forming addictions to make-up for the lack of substance,

or ignoring abusive actions due to trusting. 

No matter the forces of a sea full of distractions, 

you can depend on the soulful pen to reel us back in.

R&B is a cycle, 

a calming tactic of survival.

It creates a healthy routine.

Through its soft energy or even it’s more aggressive approaches, 

R&B is healing. 

It settles the spirit. 

A cure to self love and identity. 

Shoutout to R&B for the permission it gives me, 

to be a sensitive being, but with independence. 

It provides foundation. 

A cast to support the days where I can’t fully give, 

but a podium for the days I’m 100%. 

As we live and learn, our desires change,

R&B adapts and evolves just the same.

Messages being more direct for those who can’t express metaphorically, 

but to the ones that can, 

lyricists will keep the true meaning a mystery. 

I’m thankful for the range of R&B; 

understanding me, while staying unique to others’ needs.

Watering us like a flower, even if we’re surrounded by concrete. 

For the love of R&B, 

Real R&B,

Smooth R&B,

Raw R&B.

To the rhythm

and to the blues, 

all hail,