In 2014, R&B was the outlet for women to become even more boisterous, with Beyonce leading the way and checking naysayers in the songs she release. On the opposite side, brotherly love occurred as collaborations between Chris Brown and Usher ruled the airwaves while DJ Mustard supplied R&B's hottest acts with his booming beats, in turn ruling the summer with his sound.
Jeremih returned to the spotlight and newcomers -- Tinashe and Teyana Taylor, to name a few -- finally received their moment to shine. Veterans Jagged Edge made a comeback, sticking to grown folks music as their format and Toronto continued to produce solid sound architects sonics courtesy of The Weeknd and PARTYNEXTDOOR.
Not too long ago, folks were wondering if R&B could ever make a comeback, and it's safe to say this year, there were more songs to go around from the club to the bedroom. The Boombox highlights the 10 Best R&B Songs of 2014.
‘Maybe’Teyana Taylor Feat. Pusha T & Yo Gotti
A certain man has Teyana Taylor caught up on 'Maybe,' and the drinks she's been sipping on have her caught in her feelings. "Don't know what it is, but you turn me on," Taylor sings on the atmospheric, booming production. Yo Gotti, who opens the track, is on the same tip. "And I been drinking too much, and it got me thinking too much / You in my head, what the f---?" Pusha T is most likely the one to disrespect relationship boundaries, rapping, "When I meet ya man, shake his hand / That's how I keep our little secret." Teyana showcases her sensual side and knack for crafting lyrics that resonate.
The Weeknd dropped 'Often' this year, a braggadocios display of his sexual skills. The Toronto singer lets you know he's good at this because he has so many women at bay, which allows him to get practice. "If I had her, you can have her, man it don't matter / I'm never sour, I'm just smokin' somethin' much louder," he sings. If you come through to the Weeknd's crib for the night, he'll leave you begging for more and he has no problem supplying the satisfaction.
‘Recognize’ PARTYNEXTDOOR Feat. Drake
Having a faithful woman is not a concern for PARTYNEXTDOOR on the striking synth-riddled 'Recognize,' as long as when he calls, he's coming before the rest of the guys she's messing with. "'Cause I don't care about your n----, four n---- / Five n----, six n----, I ain't give a s--- about s---, n----," he sings in Auto-Tune. Drake is a yes-man at your service when he makes it back to the city for his girl. "Could name a lot of things any other man won't do for you / I'll do it for you, that's real," he croons.
‘No Love’ August Alsina Feat. Nicki Minaj
August Alsina is straightforward with his intentions on the 'No Love' (Remix). He's accompanied by Nicki Minaj, who displays her rarely-heard melodic vocals on the mellow Drumma Boy-produced track. He's willing to be there for the late-night creep and to "pop a couple bands," but anything more is out of the question. "But you know how bad I need it / You're so f---in' conceited," Minaj spits back. This song serves as the age-old tale of a youngin too deep into his prime to hang up his hat.
When a woman is fed up, there's nothing you can do about it. But Jagged Edge has come up with this "little plan / (To) put her hope back in a man," on their long-awaited song 'Hope,' the first single on their eighth studio album, 'J.E. Heartbreak 2.' "Hope she don't see a thug, when she sees me," the group sincerely belts out. The man trying to reach back to his old love clearly has a past, but perhaps it's not too late to right his wrongs.
'Hold You Down'DJ Khaled Feat. Chris Brown, August Alsina, Future & Jeremih
A rat pack of young R&B crooners -- Jeremih, Chris Brown and August Alsina -- come together with hip-hop’s current Auto-Tune king Future for DJ’s Khaled’s ‘Hold You Down.’ The song saw success on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, peaking at No. 10 this year. The guys join forces to serenade the loyal ladies in their lives, including Khaled, whose lines, “You smart. You loyal. You grateful, I appreciate that…” toward one vixen in the song’s visuals became an instant video meme due to his cheesy delivery. From houses to Bentley trucks, these special women are coming up for supporting these guys in all the drama that comes with their fast-paced lifestyles.
'Don't Tell 'Em'Jeremih Feat. YG
Jeremih reminds us not to rule him out of R&B's current crop, returning after four years off the charts, with the top 10 smash 'Don't Tell 'Em' featuring YG. The Schultz and DJ Mustard-produced track is all about Jeremih encouraging a woman -- she's already taken -- to cheat and to keep the situation on the down low. YG co-signs the shady movement laying down his own secretive methods on the track, "She got my number stored under fake names / Her n---- think she faithful, but she running game," he raps. Three times a charm for Jeremih as he prepares to release his third album, 'Late Nights: The Album,' in 2015.
'Flawless' (Remix)Beyonce Feat. Nicki Minaj
Beyonce took the “I woke up like this” mantra she coined to the next level on the ‘Flawless (Remix)' by calling on none other than Nicki Minaj, a woman who always looks like she has a glam squad in her sleep. Besides her rambunctious rapping ("These thots can't clock me"), Bey answers her critics regarding the infamous elevator fight between Solange and husband Jay Z caught on camera earlier this year. "We escalate, up in this bitch like elevators / Of course sometimes s--- go down when it's a billion dollars on an elevator," she rhymes. Minaj solidifies the power collab. "If you ain't on the team, you playin' for team D / 'Cause we A-listers, we paid sisters." Men lie, women lie, but numbers don't, as Jay would say.
'New Flame'Chris Brown Feat. Usher & Rick Ross
For Chris Brown, his idol Usher has become his rival, but it’s nothing but friendly competition on their collaboration ‘New Flame’ featuring Rick Ross. Breezy is looking to do his lady right on the Count Justice-produced slow groove. Usher has ways to get know his woman better. “Who says you can’t find love in the club?” Usher sings (he should know), “'Cause I wanna tell them they’re wrong.” Ross delivers his rhymes, detailing his opulent lifestyle as usual. Listening to these two crooners jump on a jam about finding love in the most unlikely places is an audible treat for fans who respect the merge of the old school and the new.
'2 On'Tinashe Feat. ScHoolboy Q
Lately, club-bangers seem to be too male-centric, but newcomer Tinashe cut through that norm this year with the DJ Mustard-produced song ‘2 On,’ which features TDE’s SchoolBoy Q. The slick-talking ode to getting lit off drinks and “tree” was one of the biggest summer anthems of 2014. Tinashe’s feathery vocals glide over the spacy, bass-heavy track, while Q offers explicit bars for his feature. The bridge (“Just give me the trees and we can smoke it ya") cleverly borrows from Sean Paul’s 2005 dancehall-crossover hit, ‘We Be Burnin.’ Peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart, there is no doubt Tinashe made noise with her platinum-selling debut single, making her a definite artist to watch in the new year.