Whilst The 90s is arguably the golden era of R&B, nostalgia reigns in the popular culture of today. I can only speak of 90s R&B because that is what I grew up listening too the most.
I was born in the 90s, therefore, I was too young to appreciate, the slick styles, refreshing sense of cool and the “make up with your bae music”. Luckily, I grew up with an older sister who was born in the 80’s, and was obsessed with music just like me. Around my neighborhood, my sister use to work for, this, CD and vinyl store, where she would bring back a box of different albums ranging from Dru Hill, 2PAC, Donell Jones, Usher, Faith Evans, Monica, the whole lot.
I was such a naughty kid growing up, and her room was my second room so whenever she was at work I would always steal her things without permission. So one day, I discovered a box of CD’s and just spent the whole day listening to every album. I can’t remember the very first album, I picked out but I remember “Usher My Way” 1997, was something, that was in the collection. No idea what, I was doing listening to this Usher album at age 7 and singing along to Nice & Slow, like I knew what anything meant at the time, but my ears longed for the catchy melody, the effortless vibratos and how refreshing and good the tune made me feel, even at such a young age.
I knew what good music sounded like and I knew I wanted to do something related to music when I grow older. It slowly became a consistent thing, to listen to a new album from my sisters stack of CD’s. I would sneak into her room and listen to a new album everyday and that’s how I developed my love and appreciation for 90’s R&B. I meet people so much older than me, who are always taken back and stunned to find that, the most played playlist on my phone is my old school R&B mix, that has tracks older than me, but didn’t Aaliyah teach us that Age ain’t nothing but a number. Lol no pun intended.
Let’s take a trip back in history
Who remembers the Epic Battle between Brandy Vs. Monica?
Who remembers the petty feud between Brandy and Monica in the Boy is Mine.
I still belt out this duet, with my best-friend, and I always play Brandy because she is my all time favorite artist. I choreographed hand movements, sideward glances and everything to go with the chart topping joint. This is 1998 classic, shows true teenage life. As the warring ladies come to their senses and call a truce, kicking the two timing fella to the curb. “Sisters before misters”
The Princess of R&B
One in a million, street but sweet, Aaliyah was R&Bs princess. She was the first to introduce Hip Hop R & B and made a name for herself as being the 14-year-old feminine tomboy and we see it with the Back & Forth lead single in 1994 produced by music crooner R Kelly who introduced the world to her first album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
She was the first female to be able to sing in soprano over a heavy hip hop oriented beat via “Hot Like Fire, one in A Million, If Your Girl Only Knew, and more. She worked alongside Missy Elliott and Timberland who gave us 1996 One in A Million, sexy, fun, spacey vibe that influenced many soul & R&B singers of this generation
Lauryn Hill Ruled The World
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a neo-soul triumph and strong candidate for greatest solo debut of all time.
Hip-Hop And Soul Finally Became One
“Tha Crossroads” is a song written and performed by hip hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, with an R&B/Soul beat taken from their album E. 1999 Eternal and released in 1996. The song is dedicated to the group’s mentor, the late gangsta rap icon Eazy-E, and other family members.
Neo Soul Kept It Real
The neo-soul movement was born in the ’80s, when singers like Sade and Terence Trent D’Arby introduced the funky, retro-style R&B jams. The sound peaked in the mid-’90s, as D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, Erykah Badu’s Baduizm, and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill gave the hip-hop generation a history lesson while showing the way forward.
Doom, Doom, Doom Da-Da
Or, more correctly, “Doom, doom, doom, da-da / Doom, doom, doom, da-da / Da, da, da, da / Da-da / Da-daa-daa-daa.” All the words needed to express the Boys II Men Acapella.
’90s R&B Could Be Really Sweet And Really Dirty
The focus of R&B tends to be love, and that can mean everything from innocent infatuation
….to getting buck wild on the kitchen floor.
So Many Girl Groups
Everyone remembers TLC, En Vogue, and Destiny’s Child, but there was also SWV, Jade, Xscape, Brownstone, 702, Total, Allure, Zhane, and about three dozen others.
So Many Guy Groups
Boyz II Men and Jodeci, but Dru Hill, 112, Silk, Shai, Jagged Edge, and Mint Condition also deserve props.
K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life” Met All Your Romantic Needs
In 1998, if you were at a prom or wedding and didn’t hear “All My Life” at least once, it’s a safe bet the DJ told off. ”
One Tony Wasn’t Enough
And of course, my birthday song…..
I’m an MC fan, and all MC fans know that we don’t say birthdays because it symbolises getting old but we say Anniversary as that is more of a celebration
When Hip-hop was still alive and Kickin it
Love you Sis