There may be no release date for Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry, but the 2016 crop of R&B has been far from barren.
If anything, the long and winding road to Ocean’s sophomore full-length may be distracting people from what else has been going on in the genre. Not to worry – we’ve collected a slew of tracks that survey the year so far, from the brilliant comebacks (Tweet, Maxwell) to the boundary-pushing up-and-comers (Anderson .Paak, Chloe x Halle, KING) to the biggest pop crossovers (Drake, Rihanna) and more.
We can’t tell you right now when the album will be released – although, you can sign up for this text service that will hit you the second the album drops – but we’ve spent most of the year celebrating the best of the rest of the genre and the artists who are inspired by it. Whether it was spending time with Awful Records’ Abra and Alexandria or showing you how D∆WN gets it done in her live show – and every month with Southern Hospitality’s best-of round-ups – we’ve kept our eyes on how the genre continues to evolve and surprise, even when one of its most celebrated experimental artists is staying silent.
We’ve put together an Apple Music playlist to help get you through the days (months? Years?) before Boys Don’t Cry, introduce you to things you may have missed or just to continue to remind you that R&B is still as varied and vibrant as ever. Whether it’s classic soul with forward-thinking production or future-R&B completely stripped of club influence, loves songs or songs about the absence of love, the best of the year so far is here.
Check it out over at Apple Music or stream it below.