The Best 90s R&B Music: The best r&b songs of the 90s continue to flood dance floors while appealing to the soul. They are genre-defining anthems from the finest golden age of R&B.
The Best 90s R&B Songs
Here are some of the best vinyl releases of soul and r&b songs of the 90s .
After Seven – Till You Do Me Right
The Best 90s R&B Song: The Indianapolis-based trio was one of the most adaptable R&B groups of the 1990s; they could play everything from New Jack Swing to smooth ballads to classic soul. They reunited with Babyface and L.A. Reid for the most crucial slow dance ballad, “till You Do Me Right,” on their third album Reflections after breaking out in 1989 with “Can’t Stop.”
How Deep Is Your Love by Dru Hill
The best r&b songs of the 90s: This song, which should not be mistaken for the Bee Gees’ classic, is all about Dru Hill’s sexual skills. When this song was included in the group’s sophomore album, Enter the Dru, it also contributed to the group’s success. It included flawless harmonies, staccato production flourishes, and Sisqo’s recognizable vocal lines, which are all characteristics of the traditional Dru Hill sound.
Immature – Never Lie
The Best 90s R&B Songs: Don’t be fooled by the moniker; Immature were mature R&B jam makers who were older than their years. The song “Never Lie,” which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, was from the group’s second album, Playtime is Over, which saw their appeal to an older demographic than their normal youthful fanbase.
Faith Evans’ As Soon as I Get Home
The Best 90s R&B Music: Faith Evans’ musical prowess is frequently overshadowed by her personal life as the wife of Notorious B.I.G. The church choir alumna’s talent, however, was far superior to that of many of her contemporaries. Evans’ silky voice skims across this melancholy romantic ballad with depth and precision, its sound honeyed and yet aching and soothing.
Freak Me by Silk
The Best r&b songs of the 90s: Under the direction of New Jack Swing vocalist/producer Keith Sweat, Silk cloaked their more lustful lyrics in gorgeous vocals, so you had to go back and read the lyrics before blushing (see: “Freak Like Me,” “Freek’n’ You”) and add their own sensual single to the mix with their No.1 hit, “Freak Me.”
Make It Easy On Me by Sybil
The Best 90s R&B Songs: The former disco queen adopted a more R&B style with her second album Sybilization, which includes the cheery breakup song, “Make It Easy On Me.” Despite being about a romance that has run its course, the bouncy dance-pop arrangement makes it feel like she was better off nevertheless.
Woman (Neneh Cherry)
The best r&b songs of the 90s: In response to James Brown’s 1966 smash “This Is a Man’s World,” this heavy soul ballad was written. Neneh Cherry talks about the power, fortitude, and resiliency that endure despite everything this woman has been through. This is a woman’s world, it is abundantly obvious by the song’s conclusion.
Rush Paula Abdul
The Best 90s R&B Songs: Paula Abdul’s final studio album served as her farewell to the music industry. The music video for this beautiful, string-heavy ballad, which features Keanu Reeves, was influenced by Rebel without a Cause.
Back at One by Brian McKnight
The best r&b songs of the 90s: It seems that Brian McKnight was reading the instructions for assembling his audio system when he came up with the lyrics to this song. If any of these attempts to woo a woman prove unsuccessful, go return to step one.
“My, My, My” by Johnny Gill
The Best 90s R&B Music: Johnny Gill demonstrated that, like Bobby Brown and Bell Biv Devoe, he too could be a success on his own, outside of New Edition, with this seductive song, which was yet another big song produced by Babyface and won the Soul Train Music Award for Best Male R&B, Soul single.
My Love Is The Shhh! – Somethin’ For The People
“My Love Is The Shhh!” is one of the lesser-known 90s R&B songs.
Somethin’ For The People, a West Coast trio, combined hip-hop with soul in their song “,” which also included Trina & Tamara, a fellow contemporary R&B duo. Somethin’ For the People never achieved mainstream success, but their songs for Brandy and En Vogue did.
Sounds of Blackness: Upbeat
This inspirational gospel/R&B song, written and produced by the renowned Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, urges listeners to “keep your head up to the sky” and “to hold on to your dreams.” In 1991, it reached No. 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
Deborah Cox’s Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here
Deborah Cox is shocked to learn that a new love has the key to her heart after going through heartbreak. The odd, gospel-influenced success helped make Cox a well-known diva of the 1990s and, with the help of a remix by Hex Hector, finally turned into a homosexual anthem.
So into You by Tamia
The 1998 release of this upbeat love ballad is still Tamia’s most well-known hit. Over the years, Brandy, Fabulous (with Tamia singing the hook), and Childish Gambino have all covered the song.
All My Life by K-Ci & Jojo
Brothers K-Ci and JoJo Hailey’s side project, Love Always, which features more wholesome R&B music, marks a return to their traditional roots after putting their “Freek’n You” of Jodeci days behind them. JoJo never imagined that the song he wrote for his daughter, “All My Life,” would go on to become the duo’s longest-running number-one record of their career and one of the most well-known wedding songs ever.
No Ordinary Love by Sade
The definition of sensuality is Sade. She gives us a seven-minute slow burn of a turbulent love affair that cannot last on her first release from the 1990s.
When Can I See You by Babyface
Baby face’s most popular and commercially successful song is unquestionably this one. Hopefully, the response was “soon,” since Babyface was heartbroken and unwilling to let go of his affection.
I Swear, All-4-One, I Do
This ballad is as serious as it gets, regardless of whether you played it on a mixtape for your middle school crush or danced to it at a party. Although it was initially intended for country music performer John Michael Montgomery, All-4-One turned it into a No. 1 hit in 1995 and received a Grammy for best pop performance.
“Exhale” by Whitney Houston (Shoop)
Whitney Houston made a comeback with this song from the Waiting to Exhale album following the popularity of the Boomerang Soundtrack. The song’s message about rising back up after going through the pain of heartbreak still resonates.
I’m Still in Love: New Edition
The second single from the appropriately named Home Again album saw the group reunite with front man Bobby Brown and their veteran production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to create a sensual jam that stormed the charts. With “I’m Still in Love,” New Edition demonstrated they were no longer just a fresh-faced boy band and were all grown up.
Hopeless by Dionne Farris
Following the popularity of “Tennessee” from Arrested Development and her own song, “I Know,” Dionne Farris’ “Hopeless” was included on the renowned Love Jones Soundtrack. This classic ballad is about a hopeless romantic who never gives up hope.
Bring It All to Me by Blaque
Blaque learned a lot about creating sing-along jams from Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC, who taught him one of the key Y2K R&B cuts. And you can hear J.C. thanks to the remix. N’Sync’s Chasez sings about having “Timbs, baggy jeans, and thug charm.”
Love You Down by INOJ
Eleven years later, in 1997, this incredibly peppy cover of the Ready For The World song from 1986 swept the radio. INFJ’s version of the song, along with her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” was more of a cardio funk class anthem than a slow jam or ballad.
Weekend Love by Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah takes you on a lighthearted voyage into the weekend’s fun, freedom, and sunshine. She gives us the gift of her vocals while leaving the rapping to Jamaican artist Tony Rebel.
Nuttin’ Nyce’s “Down 4 Whateva”
This widely sampled tune from Nuttin’ Nyce may be heard on the Low Down Dirty Shame soundtrack. This song was intended for cruising the streets since it combines West Coast hip-hop taste with strong vocals.
He’s Mine by Mokenstef
He might be doing you but he’s thinking about me, a very open-minded girlfriend talking to her man’s mistress letting her know that, “you might have had him once” but that she’s, “got him all the time,” is how Mokenstef, a combined moniker of the group’s members Mo (Monifa), Ken (Kenya), and Stef (Stefanie), tell it in their song “Azz Izz.” The swaggering
Don’t Take It Personal by Monica (Just One of Dem Days)
When Monica launched this R&B classic, she was only 15 years old. This R&B song with hip-hop influences that sampled LL Cool J’s “Back Seat” became popular among teenagers all over the world.
Trippin in total
One of the most underappreciated R&B bands from the 1990s is Total. This cheerful, upbeat song about losing your cool over your crush was written by Missy Elliott and features her. After peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Trippin” would go on to become their biggest hit.
Where My Girls Are
The biggest hit for 702, which was produced by Missy Elliot and Key Beats, calls for support in the form of female strength. 702 orders all the females in the house to raise one hand to the beat of this hip-hop ladies’ hymn after realising that another lady is plotting to steal her guy.
Say My Name by Destiny’s Child
There was Destiny’s Child before Bey went solo. This Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins-produced song implores the listener to find out whether the man they love is an unfaithful. The song that made Destiny’s Child famous was this one, which served as their breakthrough.
If You Love Me by Brownstone
Brownstone offers their lover an ultimatum to “act like you’re mine in the light and the dark” in this key anthem from the canon of R&B classics told from the perspective of “the other woman.” The song starts as a ballad before it ultimately bursts out into a swaggering New Jack Swing stomp.
Would I Lie To You by Charles and Eddie?
Eddie Chacon and Charles Pettitgrew first spoke to each other while riding the subway in New York City. Charles saw Eddie was holding a Marvin Gaye album and started talking to him. Along with this classic having a 60s soul influence, the rest is history. The group was a one-hit wonder in the US but remained a staple of the UK charts between 1992 and 1995.
Des’ree, “You Gotta Be,”
Thanks to the blend of jazz and soul, “You Gotta Be” was both a motivating, affirming song and one of the most contagious tunes on the radio. In 1994, the UK singer’s biggest hit and personal motto were unavoidable, along with the arresting black-and-white music video that quickly rose to the top of VH1’s most-watched music video list.
Tevin Campbell, “Can We Talk,”
Every person who has ever attempted to summon the confidence to approach their crush has been Tevin Campbell. The theme of “Can We Talk” was the anxiety associated with teenage love, longing, and unanswered words.
I Like the Way by Hi-Five (The Kissing Game)
Hi-“I Five’s like the Way,” another crucial New Jack Swing song, was on the wholesome side of 90s R&B and instantly made Tony Thompson a teen heartthrob. Teddy Riley’s Midas touch helped the song soar to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Joe Public’s Live and Learn
This song, which is another New Jack Swing hit, also includes samples from Steely Dan, Parliament, Sly & the Family Stone, and the J.B. In addition to the production’s head-nodders, the lyrics offer some wise counsel.
The 1990s were without a doubt the heyday of R&B. The best R&B songs of the 90s still sound contemporary, and the current crop of R&B performers who are advancing the genre are influenced by them.
Each of the 90s songs on our list of the top 90s R&B songs represents a turning point in the history of the genre as well as the careers of the performers who sung them, ranging from floor-filling anthems to emotional outbursts and all soulful spots in between.