Published Feb 07, 2013What is it?
The socially and racially charged term refers to R&B that's been co-opted by "hipsters" ('cause they drink Pabst Blue Ribbon). The term "NoiR&B" works better, as it implies the darker tone, smoky production, and general mystique employed by a new generation of R&B crooners whose cynical take on the genre borders on nihilism.
Who's doing it?
Frank Ocean (Pictured) and the Weeknd are the standard-bearers, but Miguel, How to Dress Well, the-Dream, and Drake's work with Noah "40" Shebib are often mentioned.
Where should I start?
Frank Ocean's Nostalgia, Ultra and the Weeknd's House of Balloons, both of which which were issued as free mixtapes within a month of each other in early 2011.
Discontinuing the term PBR&B, hopefully (although "grunge," and "chillwave" started as derogatory, too). The Weeknd has hinted at a new album in 2013, and after such a stellar 2012 for the genre, who knows which unknowns might pop out of the ether?