History & Now, Music

Now’s the time to revisit these R&B projects from a decade ago

Check out these timeless drops from 2011.

words by: Kai Acevedo
Jun 15, 2021

The Weekend isn’t the only R&B sensation celebrating a 10th anniversary this year. R&B projects classified as genre-bending and career defining were introduced by some of R&B’s finest in 2011, the same year the 2021 Super Bowl headliner delivered his debut mixtape trilogy.

R&B divas such as Adele, Marsha Ambrosius, Kelly Rowland, Rihanna and Beyoncé continued their reigns with albums full of hit songs and heartfelt tales of love, loss and womanhood. After experiencing somewhat of a creative drought, the genre known as rhythm and blues proved to be alive and well in 2011.

Ten years ago, the boundaries of R&B were being pushed by both major and emerging artists. The likes of Jhené Aiko and Frank Ocean kept it real, raw, vibey and soulful and helped set the tone for the future of the genre with their breakthrough mixtapes.


In recognition of these critically acclaimed R&B albums and mixtapes turning 10, revisit these R&B projects from a decade ago. It might be a good time to pull out that karaoke machine and get ready to sing your heart out.



Released date: January 21
Songs to revisit: “Someone like You”; “Set Fire to the Rain”; “Rumour Has It”; “Rolling in the Deep”


Nostalgia, Ultra

Frank Ocean
Released date: February 16
Songs to revisit: “Strawberry Swing”; “Swim Good”; “Novacane”


Late Nights & Early Mornings

Marsha Ambrosius
Released date: March 1
Songs to revisit: “Far Away”; “Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)”


Sailing Soul(s)

Jhené Aiko
Released date: March 16
Songs to revisit: “Hoe” featuring Miguel and Gucci Mane; “Growing Apart Too” featuring Kendrick Lamar; “July” featuring Drake


F.A.M.E. (Forgiving All My Enemies)

Chris Brown
Released date: March 22
Songs to revisit: “Yeah 3x”; “Deuces” featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall; “Look at Me Now” featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes



Released date: June 24
Songs to revisit: “Run the World (Girls)”, “Best Thing I Never Had”, “Love On Top”, “Countdown”, “Party”


Here I Am

Kelly Rowland
Released date: June 22
Songs to revisit: “Commander” featuring David Guetta; “Lay It on Me” featuring Big Sean; “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne


Terius Nash: 1977

Released date: August 31
Songs to revisit: “Wake Me When It’s Over”; “Real” featuring Pharrell; “Form of Flattery”


Talk That Talk

Released date: November 18
Songs to revisit: “You Da One”; “Where Have You Been”; “Birthday Cake”; “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris


Photo via Beyoncé