Unless you are living on another planet, I’m sure you or someone close to you have made the statement, ” Music is just not what it used to be “. Most producers have a catalog of R&B beats for sale but not enough songs with relevant content. Don’t get me wrong Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Jeremih, etc are some great artist and they have hit songs to prove their mark on R&B, but the 90’s music was full of raw emotions and story telling.
R&B music in the 90’s was emotional; the artist wasn’t afraid to show how they truly feel about their situation. Not only did they have dope R&B beats, but the lyrics captivated you and helped you through life’s ups and downs. Check out the 90’s song by Carl Thomas, ” I Wish” .
Carl’s lyrics took you down memory lane in this song, showing how he bumps into his childhood crush later in life and finding out she’s now unhappily married with kids. Today’s music would glorify taking another man’s woman, but in Carl’s song he was in pain because he knew she was married and they could never be together. You don’t see this type of “keeping it real” too much in our R&B music today. It’s hard to find the intense sentiment we had in 90’s R&B music, such as the song by Uncle Sam, ” I Don’t Ever Want To See You Again”
Back in the 90’s there was no such thing as the DM, they wrote love letters and lyrics straight from the heart. Today, I don’t think you will find too many R&B artist writing songs about being cheated on, the pride and ego will not let it happen for most. Real R&B music is all about being vulnerable and letting your emotions hang on your sleeve. As a producer, I love creating R&B beats, but I would rather those beats turn into the beautiful songs such as we heard from the 90’s era. We need more songs about true love rather than about porn and hot noise. When you heard certain R&B music it made you feel good about being with the person you love, such as ” They Don’t Know ” by Jon B.
I’m not going to say that 90’s R&B didn’t have some erotic music or sex driven songs, what I’m saying is sex wasn’t always the focal point as it is in today’s R&B music. Artist such as Joe and Maxwell were able to write clever lyrics to express their sexual desire for a woman respectfully. A lot of the R&B lyrics today can be quite vulgar and disrespectful, but the music has become so one-dimensional that some women accept the disrespect as flattery. I’m not totally against all R&B music today, I’m just saying we still need that soul touching heartfelt music that can make you cry and fall in love at the same time.
Here is a list of some of my favorite 90’s R&B songs
- Jodeci – Cry For You
- Boys II Men – 4 Seasons of Loneliness
- Ghostown DJ’s – My Boo
- Total – Kissin You
- Shai – If I Ever Fall In Love
- Tony Rich Project – Nobody Knows
- Blackstreet – Before I Let You Go
- Dru Hill – These Are The Times
- TLC – Water Falls
- Montell Jordan – This How We Do It