World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Urban contemporary

Article Id: WHEBN0000460625
Reproduction Date:

Title: Urban contemporary  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of urban-format radio stations in the United States, List of radio stations in Louisiana, KDAY, List of radio stations in Auckland, WMIB
Collection: Radio Formats, Rhythm and Blues
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Urban contemporary

Urban contemporary is a music radio format. The term was coined by New York DJ Frankie Crocker in the mid-1970s. Urban contemporary radio stations feature a playlist made up entirely of hip hop, R&B, grime, electronic dance music such as dubstep, UK garage and drum and bass (often with hip hop vocalists or rappers), and Caribbean music such as reggae, dancehall, reggaeton, zouk, bouyon, and Soca (In Toronto, London, New York City, Boston and Miami). Urban contemporary was developed through the characteristics of genres such as R&B and soul.[1] Virtually all urban contemporary formatted radio stations are located in cities that have sizeable African-American populations, such as New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Memphis, Boston, New Orleans, Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, OH, Oklahoma City, and Charlotte.

The term "urban contemporary" is heavily associated with African-American music, particularly for Contemporary R&B in African-American contexts. For Latin Americans, the music is more Latin urban, such as Reggaeton, Latin hip hop and Bachatón. Their playlists are dominated by singles by top-selling hip hop and R&B performers. On occasion, an urban contemporary station will play classic soul songs from the 1970s and early 1980s to satisfy the earlier end of the genre.

Most Urban formatted stations such as KJLH, KPRS, KMEL, KDAY, and WVEE will play gospel music or urban contemporary gospel music on Sundays.

Mainstream urban is a branch of urban contemporary, and rhythmic contemporary is also a branch.

Contents

  • History 1
    • The 1970s 1.1
    • The 1980s 1.2
    • 1990s–present 1.3
  • See also 2
  • References 3

History

The 1970s

When Frankie Crocker was appointed as program director of the newly created WBLS in 1974, he created an eclectic music mix of R&B and disco redefining the R&B format as urban contemporary. The station was an instant success, the most listened-to radio station in the country. In 1975, WDMT in Cleveland began programming a mix of rhythm blues R&B, disco and rap. The station featured live street jocks mixing vinyl records each night. The station's popularity grew and in 1980, it was Arbitron rated No. 2 12+, just behind the No. 1 rated WMMS with the original "Morning Zoo". Carol Ford hosted the morning drive show. Other famous people who worked at WDMT include: Tony Harris (CNN), Len Canon (NBC, Fox-NYC), Brenda Love, Kim Skillern (Lady Skill), Matt Morgan, Dean Rufus, Freddie James, Jay Wachs (Jay Fox), Jeff Foxx, Mike Love, Mike Chapman, Rod See, Eric Fasion and Vanilla Fudge.

The 1980s

WBLS in New York City was the first station to air a rap radio show, Rap Attack with Mr. Magic and Marley Marl, in 1983.[2]

During the early 1980s as newly formed WRKS-FM (98.7 Kiss FM) became the first rap station in the United States, WBLS quickly began adding more rap songs to its playlists. The urban format by this time was redefined by an eclectic mix of R&B, rap, reggae, dance, house, and freestyle. WBLS continued as the flagship station of the Urban format; however, Kiss FM surpassed them in the ratings. Another successful early Urban outlet was WDRQ in Detroit, which switched from a Top 40 format in the spring of 1982 and made a #2 showing 12+ in its first Arbitron ratings book. In addition to rap, R&B and dance music, WDRQ featured mainstream pop music with a danceable beat from artists such as Cyndi Lauper and Culture Club in rotation.

Many radio stations imitated the urban sound since it was proven to be more profitable than other formats and had proven itself more adept than straightforward black-targeted R&B formats at attracting white and Latino listeners. Another subformat of urban contemporary is rhythmic contemporary hits which plays a great deal of dance music. WQHT-FM (Hot 97) and KPWR (Power 106) were the first stations to utilize this format.

1990s–present

Since the 1990s, as urban contemporary hits have dominated the US pop charts, many Top 40 stations have turned to playing some tracks popular on urban contemporary radio stations.

Following periods of fluctuating success, urban music attained commercial dominance during the early 2000s, which featured massive crossover success on the Billboard charts by R&B and hip hop artists.[3] In 2004, all 12 songs that topped Billboard Hot 100 were African-American recording artists and accounted for 80% of the number-one R&B hits that year.[3] Along with Usher's streak of singles, Top 40 radio and both pop and R&B charts were topped by OutKast's Hey Ya! Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot, Terror Squad's Lean Back and Ciara's Goodies[3] Chris Molanphy of The Village Voice later remarked that by the early 2000s, urban music was pop music [3]

By the early 2010s, urban music had taken a backseat on Top 40 radio to mainstream dance pop and EDM sounds, and several successful urban artists, including Rihanna, Chris Brown, Usher, and Ne-Yo, were making dance pop/EDM records for Top 40 airplay while continuing to make hip-hop or pure R&B records for urban airplay. Pure urban formats continue to be successful in markets with large African-American populations, while medium or smaller markets are more likely to feature urban music through the subset of Rhythmic CHR stations with danceable mainstream CHR hits mixed in.

Today, urban contemporary music is a crossover of rap and contemporary R&B, which in some instances may be accompanied with dance beats.

The Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been awarded since 2002.

See also

References

  1. ^ urban contemporary music – Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Mr. Magic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d Molanphy, Chris (July 16, 2012). "100 & Single: The R&B rhythm blues /Hip-Hop Factor In The Music Business's Endless Slump".  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.