What defines "True" R&B

As we here at Toya'z World continue on our quest to help the masses debate and understand the much loved Genre, I paused to think. What is R&B? Perhaps this should be our starting point in this journey. We have very many topics and discussions we will bring to you from varied points of view but it is imperative that we define the scope of such debates.

I have read your comments on our last post and realised that perhaps we have failed to set a benchmark for a productive forum and debate about this genre. In order for us to move forward it may be important for us to go back.

Many fans of R&B refer to the 90's as the "golden age" of R&B music, however we all know with time all things evolve. Once R&B and what is considered "Urban Music" grew its audience in the early 2000's. A seemingly watered down version of R&B has emerged. One that is universally "accepted" and yet (as some may say) a terrible shadow of what it was. 

When artists create music that is reminiscent of this era, they are now refereed to as Neo-Soul. It seems there are a growing number of fans that hold the opinion that since the dawn of the new millennium the evolution of R&B has been more of a devolution towards the lowest quality standard of this art, rather than the simple notion of evolution. One look at the history of this genre is it continued emergence on the mainstream charts over decades from an era where R&B was not permitted to even chart on mainstream charts. It is very easy to see this when we look at the change in the genre from the Motown era right through to the Bad Boy ages in the 90's 

It is difficult for any debate to be had about this genre when the basis for such argument is not set. With this said, the questions we pose to you our loyal readers are , What is true R&B?, Which artists do you believe are carrying the flags and torches in this much loved genre? Do you think that the the popularisation of R&B since the early 90s forced it to become a watered down version of what it was in order for artists and labels to cater to the "crossover" or "mainstream" charts. Let us know what you think in the comments below.