Rhythmic contemporary

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Rhythmic contemporary, also known as Rhythmic Top 40, Rhythmic CHR or rhythmic crossover, is a primarily American music-radio format that includes a mix of EDM, upbeat rhythmic pop, hip hop and upbeat R&B hits. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_0

Rhythmic contemporary never uses rock or country in its airplay, but it may occasionally use a reggae, Latin, reggaeton, or a Christian/gospel hit. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_1

Essentially, the format is a cross between mainstream radio and urban contemporary radio formats. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_2

Format history Rhythmic contemporary_section_0

Although some top-40 stations such as CKLW in Windsor, Ontario made their mark by integrating a large amount of R&B and soul product into their predominantly pop playlists as early as 1967, such stations were still considered mainstream top 40 (a cycle that continues to dominate the current Top 40/CHR chart). Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_3

It was not until the disco era of the late 1970s that such stations came to be considered as a format of their own as opposed to top-40 or soul. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_4

This development was largely spurred by the highly successful "worst-to-first" debut of the disco-based format on WKTU on 92.3 FM in New York City (now WNYL) in 1978. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_5

That station was classified as disco but actually played a blend of disco, dance music, and pop crossovers. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_6

At that time, stations playing strictly R&B tracks were known as "black" or "soul" stations. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_7

Stations such as WKTU came to be known as urban contemporary in the early 1980s as the disco era ended. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_8

In the 1980s, many urban contemporary stations began to spring up. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_9

Most of these leaned more towards R&B than dance music. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_10

These urban stations began sounding identical to so-called black stations and by 1985, stations that played strictly R&B product were all known as urban stations. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_11

Still, some urban outlets continued adding artists from outside the format onto their playlist. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_12

In most cases it was dance and rhythmic pop but in other cases they added a few rock songs. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_13

For example, Detroit's successful WDRQ included artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club and The Romantics in its urban format circa 1984. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_14

But it wasn't until January 11, 1986 that KPWR in Los Angeles, a former struggling adult contemporary outlet, began to make its mark with this genre by adopting this approach. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_15

It would be known as crossover because of the musical mix and the avoidance of most rock at the time. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_16

Shortly afterward WQHT in New York adopted a similar crossover format and enjoyed similar ratings success. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_17

The new breed of crossover stations broke a number of popular artists, including Expose and The Cover Girls, but such artists couldn't reach either the Billboard Hot 100 or Hot Black Singles charts because their airplay was split between a handful of mainstream top-40 and black reporting stations. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_18

Billboard magazine thus debuted its first rhythmic top-40 airplay chart, the "Hot Crossover 30," in its February 28, 1987 issue. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_19

The Crossover panel's initial lineup of 18 stations included five exclusive Crossover reporters (KPWR, WQHT, WHQT Miami, WMYK Norfolk, and WOCQ Ocean City, MD) as well as 13 stations which also retained their prior CHR or black reporter status (among them WPOW Miami, WHRK Memphis, KMEL San Francisco, WHYT Detroit, WQUE New Orleans, WLUM Milwaukee. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_20

and XHRM Tijuana/San Diego). Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_21

This was the first rhythmic top-40 airplay chart in any radio/records trade magazine. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_22

The chart's first number one song was "Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_23

Today, Mega 97ONE in Santa Maria broadcasts such a format. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_24

For years since its inception, the rhythmic name has been a source of confusion among music trades, especially in both Billboard (which used the Rhythmic Top 40 title) and Radio & Records (which use the CHR/rhythmic title for their official charts). Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_25

In August 2006 Billboard dropped both the "top 40" and "CHR" name from the rhythmic title after its sister publication Billboard Radio Monitor merged with Radio & Records to become the "New" R&R as part of their realignment of format categories. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_26

The move also ended confusion among the radio stations who report to their panels, which was modified by the end of 2006 with the inclusion of non-monitored reporters that were holdovers from the "(Old) R&R" days. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_27

Still, over the years since its inception, the genre has grown and evolved in its position between traditional R&B outlets (who claim that the Rhythmic contemporary format does not target or serve the African-American community properly) and the traditional Top 40 hit stations. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_28

However, both R&B and mainstream top 40 outlets have taken cues from the Rhythmic contemporary format through the years; as of 2018, the cycle continues to dominate the current Top 40/CHR playlist as more Rhythmic and EDM songs are making their way onto the Mainstream chart. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_29

An offshoot format of rhythmic contemporary is rhythmic adult contemporary, which targets an adult audience with a mix of current rhythmic hits and gold tracks (often termed "Throwbacks") which may date as far back as the 1980s or even the disco era of the 1970s. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_30

As with Rhythmic CHR, Rhythmic AC may vary depending on the market as to how much hip-hop and R&B product are included in the playlist; for example, the current WKTU (one of the late 1990s pioneers of the recent crop of Rhythmic AC stations) leans toward pop and dance, while WBQT in Boston is very hip-hop heavy. Rhythmic contemporary_sentence_31

See also Rhythmic contemporary_section_1

Rhythmic contemporary_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythmic contemporary.