R&B House Urban / Sisters & Brothers Volume Four 2002 - 2009


2002 - 2005


1 RAPHAEL SAADIQ / Be Here / Instant Vintage June 2002

2 MS DYNAMITE / It Takes More / A Little Deeper July 2002

3 FLOETRY / Floetic / Floetic October 2002

4 MISSY ELLIOTT / Pussycat / Under Construction November 2002

5 R KELLY / You Made Me Love You / Chocolate Factory February 2003

6 BEYONCE / Naughty Girl / Dangerously In Love June 2003

7 MYA / My Love Is Like Wo / Moodring July 2003

8 ERYKAH BADU With Angie Stone, Bahamadia & Queen Latifah / Love Of My Life Worldwide / Worldwide Underground September 2003

9 ANTHONY HAMILTON / Mama Knew Love / Comin’ From Where I’m From September 2003

10 OUTKAST / Roses / Speakerboxxx - The Love Below September 2003

11 AMY WINEHOUSE / Fuck Me Pumps / Frank October 2003

12 EAMON / Fuck It / Single A Side November 2003

13 BEVERLEY KNIGHT / Keep This Fire Burning / Affirmation June 2004

14 JILL SCOTT / I’m Not Afraid / Beautifully Human August 2004

15 RAPHAEL SAADIQ / Grown Folks / Ray Ray October 2004

16 DESTINYS CHILD / Soldier / Destiny Fulfilled November 2004

17 JOHN LEGEND / Lets Get Lifted / Get Lifted January 2005

18 FLOETRY / I’ll Die / Flo’Ology November 2005

19 ANTHONY HAMILTON / Sista Big Bones / Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ December 2005


2006 - 2009


1 NE YO / When You’re Mad / In My Own Words February 2006

2 AMY WINEHOUSE / You Know I’m No Good / Back To Black October 2006

3 GNARLS BARCLAY / Smiley Faces / St Elsewhere November 2006

4 AMNESTY / Mister President / Free Your Mind February 2007

5 THE SOUL OF JOHN BLACK / I Got Work / The Good Girl Blues February 2007

6 DONNIE / The Daily News / The Daily News May 2007

7 NATE JAMES / Kingdom Falls / Kingdom Falls June 2007

8 RAHSAAN PATTERSON / Pitch Black / Wines & Spirits September 2007

9 ERYKAH BADU / Soldier / New Amerykah Pt One / February 2008

10 GNARLS BARKLEY / Who’s Gonna Save My Soul / The Odd Couple March 2008

11 ESTELLE / Wait A Minute / Shine March 2008

12 NOEL GOURDIN / The River / After My Time July 2008

13 STEPHANIE McKAY / This Letter / Tell It Like It Is July 2008

14 RAPHAEL SAADIQ / Oh Girl / The Way I See It September 2008

15 ANTHONY HAMILTON / The News / The Point Of It All December 2008

16 INDIA ARIE / Psalms 23 / Testimony Vol 2 February 2009

17 KINNY / Damn / Idle Forest Of Chit Chat March 2009

18 KERI HILSON With Lil Wayne / Turnin’ Me On / In A Perfect World May 2009

19 MELANIE FIONA / Give It To Me Right / The Bridge May 2009

20 RAHEEM DEVAUGHN With Ludacris / Bulletproof / Single A Side September 2009


   Destiny’s Child and Beyonce reigned supreme during the first four years of the new decade. The first iconic R&B figure since Michael Jackson and Prince, Beyonce continued to preach female empowerment, practising what she preached by building a formidable empire, her marriage to hip-hop King Jay Z the coup de grace.

   Beyonce represented the aspiration R&B had been working towards which saw no contradiction in being sold as product while still representing the notion of soul. Most other idioms of music are far more wary of being so absorbed, of selling out, but post Thriller, R&B wanted to get there as quickly as possible, and Beyonce was the quickest of the lot.

   While Beyonce and Jay Z symbolised the R&B/hip-hop union, they also symbolised the state of R&B in the 21st century, and that modern pop and the lure of the dollar had once again squeezed the soul from its bones. Interestingly, back in the nineties, when R&B was the mainstream, white pop artists like Britney Spears adopted an R&B style to find success, but early in the new decade that role was reversed, and R&B began a gradual inevitable decline. Arguably, commercial R&B is now as bad as ever, although artists like Missy Elliott, Outkast, and Gnarls Barclay have proved that with intelligence and daring you can break new ground and still be successful. However, these days more than ever, anything interesting and meaningful is usually under the radar.

     Surprisingly, neo-soul has been both long lasting and meaningful. Artists like Erykah Badu, Raphael Saadiq, India Arie, Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott and John Legend are fantastic, as are the lesser known neo-soulsters, a breath of fresh air amongst a stale mainstream, and the personal and political messages they purvey really mean something. After all, its not as if the 21st century is lacking the geopolitical turmoil, drug epidemics and global conflicts that fuelled souls classic seventies era. Even good ol’ R. Kelly prefers to explore the age old soul dilemma of the sacred and the profound.

   So where will R&B, soul, urban, call it what you will, go from here? Perhaps Barack Obama can save the world and R&B. On election night the first soul president, raised on a diet of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, chose to paraphrase Sam Cooke’s infamous words, written almost exactly 45 years before: ‘It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come’. Today, in our ultra conservative, commercially dominant world, R&B may have a long wait!