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Chapter 254: Tightrope

Pop R&B

The soul-era R&B of the 60s and 70s was marked by raw emotion and vulnerability, but by 2000, the dominant R&B sound was invulnerable. Singers like Beyonce and Mary J. Blige pull off precisely choreographed displays of power, as thrilling as watching a tightrope walker show off mid-act. Akon and Kelis draw on hip-hop for songs that are cocksure and pointedly unsentimental. Only the cyborgs flash any emotion, as T-Pain sweet talks through his robo-filter and Janelle Monae heightens her act by letting you hear her sweat, just a little bit.
1. Beyoncé


2. Ciara

Oh (ft. Ludacris)

3. Akon

I Wanna Love You (ft. Snoop Dogg)

4. Mary J. Blige

Family Affair

5. Janelle Monáe

Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)

6. T-Pain

Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')

7. Eve

Let Me Blow Ya Mind (ft. Gwen Stefani)

8. Beyoncé

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

9. Kelis


10. R. Kelly

Ignition (Remix)