If you know anything about the man writing this article, you know one thing...I am a R&B fan! When I'm riding down the highway watching the sitting light flash before my eyes, the soundtrack for the expedition is usually a playlist full of slow jams. Whether I'm lounging around the house or getting dressed to hit the streets, I'd prefer to catch the mellow vibes of some 90s R&B than turn up to some trap music. With that being said, I thought it was only right that I put together a Top 5 List of my favorite R&B groups. To all you millennials looking to discover some good R&B, start with these groups and go from there!
This one may confuse you for one of two reasons. Either you don't remember how lit Boyz II Men was in their prime or you're wondering why they're not higher on the list. At the height of the success, no one was outselling these Philadelphia boys. As a matter of fact, no other group on this list even comes close to the 25 million plus records they've sold in the US. They had a few moderate hits in the early 2000s, but in the 90s, Boyz II Men WAS R&B at its best.
When The Notorious B.I.G proclaimed, "Room 112 is where the players dwell", he officially put his stamp of approval on these young ATLiens. 112 were those smooth, clean-cut crooners signed to Bad Boy, most notably known for their silky ballads. For a group signed to label with the toughest rapper in the game, Biggie Smalls, these gentlemen didn't seem too far out of pocket when they hit the scene. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who knows anything about good R&B that doesn't like 112. Overall, I would say 112 is probably the most solid group on this list.
I don't think you can discuss R&B, especially within the past 30 years without mentioning these Baltimore boys. Dru Hill made a big splash in the game when they first touched down. Heavily influenced by the fathers to their style, Jodeci, their vocals spoke directly to your soul while the lyrics of their songs tugged at your heartstrings. Despite the many lineup changes of the years, Dru Hill never lost the one thing that made them stand out from the rest of the groups of their era...their church-bred voices. These boys sang! Period!
Now these guys are hands down my favorite group on this list! They are probably the most consistent group on this list as well. While other groups on this list have experienced loss of members or decade long hiatus' between projects, JE has been consistently releasing music and touring for the entire span of 20 plus years they've been in the game. Jagged Edge were those smooth ATL boys who were still rough around the edges. When I had the chance to have a conversation Brian Casey, I told him how much I admired the fact that Jagged Edge always spoke to the women on behalf of the fellas. It wasn't that lovey-dovey R&B that became extremely popular at one point in the 90s. Jagged Edge was strong, cool but most importantly, real. They made music that even thugs could relate to. Had street cats ready to walk the aisle with the ladies in their lives with songs like "Let's Get Married". While it doesn't look like I'll ever get a chance to join the group, like I always dreamed I would, it's cool. It's still JE 4 Life!
Now this one may have a lot of people scratching their heads. But, I couldn't give the top slot to anyone but Jodeci. There has never been another group to hit the game harder than KC, JoJo, Dalvin and DeVante. Though they may try to escape the title, Jodeci were the original R&B thugs! They were the predecessors to groups like Dru Hill and Jagged Edge. If it wasn't enough that Jodeci practically ran R&B from 1990-1996, when KC&JoJo broke off into their two-man group it added a new life to the groups' legacy. Even as their popularity slowed up, the fans were still fiendin' for new Jodeci music. The only other group that can go away for over a decade and still have people waiting for a reunion like that is New Edition. Jodeci's has solidified their place in music. Even if their accolades doesn't indicate their level of importance to R&B, their timeless music is what make them one of the best to ever do it.
Think we missed someone? Left somebody out? Drop a comment and let us know some of your favorite R&B Groups.
Remon is a multi-media personality. He is the founder of The Urban Advocate, co-host of The Vincent Tucker Radio Show and videographer.