Rhythm Nation Case Study

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The Rhythm Nation: A look into the US Contemporary Rhythm and Blues music in the 90s

The Rhythm and Blues (R&B) has gained its influence across the United State ever since it has been recognized as a distinctive genre. Being the offshoot of Blues, the term “R&B” was originated in the1940s and generally regarded as the up-tempo version of Blues. R&B has been changed and evolved as time passed. Singers in 2000s like Beyoncé and Rihanna were well known for their R&B music, how about the world before them? Indeed, their success probably required some trailblazers to pave the way for them, that is why the R&B music in the 90s worth looking into. The contemporary R&B in the 90s has helped to shape the R&B music that
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It has become one of the favourite songs of the discos’ and nightclubs’ DJs, and some of them would make a remix version of the song. Whenever people listened to this song, driven by its synthesizer-heavy rhythm, they would follow the beat and dance. To understand how R&B music influenced people leisure life at that time, I have asked a friend of mine from US, B.J. Cress (B.J.) who is now working as an English teacher in Korea about his clubbing experience in his hometown. He mentioned “Almost everyone has listened to Rhythm Nation in discos back in those days, you just want to dance when you heard the DJ played this song. It will be cool if you could imitate the military-style dance moves of her in the music video!” From his line, we can observe another important element introduced to R&B music - the dance moves. R&B singers like Janet Jackson and her brother, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson have made dance moves associated with R&B music, and they often incorporated various dance moves and styles in their music videos and live performances. This completes the puzzle of why the R&B songs were so often to become the hot dance club hits in the nineties, Janet Jackson “I Get Lonely” and Usher “You Make Me Wanna” are two chart success

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