Kazak’s Picks: Smooth Operators 2021 (R&B and Soul)

Clockwise from top left: Pick Up Your Feelings by Jazmine Sullivan (Heaux Tales artwork courtesy of RCA Records), Divine by MMYYKK (Science EP artwork), Tears of a Crown by Joel Culpepper (Sgt. Culpepper album artwork), and Forgot About by Priya Ragu (damnshestamil album artwork)

Alongside rap and pop, R&B is one of the biggest powerhouses in twenty-first century music both commercially and critically. The pinnacle of the genre also often possesses an incredible aural smoothness, one it shares with its predecessor, soul music. This playlist documents the very best from R&B, soul, and neo-soul released in 2021.

The format is simple: tracks from the the past month feature at the beginning of the playlist, before turning to highlights from the rest of the year (in no particular order). If you’d like to hear the genre’s most recent gems, check out the first five to ten tracks. If you want to explore the year as a whole, simply hit that shuffle button, sit back, and enjoy!

If there’s a track that you think is the pinnacle of R&B, soul, and neo-soul this year but isn’t featured here, please don’t hesitate to let me know about it at thebayingofkazak@gmail.com.

WARNING: All tracks and their accompanying videos are completely uncensored. A number of them contain explicit language that is unsuitable for children, NSFW topics and images, discussions of potentially triggering subjects, and/or political commentary that may offend.

Apple Music


November’s Additions

Tracks listed in order they appear in playlists above.

Beyoncé – Be Alive

Silk Sonic – Fly As Me

ROSALÍA (feat. The Weeknd) – LA FAMA

Parcels – Free

Dijon – Many Times

Yaya Bey (feat. V.C.R) – made this on the spot

Ibeyi & Pa Salieu – Made of Gold

To listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music please return to the top of the page

Further Listening – 2021 Tracks

The Baying of Kazak’s Favourite Songs of 2021

© The Baying of Kazak 2021. All rights reserved. All opinions (except those directly attributed to a third party) are the author’s own.

The content found in this site may not be used or replicated without the express permission of the author.

Images featured should not be used or reproduced without the express permission of the copyright holder of the material.

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