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Hip Hop Soul

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First created by R&B group Jodeci and later codified by Mary J. Blige, Hip Hop Soul note  is the direct successor to New Jack Swing created in the early Nineties. Like its predecessor, it combines Hip hop elements with R&B, Gospel Music, funk production, but took it a step further by the artists singing over the same type of sample heavy beats that rappers use, driven more by the beats than the melodies.

First conceptualized with Jodeci's Forever My Lady in 1991, and popularized a year later by Mary J. Blige's What's The 411?, Hip Hop Soul soon displaced its parent genre, which was beginning to suffer from serious backlash from music fans and critics. It also increasingly blurred the line between R&B and Hip Hop moreso than new jack swing, as Hip Hop Soul artists began to portray themselves in styles and personas similar to rappers: adopting a tougher "street" image than most R&B acts and dressing up in the same fashion styles as rappers. As a result, this caused R&B to become more accepted and commercially successful among even hardcore rap fans, while also appealing to older fans of R&B (Ironically, this also caused some rappers to adopt some elements of the hip hop soul personas to appeal to mainstream audiences). Many new jack swing artists quickly switched over to hip hop soul to compete with the success of Jodeci and Blige, including new jack creator Teddy Riley, who formed his second group Blackstreet during this period.

Hip Hop Soul was also a major influence on the creation of Neo Soul in the late Nineties, and its influence can still be felt in Contemporary R&B to this very day.

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