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What is Urban Music?

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William Kim

on 25 May 2014

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Transcript of What is Urban Music?

Babyface
As a singer, producer, and songwriter, Babyface was an inescapable presence in virtually every major facet of pop music during the 1990s. His own recordings helped rejuvenate the R&B tradition of the smooth sensitive, urban crooner and made him a staple of urban contemporary radio. Yet their considerable success was eclipsed by his songwriting and production work for other artists, which linked him with some of the biggest stars and hit singles of the decade (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.197).
What is urban music?

Michael Jackson
Without a doubt, Michael Jackson is one of the most widely beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all time. He is considered as King of pop.
Boyz II Men
According to no less an authority than the RIAA, Boyz II Men are the most commercially successful R&B group of al time. They are among the first male urban soul artists to adopt the sort of hyper technical melodic embellishments that were popularized by vituosic divas like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.249).
Style Development 2
The urban landscape began to shift with the advent of hip-hop; producer and Guy member Teddy Riley crafted a fusion of the two, inserted occasional rap breaks, and dubbed it new jack swing (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.24).
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is the best selling female performer of the 1990s.
Urban was the term given to the R&B/soul music of the 1980s and 1990s. (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.24)

Whitney Houston is unarguably one of the biggest female pop stars of all time. Houston was able to sing big adult contemporary ballads, effervescent, stylish dance-pop, and slick urban contemporary soul with equal dexterity (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.423).
Whitney Houston
Digital Technology and Urban Music
'You'd be hard pressed to name a 1990s hit maker with a track record more consistently successful and versatile than Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.' (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p198)
Style Development 1
'Up until the late 1980s, most urban music is highly pop-oriented, often in melody but nearly always in terms of production.' A number of artists like Janet Jackson, Billy Ocean, and Whitney Houston crossed over form the R&B charts to the pop charts. (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.24)
Urban music was strongly influenced by quiet storm. Urban was very smooth and polished. Its romantic ballads fit well into quiet storm radio formats (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p24).
Origin of urban music 1
Urban music was also heavily influenced by Philly soul which has a elements of soul music by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.17).
Origin of urban music 2
The rise of MTV
Big changes occurred for popular music during the 1980s. Music Television (MTV) was introduced to people.
'The rise of MTV led to the emergence of many visually oriented acts during the 1980s, and dance music eventually formed the core of early MTV programming.' (Covach&Flory, 2006, p.415)
And Michael Jackson took full advantage of MTV to help promote his talents as both a musician and a dancer.
'Urban also had room for uptempo, funky dance tracks, which usually boasted the same high tech, radio- ready production and controlled yet soulful vocals.'(Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.24)
Origin of urban music 3
Babyface
Anita Baker
Boyz II Men
Toni Braxton
Mariah Carey
Whitney Houston
Janet Jackson
Michael Jackson
R. Klly
New Edition
Prince
Smokey Robinson
Sade
TLC
Stevie Wonder

Key Artists
Key Album -
Whitney Houston
/ 1985
The legend of Whitney Houston began with this self titled album. It marked her shift away from the experimental songs she did with the group material and a move into heavily produced, very slick urban contemporary and adult pop (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.424).
Key Album -
#1's
/ 1998
Since Carey's singles always dominated her albums, it comes as no surprise that
#1's
is her best, most consistent album, filled with songs that represent state of art 1990s adult contemporary and pop-oriented urban soul (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003 p.319).
Key album -
Cooleyhighharmony
/ 1991
'Boyz II Men's retro sound dominated the 1991 pop and R&B marketplaces, with their singles "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" and "Motownphilly" hitting the Top Ten on both charts.' (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, PN 2003) The album eventually sold over five million copies and put Boyz II Men at the forefront of a movement retiring the emphasis in black popular music to vocal harmonies and a cap ell interaction (Bogdanov&Bush&Woodstra, 2003, p.247).
Key song -
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
- Whitney Houston
Key song -
Billie Jean
- Michael Jackson
Key song -
Honey
- Mariah Carey
Key song -
End of the road
- Boyz II Men
'A style of soul or rhythm and blues music that involves electronic instruments; also know as urban contemporary.' (Dictionary.com 2014)
During the 1980s new technologies including digital tape recorders, compact discs, synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers became central to the production, promotion, and consumption of popular music. (Starr, 2003, p.454) Consequently, urban music could be more developed by variety of virtual instruments.
Reference
Bogdanov, V & Bush, J & Woodstra, C, 2003.
All Music Guide To Soul
. 1st ed. United States: Backbeat Books.​

Covach, J & Flory, A, 2006.
What's that sound?
. 3rd ed. United States of America: W W Norton & Company Incorporated

Starr, L, 2003.
American Popular Music
. 4th ed. United States of America: Oxford University Press​


Dictionary.com
. 2014. Urban contemporary ,Define Urban contemporary at Dictionary.com. [Accessed 25 May 2014] <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/urban%20contemporary>
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