It's gutting isn't it?
I grew up on Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament etc, and also UK sould like Linx and Loose Ends and so on.
I guess the thing is, people try and make "what sells" so... now that hip hop and electronic RnB are big, it's a self-stoking thingummy where there's no successful black bands for young people to look up to or aspire to imitate... so they just make beats in an MPC and sing or rap.
I would love to see young people playing in a tight funky band.
The other thing is, it's a LOT of hard work to get really good. For a group of people to learn to play really funkily and together takes a lot more effort than either indie garagey guitar stuff or electronic production.
I know this just from spending a day trying to play rhythm guitar in time with a backing track and stay in the pocket.
it's interesting to think about the sort of dichotomy that forms in contemporary music by black performers in this light--you're either a hip-hop artist/rapper or, if you have serious vocal skills or can play well, you sing r&b slow jams. there doesn't seem to be anything in-between.