Urban music was built through the features of genres like soul and R&B. Nearly all urban music designed radio stations are situated in cities that have large African-American populations, like Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York City, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Los Angeles, Birmingham, London, Detroit, Cincinnati, Houston, Columbus, Oakland, Louisville, Baltimore, Memphis, Boston, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Orlando and Oklahoma City.
The term "urban contemporary" is greatly linked to African-American music, especially with R&B in African-American perspectives. For Latin Americans, Latin hip-hop, bachatón, and reggaeton are regarded as "Latin urban" due to the power of above-mentioned genres.
Urban contemporary playlists are dominated by singles by top-selling R&B and hip-hop and artists. On occasion, classic soul songs from the 1970s and early 1980s will be played by an urban contemporary station to please the initial end of the genre.
Urban, however, was very polished and smooth, its romantic ballads were well blended into quiet storm radio designs, Urban as well had rooms for funky dance tempo, uptempo that generally utilized similar high-tech, ready-made radio production and controlled yet soulful vocals.That is why, despite its name, Urban did not always have the earthy grit connected to the word "soul music", and it preferred to soften the raw emotion in favor of slick refinement. Most urban music up until the late '80s was pop-oriented, frequently in melody, but almost always in terms of production. The urban landscape started to change with the initiation of hip-hop.
Urban and hip-hop continued to cross-pollinate during the early '90s, ultimately resulting in a new hybrid tagged "hip-hop soul." Hip-hop soul was rooted in new jack swing, the hip-hop soul was still easy to produced, but the beats were funkier and more flexible and it had a grittier, more soulful feel than new jack. There was still a side of urban that maintained its roots in adult contemporary and quiet storm, although, in spite of which area of the spectrum they fell on, the songs were more and more becoming an attraction for elaborate vocal technique. Partly owing to the drastic decline of mainstream rock / pop in the wake of alternative, urban more or less dominated the pop singles charts for the latter half of the '90s.