Many people consider the 90’s the Golden Era when it comes to hip-hop but there are also others who believe the 90’s was the greatest era for love songs or slow jams.
Whether it was groups like Jodeci, Guy, or Boyz II Men, or solo artists like Babyface, Johnny Gill, or Donnell Jones, the hits were endless. This was an era when we actually still slow danced or even made mixtapes to give to the girl we were trying to talk to at the moment when our words were not enough. We took a poll and the survey says these were the top love songs of the 90’s by Black male artists.
Can We Talk – Tevin Campbell “
“Can We Talk” is a song recorded by R&B singer Tevin Campbell and composed and produced by Babyface. It was the first single to be released from his double-platinum second release I’m Ready. This song spoke to many young men who wanted to say something to the girl of their dreams however they couldn’t quite find the words at first.
Anniversary – Toni Tony Tone’
“Anniversary” is a song by R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!. It was released on September 14, 1993, as the second single from their studio album Sons of Soul (1993). The song was produced by Tony! Toni! Toné! and written by group member Raphael Saadiq and keyboardist Carl Wheeler. We all know who Raphael Saadiq went on to be and this joint will live on far beyond his legacy.
My My My – Johnny Gill
“Put on your red dress and slip on your high heels, and some of that sweet perfume, it sure smells good on you,” are the lyrics to this classic Johnny Gill song. “My, My, My” is a number-one R&B single by singer-songwriter Johnny Gill.
As the second single from Gill’s second self-titled album, the hit song, with backing vocals performed by After 7, as well as a jazz solo performed by saxophonist Kenny G, spent two weeks at number-one on the US R&B chart, and made the number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Come & Talk to Me – Jodeci
“I’ve been watching you so very long…,” and we all know the rest of this song. Whether you enjoy the original or the hip-hop version, Jodeci’s “Come & Talk to Me” is an absolute classic. Another song that speaks to the moment a young man is trying to figure out how to talk to that special someone he had his eye on.
This joint from Jodeci’s debut album Forever My Lady (1991). The song was the fourth single released in promotion for the album in March 1992. As the third number one R&B hit for Jodeci, “Come and Talk to Me” spent number 1 on the R&B chart for two weeks and peaked just one position shy of the Top 10 as a pop hit. The song also topped the R&B year-end chart for 1992.
Freak Me – Silk
“Cause tonight baby, I wanna get freak with you,” are lyrics that will never leave my head. I heard “Freak Me” so many times on WGCI back in the day, I almost knew when it was coming on the radio. “Freak Me” is a song by R&B group Silk. It was released in February 1993 as the second single from their debut album, Lose Control.
It was co-written and co-produced by Keith Sweat. The song was the group’s highest-charting hit, reaching number-one on both the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, and the U.S. Hot R&B Singles chart for eight weeks.
Breakin My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes) – Mint Condition
How many girls back in the day absolutely knew without a doubt that Mint Condition was singing to them. Most people didn’t even know that “Pretty Brown Eyes” was only part of the title of this banger. The song was issued as the second single from Mint Condition’s debut album Meant to Be Mint.
The song was written by band members Jeffrey Allen, Lawrence Waddell and Stokley Williams. Released in 1991 the song is their biggest hit to date, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992. The single spent 34 weeks total on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and 20 weeks in the top 40 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.
Bump & Grind – R. Kelly
With all the allegations against R Kelly we are by no means condoning any of the behavior but we can’t deny R Kelly’s impact on the 90’s sound of R&B music. Bump N Grind was released on January 25, 1994 as the second single from his debut solo studio album 12 Play (1993).
The track became a number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and it also spent twelve weeks at number one on the US Hot R&B Songs chart as Kelly’s third number-one R&B hit, becoming the longest-running number-one of 1994 in the US, and the longest-running R&B single at that time.
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All My Life 98 – K-Ci & Jo Jo
Many didn’t think the Haley brothers would have success outside of Jodeci but that wasn’t the case. “All My Life” was produced and written by the artists, brothers Joel “JoJo” Hailey and Rory Bennett for K-Ci & JoJo’s debut studio album, Love Always (1997).
The song was released to airplay in December 1997; it was released physically on January 6, 1998 as the third single from the album through MCA Records. commercial success, and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. It was certified platinum in the US, and was the duo’s longest-running number-one single of their career.
If I Ever Fall in Love – Shai
How many us tried to hit that high note of this R&B classic when Shai sang, “My friend?” “If I Ever Fall in Love reached number 2 in the US in 1992, and peaked at number two on the US R&B chart. Its eight weeks at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
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End of the Road – Boyz II Men
“We belong together and you know that I’m right,” are the classic opening lines to Boyz II Men’s massive hit “End of the Road.” The song was released in 1992 and written and produced by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons.
The song appeared on the soundtrack for one of my favorite movies, “Boomerang.” Boyz II Men experienced overwhelming domestic and international success with this joint and the song is considered one of the most successful songs of all time. In the United States, “End of the Road” spent a then record breaking 13 weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100