(AllHipHop News) Throughout Hip Hop history there have been a lot of artists that combined melody with rhyming skills. Lauryn Hill, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Mos Def, Missy Elliott, Andre 3000, CeeLo Green, Devin The Dude, Kid Cudi, Drake, and Future are just some of the culture's celebrated rapper-singers.
While this current era is somewhat defined by the practice, spitting a verse and crooning a tune on the same song goes back to Hip Hop's infancy. The legendary Boston-bred group New Edition was one of the early acts to mix R&B and rap.
N.E. member Bobby Brown's life has been turned into a biographical mini-series for BET, and he's being presented with the R&B Soul Music Icon Award at the third annual Black Music Honors. Billboard spoke to the 49-year-old about his legacy. Brown was asked if he believes he popularized fusing singing and rapping.
"Yes, I would agree, because sometimes I’m conceited, but at the same time, I think it was supposed to go together," responded Bobby. "I think rapping and singing was supposed to be a part of what music has become, and rap has been around for many many years."
He continued, "There has been a lot of old soul singers that did rap within their songs, and I guess we just made it...public? We brought it to the masses, which was something that we’re thankful for them for giving us the tools to be able to be able to do what we do. Rhyming and singing are suppose to go together."
Brown went on to shout out other stars like Usher, Justin Timberlake, and Chris Brown for being his musical descendants. BET's 2-night The Bobby Brown Story is scheduled to premiere on September 4.