Solange Knowles isn’t just an R&B singer; she’s a student of the genre who has taken some so-called music critics to task for not knowing much about R&B history and failing to give respect to some artists she feels deserve it.
Last year, she took to Twitter to defend Brandy’s Two Eleven album and offer the album’s haters a piece of her mind.
“Some of these music blogs could actually benefit from hiring people who REALLY understand the culture of R&B to write about R&B,” she wrote then.
Solange recently explained to NPR that there were times she wasn’t even able to hold a decent conversation with critics about the genre they’re paid to cover.
“I would have these conversations where I would use different references, or I would talk about Jaheim, just anything, anyone and get nothing back,” said Solange who received some backlash for her criticism of the critics. However, she said it was time for her to speak out.
“It’s something that has been expressed by a lot of people. I had no problem vocalizing about it,” she said.
Solange mentioned Monica, Aaliyah and TLC’s Chilli as R&B singers whose music touched and influenced her.
“There’s no way to really explain the emotional and physical and mental reaction when you’re at a party in seventh grade and a 702 record comes on,” Solange said. “[R&B] is all those things. It’s the gelling down your baby hair because Chilli did it and you want it to look like Chilli so much. The whole phenomenon of Tommy Hilfiger after Aaliyah wore it. All of those elements, and then you have your very, very obscure ones too.”
Solange’s initial comments were made in response to a negative review about the latest album released by Brandy, who Solange holds in high regard.
“Brandy is a goddess in R&B to a lot of people. She is really the foundation for a lot of this very innovative, progressive, experimental R&B. Brandy influenced a lot of that,” said Solange.