Diddy began a lively social media debate when he took to social media to discuss the state of R&B. Many fans have claimed the genre is not what it used to be and is in a state of decline since its heyday decades ago.
The music mogul received varying responses when he asked: “Who killed R&B?” on Twitter. Diddy then attempted to get a definition of the genre from his followers before announcing Mary J. Blige would be joining him on Instagram Live to discuss the topic.
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul swiftly knocked down any suggestion that anybody could kill off R&B.
“You can’t kill something that’s in our DNA,” Mary explained to Diddy during the discussion. “It’s gonna keep transitioning from generation to generation to generation to generation. They was trying to kill it.”
She then prefaced her next point by thanking the radio stations who genuinely support the genre before discussing how they contributed to the decline.
“Before I say what I’m gonna say, let me just say this: I wanna thank all the radio stations around the country that are playing R&B music and sincerely support it,” she continued. “But, you know, a lot of the radio stations killed it, for the same thing that Tank was saying. They ain’t gon’ jump on the bandwagon of whatever the hottest things is—but, let me just say this. We have to keep ourselves alive as R&B singers.”
She then named herself and some of her peers, including Chaka Khan, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Jazmine Sullivan, and SWV, asserting that artists like these cannot be killed.
Mary J. Blige went on to say that the music is “in us,” yet “they wanna call it ‘Popular Music’ with Adele and Justin Timberlake get ahold to it, so now it’s ‘Popular Music.’ But it’s been popular music! We’ve been had it!”
Watch Diddy and Mary J. Blige discuss the state of R&B below.