*mlah*

Corsican absolutely hates the commercialized R&B that is played on radio stations such as the Bay Area's Z95.7. KidKero calls Z95.7 "the leading source...for insipid pop and crooning wailing R&B music..." Corsican has come up with pet names for a lot of the groups played on that station: R Smelly for R Kelly; Destiny's Bile for Destiny's Child, etc.

On outings together, KidKero likes to torture corsican by tuning in Z95.7 on the radio. Corsican jokes that all R&B songs basically go: "Whoah, I miss you gurl, hmm, baby, all night long, *mlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah*..." KidKero and corsican characterize *mlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah* as "a hard-to-pronounce note, usually extended for 30 seconds or more during the 'crescendo' of whatever awful song is playing, by the mostly talentless music artist."

This style of vocal acrobatics is known as melisma and has its roots in the black gospel tradition. Mahalia Jackson is perhaps the best-known example of the definitive melismatic vocal style. Technically, a melisma is an improvisation of notes on one lyric word or syllable, and examples of melisma can be seen as far back as Gregorian chant. Melisma in contemporary R&B traces a route from gospel shouters to delta blues to electrified 'Chicago' blues to Detroit-Motown-R&B to Philly-soul all the way to modern 'urban flow' R&B, with side trips to 70s funk (think Ohio Players), disco divas (think Alicia Bridges' I Love The Nightlife), and 80s house (Black Box -- 'nuff said).

On channel, it is spouted at random, with varying numbers of As, to indicate someone who is depressed, annoyed, frustrated, or just done wrong by someone. Although not always set off by asterisks, it nevertheless represents a sound.

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