There is a lot music labelled R&B nowadays that doesn’t really seem to fit into the R&B category. A lot of black artists that are doing electronic music with no R&B influence at all are being put into the R&B category, why is that?
I think that categorizing music due to race is very incorrect and confusing. If a black person’s music is based around country then why would you call it R&B or Hip Hop? That doesn’t make sense. Perhaps the record labels are assigning these genres? Maybe they think that a black artist in the country genre will get less sales, especially when people perform searches in the genre.
On the other hand, a White or Asian R&B singer / rapper would normally be in the correct genre from the start.
Unless they do research, they younger generation may have a misunderstanding as to what R&B, Soul or Neo Soul really is. The fear is that they may get used to POP sounding R&B and make that their judgement criteria. If that’s the case, when they listen to something a little deeper like D’Angelo or Bilal that may not like it and question which genre that belongs too.
Over the years, the actual music inside genres has changed a lot. Especially in Hip Hop which has a variety of sub genres. Some recent type are more or less electronic music, but again the artists are black therefore, stays in the Hip Hop category – according to the record labels.
This is what really sells, but the good news is that there are always fans of the real deal in order to keep the genres alive. And there are also people in the younger generation who do their research and listen to music before their time. Look at Joey Bada$$ only 20 years old but is obviously influenced by the 90’s New York gritty Hip Hop.