If you're wonderin' what's all the noise
I'm in the back room, with the girls and boys
We're discussin' the blues,/ and they don't seem to see
The blues is all I need/ the blues don't bother me
Do you like good music? (yeah, yeah)
That sweet soul music? (yeah, yeah)
— Arthur Conley, "Sweet Soul Music"
Rhythm and Blues encompasses a lot of genres (even Hip Hop
if you go by the "Contemporary" definition). While it has roots dating significantly before the 1970s and has lived on to this day, most people associate it purely with that era. Before hip hop, this was the definitive African American genre and was generally used simply to portray them as such instead of any particular aspect. Sometimes gets used to portray an African American as old fashioned.
See also Contemporary R&B
- Plenty of R&B shows up in the film American Gangster as a way of cementing the culture that the title character was a part of.