This year was great for R&B. Not only did artists release amazing albums, but new musicians showed up and showed out to expand the category. Intersecting with other music styles created a diverse range of subgenres and sounds, expanding the category.
Whether you’re listening to R&B to relax and unwind alone or jam out with friends, there’s something for everyone. Dance the night away to these fantastic projects, from the beginning to the end of 2021.
Lucky Daye - "Table For Two"
Lucky Daye’s croon led us through dating life as he invited different female artists to his table on each track of this EP. Yebba, Tiana Major9, Mahalia, Ari Lennox, Queen Naija and Joyce Wrice accompany Daye. Kick back and relax as the pairs conversate and harmonize on each track.
Tone Stith - "FWM"
Keep it real, but don’t be afraid to fall in love. Tone Stith delivered a smooth and flirty falsetto on “FWM.” Get hyped with trap beats and confident verses. The EP featured Kiana Ledé, H.E.R., and Lonr.
Kezia - "Claire"
Chill with friends to the catchy tunes of “Claire." Kezia’s delicate vocals floated over poppy beats on this fifteen-minute EP. Kezia made us feel the ups and downs of love, pain, and euphoria. Kezia's standout track “south!” featured the U.K.'s own NAYANA IZ.
Peyton - "PSA"
Peyton painted a lush coming-of-age story beside synthy tracks and a captivating voice. At its core, “PSA” is playful and light, however, it simultaneously felt raw and refined. The unique sound of each track will keep you listening till the end.
Tink - "Heat of the Moment"
Tink’s sweet yet fierce voice sang of passion and heartbreak during the “Heat of the Moment.” The seasoned singer featured Yung Bleu, Jeremih, Davido, and Kodak Black. Boost your confidence to trap and slow jam beats from the legendary producer Hitmaka.
Flozigg - "Beige"
Get into a good mood and relax with “Beige.” Mellow tracks and catchy vocals set the mood with the chill vibes of this EP. Flozigg self-reflected and pondered relationships for an engaging 12 minutes.
Tinashe - "333"
Tinashe’s airy vocals and bass-heavy production didn’t fail to accentuate her signature spacey dance vibe. "333" features Jeremih, Kaash Paige, Absolutely, Wax Motif, Buddy, Quiet Child, and Kudzai. However, “333” is far from a repeat. The album’s theme of freedom leaves you feeling easy-breezy.
RIMON - "Digital Tears"
RIMON’s gentle tone explored modern emotions in this compelling EP. The short but sweet “Digital Tears” contained a lot of variety in its five tracks. The production ranged from trap to jazz and even a song that felt as big as an orchestra. EARTHGANG was the project’s only feature. The duo added to the smooth feeling that permeated throughout “iClout.”
Eric Bellinger - "New Light"
It’s hard not to move to Eric Bellinger’s masterful falsetto riffed in the upbeat yet intimate “New Light.” Bellinger gave us a peek of his life progression, faith, and love on the album. Bellinger's "New Light” featured Dom Kennedy, The Game, Sevyn Streeter, Brandy, Kierra Sheard, and Teedra Moses. The consistent quality of his work proved the success of his career.
Tems - "Orange Was A Place"
Tems surrounded listeners with a deep and velvety voice on her diary-like EP "If Orange Was A Place." Brent Faiyaz expertly delivered the lone feature on Tems' EP, gracing "Found" with his signature soft vocals. Dancey guitar strums set the groove of each track. Dim your lights and vibe out to the soundscape Tems has created.
Kyle Dion - "SASSY"
Bright and bold, yet still emotional. Kyle Dion’s gorgeous falsetto begged for love, but also told us to break the rules. “SASSY” featured Channel Tres, Kari Faux, Ja Rule, and Duckwrth. Its colorful tracks won’t fail to put you in a better mood.
Ray BLK - "Access Denied"
Ray BLK taught us to put ourselves first on “Access Denied.” Ray BLK's used her incredibly rich voice to lay catchy unapologetic hooks throughout "Access Denied." Listen to the bass-boosted tracks anytime you need a confidence boost. “Access Denied” features Kojey Radical, Giggs, Kaash Paige, Suburban Plaza, and Stefflon Don.
RINI - "Constellations"
Who doesn’t love a slow jam? RINI showed us the stars with his love songs. The first two tracks featured Wale and Maeta, and RINI goes solo for the remainder. RINI’s heavenly voice sang of a hopeless love story and became vulnerable. Turn the lights down, and “forget about everything for now.”
Alina Baraz - "Moongate"
Alina Baraz’s soothing vocals provide us a moody soundtrack to navigate our own maze on this spacey EP. The four featureless tracks explore self-sufficiency, love, and facing reality. Get lost in your thoughts as Baraz’s angelic voice narrates the deep, surreal background.
Serena Isioma - "Crying In The Club"
You definitely won’t be crying while listening to Serena Isioma’s four-track EP "Crying In The Club." The title track’s pained lyrics are laid over a high tempo synth beat, which created a unique emotion to open the EP. On each distinct track, their expressive voice blends with genre-blending production to pour out his introspections.