There are some people who would argue that concert tours such as the “Forever R&B” tour possess the ability to transport audiences back to a time and era of music where a generation’s sentiments could be captured in poetic musical prose. The concert, which took place Sept. 24 at the Bank United Center brought together some of the great R&B voices of a generation. Dru Hill and Shirley Murdock were among those artists. Kelly Price and Carl Thomas are also featured on the tour.
Depending on whom you ask, there is always one artist or one group who excels at capturing a specific generation’s love life, problems and fears. Lovers of their respected generation’s music are constantly speaking of the long lost art of “real music.” Phrases such as: “Back in my day, we listened to real music,” seemed to roll off the tongue of any musical spectator.
As another generation turns the tide of adulthood, the standard for “Old school jams” and “real music” have been redefined yet again.
Dru Hill is making their return to the musical scene promising to not change the formula, which is the purpose of the tour, according to group member, Nokio. “We wanted to let people know that there are still people out there like us,” Nokio said. The “Forever R&B” tour has called: Mark “Sisqo” Andrews, Larry “Jazz” Anthony, Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin and Antwuan “Tao” Simpson, back to the stage.
The latest crop of artists to ascend to popularity are often subjected to their lyrics, style and even their talent being criticized. To vocal giants like Dru Hill, the latest chart toppers like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus should appear to be easy prey. However, the group remains as they were- music lovers at heart who only crave creative expression. Sisqo even admitted to watching Bieber’s documentary film.
“I didn’t even know that he was that talented,” Sisqo said. “That’s the thing you have to realize- a lot of these artists are doing a lot of stuff. No one knows that all I listen to is classical music. That’s all the background music to the Thong Song is, but no one really notices that.”
In the end the group recognizes the new generation of artists as kindred spirits.
“They are just the new generation of artists who want to express themselves,” Nokio said.