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Bryson Tiller Is On The R&B Tip


Bryson Tiller could be r&b’s best utility player, not despite, but because his team is in flux. R&B can seem lost if you get distracted by the fact that it’s hard to find in its unadulterated state. Pop and hip-hop have absorbed r&b’s core elements — vaporous settings, minor keys, freaky sound libraries — so pace-setting artists are doing r&b work under other names. Go to Billboard’s r&b album chart and you’ll see range and relevance, with Tiller in the middle of it. His new album, True to Self, enters both the Billboard 200 and r&b charts at number one; on the r&b chart, his 2015 debut, T R A P S O U L, has held a spot for 87 weeks. Rounding out the top five there are Bruno Mars, Khalid, and the Weeknd, each with an album that signifies as much pop as r&b, or more specifically, uses r&b as a move, not a principle. Childish Gambino is in at 4, with an album that doesn’t do much to mask the fact that it’s several Seventies P-Funk albums compiled and lightly appended. History is the foreground now: There is a Michael best-of at 14, a Prince best-of at 22, and Legend at 15. READ MORE @ VILLAGEVOICE

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