90s Music R&B


90s Music R&B witnessed a profound transformation in the 1990s. Although the lyrics were still heavily influenced by conventional romance and courting, hip-hop introduced edgier production techniques, raunchier attitudes, and new commercial peaks.

90s Music R&B

90s Music R&B

Along with vocally skilled girl groups and harmonized ensembles that took begging and pleading to a new level, hardcore crooning and bizarre ballads were everywhere. In parallel with the genre’s expansion, its sound was also changing, from the live instrumentation of neo-soul and Teddy Riley’s danceable percussion to Timberland and Missy Elliott’s gravity-defying experimentation.

Best 90s Music R & B

90s Music R&B featured are listed below in alphabetical order by the performer.

Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes”

90s Music R&B There is a Janet Jackson for every occasion: there is come-hither Janet, drill sergeant Janet, and nasty Janet. Jackson lets her hair down in “That’s The Way Love Goes,” the lead song from her 1993 album Janet. It demonstrated to the world that Miss Jackson was an adult through its lyrical and musical turnaround. The record, which is based on a James Brown song sample from “Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” latches into a calm downtempo rhythm and keeps going all night.

Lauryn Hill, former singer

90s Music R&B Ex-Factor was originally written by Lauryn Hill for another group, but she decided it was too intimate to share. Many a Discman played this gorgeous, heartbreaking breakup song repeatedly owing to its relatability and moving vocal performance.

One In a Million by Aaliyah

90s Music R&B The result of Aaliyah’s initial partnership with Missy Elliott and Timbaland was “One in A Million.” It was the ideal synthesis of all the prevalent sounds of the day, a dance ballad that combined elements of funk, electronica, and trip-hop while showcasing Aaliyah’s ethereal vocals. It would make Aaliyah the R&B icon of the 1990s as one of the genre’s best tunes.

The Boy Is Mine by Brandy & Monica

90s Music R&B Two R&B diva powerhouses are better than one, and “The Boy Is Mine” united Monica and Brandy and Monica’s vocal prowess. The legendary duet, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, sold over 3 million copies, and brought them both a Grammy Award during the summer of 1998, utterly dominated the charts (and popular culture).

You Make Me Wanna by Usher

90s Music R&B Despite the fact that Jermaine Dupri contributed to its writing, this song is typical of Usher. Over a silky, slinky beat and the hi-hat instrumentals that are so prevalent in his discography, the R&B crooner laments over the object of his devotion.

Freek’n You by Jodeci

The opening line of Jodeci’s debut album, “Every Time I Close My Eyes/I Wake Up Feelin’ So Horny,” sealed their reputation as one of the most significant R&B groups of the 1990s. “Freek’n You,” a chart-topper with a sensuous beat, maybe the only example of an erotic-sounding vocoder in existence.

Knockin Da Boots by H-Town

No group more than Houston’s H-Town, whose hit song “Knockin’ Da Boots” was produced by Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell of the explicit rap group 2 Live Crew, embraced sexual innuendo in the 90s R&B.

Following – Too Close

90s Music R&B The Next team claims that they wrote this song in response to a woman who purposefully backed up on one of the males on the dance floor in order to “see what they’re working with” and, based on that, either the dancing continued or she moved on to the NEXT.

My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) by En Vogue

Sampling is frequently performed ineptly, as is true of most artistic endeavors. However, the sample on En Vogue’s most well-known song offers an illustration of how to do it correctly. En Vogue performs the soulful, groove, and pop tune over a few verses from James Brown’s “The Payback.” When you take into account the iconic dancefloor-filling breakdown, it’s no surprise that “My Lovin'” spent 13 weeks in the US Top 10.

Touch It by Monifah

Monifah, one of the first musicians signed to Uptown Records, was aware that her sophomore album Mo’hogany needed to have a stronger sex appeal. “Touch It,” which is based on a sample from Laid Back’s Euro-club classic “White Horse,” is loaded with innuendo and dares you not to dance.

I Wanna Be Down by Brandy

“I would like to find out whether I could be… the kind of girl that you could be down for,” begin the song’s introductory lyrics. A new era of R&B women was ushered in by Brandy’s naiveté as a teenager. Brandy, a singer with refinement, playfulness, and flair, gave us the song that became the decade’s anthem for contemporary adolescent romance with her witty and endearingly vulnerable lyrics set to a punchy, danceable melody.

You’re Makin’ Me High by Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton’s runaway No. 1 off her sophomore album was the hit of the summer of ’96 and more than justifies its spot among the top 90s R&B songs. It is a hot tune with an equally sizzling visual. The suggestive lyrics, which were skilfully hidden under a poppy, danceable, uptempo beat that borrowed from the developing electronica genre, were rumored to be about everything from cannabis to masturbation.

On Bended Knee by Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men seemed to release a new hit every week in the 1990s. “On Bended Knee” stands out as a gloriously melodramatic cut above the others, even at that prolific rate. It’s the ideal mashup of the vocal styles of the four Philadelphia balladeers: drama, wistfulness, longing, and a chorus that’s still screamed out in karaoke bars across the country.

Freak Like Me by Adina Howard

Adina Howard’s sexually affirmative breakthrough single, “Freak Like Me,” also gave other female R&B vocalists permission to publicly express their sexuality. The tempo still thumps, and it was one of the first R&B songs from the 1990s where a lady talked openly about her aspirations.

Waterfalls from TLC

The biggest track on TLC’s groundbreaking CrazySexyCool album by far was this one. TLC addresses societal issues as Left Eye performs one of her best (and, regrettably, final) rhymes in the song, which features silky horns and sharp high hats.

SWV and Missy Elliott’s “Can We

In the 1990s, Missy Elliott and Timbaland unquestionably controlled the control rooms, and this song with R&B superstars SWV is the ideal illustration of why. Here, Timbaland’s eerie producing approach is complex and sophisticated. While SWV’s words soar above the beat, Missy’s smooth, quick-fire rhyming remains firmly placed in the groove.

Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) by Maxwell

Maxwell’s throbbing debut and soulful crooning, which were released at a period when sample-heavy, hip-hop soul dominated the airwaves, sounded more like the original material than a sample ever could, and it still ranks as one of the all-time greatest 90s R&B songs.

No Diggity, Blackstreet

R&B had a successful year in 1996, thanks in large part to Blackstreet. Guy had initially declined Teddy Riley’s offer to perform “No Diggity,” which they had made. Blackstreet initially objected (they reportedly believed the song’s title was silly), but Riley persuaded them of its genius, and the group eventually accepted the song. Dr. Dre contributes a line to the song, which famously samples the piano chords from Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands.” Dr. Dre also produced the No. 1 smash, which became the band’s defining hymn.

Don’t Walk Away by Jade

The iconic Kool & the Gang sample makes this popular New Jack Swing song thump. The ladies of Jade add their sweet harmonies to this R&B jam with a hip-hop vibe.

My Boo by Ghost Town DJs

One of So So Def’s best contributions is this Miami bass-inspired one-hit wonder with its silky harmonies. The Atlanta classic, a staple of any self-respecting pool party or BBQ, returns to the charts every few years, demonstrating its enduring appeal.

Real Love by Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige’s first Top 10 hit, taken from her debut album What’s The 411?, is an illustration of how to use a sample to produce an original work. The opening bars of “Real Love,” which take their musical cue from Audio Two’s “Top Billin’,” have come to represent Mary J.  The future king of 90s R&B and hip-hop soul had already secured her throne with this single.

Feels Good by Tony, Toni, and Toné!

Raphael Saadiq, his brother D’Wayne Wiggins, and his cousin Timothy Christian Riley scored gold with this party-starting anthem, fusing R&B, pop, and a vintage New Jack Swing sound. The song is still among the top 90s R&B tracks and ought to be played “as much as possible” since it perfectly captures everything that made that time period unique.

Return Of The Mack by Mark Morrison

Mark Morrison announced to the public that he had recovered from a cheating girlfriend and was now back. This Mack is doing absolutely fine despite lying. Even though some of his terminologies are a little difficult to understand, his success remained the best form of retaliation.

Zhané Hallo, Mr. DJ

The lyrics “It’s Friday night and the weekend’s here, I need to unwind” are still some of the most memorable in R&B history more than 20 years after its initial publication. Zhané’s “Hey Mr. DJ,” from their debut album Pronounced Jah-Nay, is the ideal illustration of R&B’s primary goal: to be the sonic expression of the soul of the average man and woman. It has a swinging beat and a soft, lush production.

Montell Jordan explains how things are done

This has endured the test of time as the best party icebreaker. “I feel fine on this Friday night,” Over a looped sample of Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story,” Montell Jordan sang. The song became a No. 1 hit and was featured in everything from movie soundtracks to teacher strikes due to the message’s true universality.

Pony by Ginuwine

Ginuwine’s aural love letter to lady-on-top is accompanied by the least subtle metaphor in R&B history and features arguably the most recognizable beat in the genre’s history. Ginuwine’s first album was a huge success thanks to the infectious syncopated rhythm (created by Timbaland) and the ear-catching rattling.

Mariah Carey – Fantasy

It’s like picking your favorite child to try to pick the best R&B tune from Mariah Carey’s discography since the singer has had No. 1 hits in every decade since she first sang in a falsetto, but “Fantasy” encompasses everything that makes Mimi great. It’s based around a snippet of Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love,” and it’s pop perfection with an R&B attitude, opening with vocal runs before getting down to business. Future pop-hip-hop collaborations would model themselves after Bad Boy’s ODB remix.

Bell Biv Devoe: Poison

People on the dance floor will begin doing the running man as soon as they hear the first snare of this jam. One of the earliest examples of fusing R&B and hip-hop before Jodeci is Bell Biv Devoe, which features half of New Edition. “Never trust a huge butt and a grin,” the refrain of this New Jack Swing song warns. These are words to live by.


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