Conventions of R&B


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A2 media research & planning

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Conventions of R&B

  1. 1. Conventions<br />of<br />R&B<br />
  2. 2. Fashion<br />MEN:<br /><ul><li>Topless – For example Trey Songz is usually pictured in his videos with very minimal clothes on; this is because a lot of male rnb singers target market is young teenage girls
  3. 3. Jeans – If the artist is pictured topless they are usually wearing jeans, slightly hanging low so you can see their boxers. They will also have a designer belt on which a few close up shots will be done on as a form of advertising for that particular item.
  4. 4. Tattoos – A lot of rnb male artists have tattoos a majority of the time they are on their chest (i.e.: the picture of Trey Songz on the left) if not it will be on their arms. They also have multiple tattoos, it will not just be one.
  5. 5. Jewellery – Unlike males in hip hop, rnb stars wear subtle jewellery </li></ul>like a watch, chain and earring – where as in hip hop they would<br />wear bundles of jewellery.<br />
  6. 6. Fashion<br />WOMEN:<br />Minimal clothing – women in R&B usually have very little clothing on and their stomachs are on show a majority of the time; this is because to male fans they are meant to be seen as objects of desire<br />Hair & Makeup – their hair is always styled in a very dramatic and eye catching way. Their makeup is also very bold and defined, especially their eyes they always have dark coloured eyeshadows with golds which makes their eyes very alluring. To show power some females wear red lipstick in their videos.<br />Heels – R&B females wear very high heels to elongate their legs because if they are wearing hardly any clothes the higher the shoes the longer their legs will look. However some R&B females wear trainers in their videos for choreographed scenes.<br />Jewellery – Big earrings, necklaces (for example: this picture of Keri Hilson) but usually when they wear a lot of necklaces they are breaking gender stereotypes because it is usually R&B males that wear that much jewellery.<br />
  7. 7. iconography<br />MEN:<br />R&B videos are usually very sexual and the topless men in the male R&B videos connotes that sense of sexuality. A majority of R&B videos these days are filmed in greyscale/sepia tone which adds a sensual tone to the imagery in the video. R&B male stars wear jewellery however not as much as Hip Hop stars do because although they are trying to depict their wealth, a majority of the video will have close ups on their bodies and abs.Trey Songz – Can’t be friends:<br />WOMEN:<br /><ul><li>Similar to males in the R&B genre, females in R&B also convey their sexuality through their clothing which is very minimal as mentioned in the previous slide; they also place emphasis on their sexuality through their makeup. R&B females are usually portrayed as soft goddess type people in their videos, but nowadays there has been a lot of gender stereotypes being broken in their videos with the females being seen as more powerful than the men for example Ciara’s“like a boy” video.Ciara - like a boy</li></li></ul><li>Music videos<br />SLOW SONGS:<br />Slow R&B songs these days are usually in greyscale or a sepia tone. I think this is because it makes the colours very soft which adds to the tone of the song because dark colours evoke emotion. The white balance on these videos is usually quite high because if the grey in the video goes more towards to the black side it can depict a sense of power instead of showing softness. If the video is not shot in greyscale, the video is always softened and a lot of natural lighting is used to show a sense of reality. Slow R&B songs also usually follow a narrative, which means having a co-star alongside the musician this is a convention which is very common in R&B ‘slow jamz’. The co-star is also pictured wearing minimal clothing which adds to the depiction of sexuality; there are also a lot of close up kissing shots of the musician and the actor/actress in the video. However this convention is typically found in videos by R&B males and songs that are about sex.<br />
  8. 8. Music videos<br />SLOW SONGS:<br />However slow R&B songs that are about being in love or breaking up, does not have as much nudity as sexual R&B music. These kind of “love” songs are usually done by females, instead of wearing very minimal clothing, females in these songs will wear clothing that depict them in the same light as goddesses; the clothing will be bright and colourful to show happiness if the song is about being in love. Whereas if it is about breaking up the typical convention that these videos use is the greyscale filter to show emotion and they will be wearing dark clothes. A lot of nude coloured/natural makeup will be used to convey the sense of natural beauty, because there a lot of close ups on the artists face. Some of these types of songs have a narrative but some of them will just be shots of the artist. A majority of the time the location for these songs will be a beach or a tropical island looking place (this will then mean a lot of wide shots showing the location) – that’s if it is a love song. Songs about breaking up usually take place in a plain black room which will probably have a chair or very minimal items in the room, because these songs tend to concentrate on the artist by using close ups to show significant figure expression.<br />
  9. 9. Music videos<br />FAST SONGS:<br />Fast R&B songs consist of bright colours, flashy cars, jewellery – almost like a party scene. These videos involve a lot of choreography. These videos are the ones that depict R&B males in a wealthy light and R&B females in a powerful light. The typical conventions of a fast tempoed music video for an R&B male artist will involve being in a club, champagne, artificial lighting and women wearing minimal clothing – usually short dresses – these videos will portray the stars as fun loving people. Another common item of clothing/accessory that R&B males wear in these type of songs are sunglasses, they convey a sense of coolness which their target market will find very appealing. The props in these videos are bottles of expensive alcohol which there will be a few close ups on for advertising purposes.<br />
  10. 10. Music videos<br />FAST SONGS:<br />Fast tempoed R&B songs by females also involve bright colours, but it not about being in the club like the way the males depict themselves. A lot of videos by females are done in the studio because there are a lot of special effects especially in the background (for example: Rihanna – rude boy). The typical clothing for these type of videos are very revealing clothes with high heels to elongate legs, a lot of jewellery is worn as well where as in the slower songs, jewellery was kept to a minimum. Brightly coloured makeup is also worn, if it is not strong eye makeup it is usually very strong lip colours like reds and bright pinks. These videos do not tend to follow a narrative but will usually have a male co-star or also involve male dancers because there is usually a lot of dancing and choreography in these videos. These videos will also portray the musicians in a more powerful light although there is not a total gender switch up, they still seem more powerful than they do in videos for love songs.<br />
  11. 11. Music videos<br />CHALLENGING STEREOTYPES:<br />These days some videos are challenging gender stereotypes, this is mainly done my female R&B stars. In some videos females will depict themselves like how males do in their videos, usually to convey a message to their audience – musicians who have famously done this in their videos are Ciara and Beyonce; In my coursework I will also be challenging the usual portrayal of females in videos, by doing a role reversal like Ciara & Beyonce where the woman is shown as the more powerful person. The common ways to do this is through costume, because a change in the way women are dressed can make them seem powerful automatically – although I will still stick to dressing the artist in the usual “skimpy” clothing, I will use colour stereotypes (for example: black clothing) to show them as powerful etc.<br />
  12. 12. Target Audience<br />A majority of R&B fans are teenagers/young adults roughly between the ages of 13-25. This could be because of the explicit lyrics in some of the songs, a majority of this age group are also females. It is usually females that are attracted to R&B music because female R&B artists stereotypically make songs about being in love or heartbroken – this is something that will appeal greatly to teenage girls and young adults. The fast paced R&B songs will also involve a lot of fashion and the synergy of music and fashion is something that will also attract females because if they are into that sort of music they are usually also interested in fashion.<br />The target audience of R&B males is also majorly made up of females because they are portrayed in a very sexual way, through their nudity and lyrics. Females will find this appealing because usually they will also be physically attracted to the male artists. However some males will be attracted to the jewellery, naked women and depiction of wealth in these videos.<br />These teenagers are also usually from a black background because R&B comes from soul which would be something a majority of the young adults parents would have listened to.<br />The approximate demographics of R&B’s target audience<br />