Boyz II Men Member Shawn Stockman Says R&B Artists “Lost Their Identity” Trying To Compete With Hip-Hop

Shawn Stockman

Boyz II Men founder Shawn Stockman says R&B singers are trying too hard to put thug rappers! Read more!

One of the founding members of Boyz II Men, the supergroup from Philly that broke every record possible with solid harmonies and crossover appeal, said that R&B music has lost its soulful edge and is trying too hard to be like rap artists.

In a series of tweets, Shawn Stockman addressed the latest R&B conversation prompted by the not-so-stellar performances during the Mario and Omarion Verzuz (starring Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P) and the recent BET Awards.

The issue, in his opinion, is blended. It is a combination of the industry demand for the “thug image” and a lot of artists not investing in their vocal performances (or not having very strong ones).

He tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, “There was a time when it was kool to identify as an R&B singer. It was kool that there was a clear distinction between a rapper and a singer, persona-wise. And it was respected. It wasn’t viewed as being ‘soft’ to be smooth and to speak to ladies a certain way.”

“R&B has lost their identity because it felt like it had to compete with the bravado of the hip hop world,” he continued. “Because labels stopped supporting the perception of Black men being more than displaying a ‘thug image.’”

The first two tweets challenged the aura of the new movement of R&B, but the last of the set zeroed in on new artists’ singing prowess.

He tweeted, “Let me disclaim, my tweets are not to say there aren’t any great singers out there. There always have been great singers, but the love they get is disproportionate. So let’s do this: send me some artists y’all think are and I’ll repost! I’ll go first.”

He then retweeted Manana, writing, “This dude I think is dope!”

The Philly native called the new artist “innovative, soulful and vibey.” And encouraged his 56K followers to “Check him out!”

Adding, “If y’all really about support, then I should see a bunch of retweets. Let’s start getting proactive!”

For hours fans flooded his timeline with singers who are holding up the banner for the genre like Devon Culture, SiR, Leon Bridges and Pretty Rico Bandz. Many of the names are unknown to the average playlist or radio listener.