There’s no denying the evolution of R&B throughout the years. From the groovy disco sounds of the ’70s to the dance heavy synths found in the ’80s, R&B has had the power to take you through an emotional roller coaster decade after decade.
While to some the ’90s might be the era of bubblegum pop or alternative, but to those like us here at ThisIsRnB, it was the golden era of the R&B music that we still love today. Known just as much for it’s introduction of unique and progressive sounds, it was also that era that introduced the world to iconic artists like Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Aaliyah, R. Kelly and many more of today’s most influential acts.
Delivering so many classic R&B hits, the ’90s also hosted the reign of many legendary producers such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface and L.A. Reid, Teddy Riley, Dallas Austin, Timbaland and Missy Elliot, and even Pharrell Williams. It was also the decade that made film soundtracks filled with R&B singles even more anticipated than the films themselves. While the New Jack Swing movement was coming to an end by 1994, the new wave of R&B was far from doing the same. Bringing about teen sensations Aaliyah and Brandy, and pushing R.Kelly into the forefront of the genre with his 12 Play album, the 1990’s brought R&B music into the commercial mainstream and opened up a rarely traveled lane for many artists to cross over to a world that was previously closed to them. Although love songs, ballads and dance tracks were the staples of R&B, there were a few artists who changed the definition indefinitely.
Beginning their reign as Hip-Hop and R&B’s most called upon, Timbaland and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott helped with delivering genre-advancing sounds provided by Ginuwine and an all grown up Aaliyah. Teddy Riley, who contributed so much to the decade, was also grooming his protégés Pharrell Wiliams and Chad Hugo – known as The Neptunes – to create a distinguished sound used by Blackstreet, SWV, and more. By 1997 though these were changing again. The introduction of Neo-Soul began with artists Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Maxwell, who all made their mark on the industry and added another sub bullet underneath the typical definition of R&B. Truly one of the moments that will forever reign supreme in the history of R&B, the ’90s has given us some of the best music to dance, cry, and make love to all at once!
Summer is always one of those times when we love to go back and play our favorites from the past. Join us as we take a stroll back and remember the times that had us “All Cried Out,” getting “Hot Like Fire,” creating a “Fantasy,” and “Too Close” to R&B perfection.
Jump into our ‘Summer Playlist (‘90s Edition)‘ below!!