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The Best 90’s R&B Hits Ranked by Fans

Word. Forget those corny “best of” lists that water down the ’90s R&B fire. This ain’t your mama’s nostalgia trip. We ranking these R&B bangers based on how hard they hit the soul, not just those sugary-sweet melodies. We talkin’ about the joints that made you sweat on the dancefloor, that had you belting along in the ride, or set the mood for unforgettable late-night rendezvous.

See, the ’90s was a golden era for R&B. Hip hop swagger had fully infused the genre, beats got harder, and the vocals? Whew! Artists weren’t afraid to get real, gettin’ raw and raunchy, while still droppin’ those honeyed love ballads. It was pure fire mixed with satin sheets.

So, brace yourself. We’re diving deep, dissecting these classics. Some choices gonna have you clutchin’ your pearls, others gonna spark heated debates. But through it all, we givin’ these iconic jams the shine they deserve, ’cause they shaped not just R&B, but a whole generation.

I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly


This song is an anthem of hope and determination. R. Kelly’s soaring vocals and the inspirational lyrics tap into a universal yearning to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. Despite the controversies surrounding the artist, the song’s message still resonates – it’s a reminder that even when life gets tough, we have the strength within to believe in ourselves and make our dreams a reality.

Ex-Factor – Lauryn Hill


This is not just a song, it’s a gut-wrenching masterpiece. Lauryn Hill’s raw vocals lay her soul bare, exploring the pain and complexity of a failed relationship. The lyrics are poetic and cut deep, while the soulful melody lingers long after the song fades. “Ex-Factor” is a timeless exploration of love, loss, and the struggle to let go.

The Boy Is Mine – Brandy & Monica


This iconic duet is a masterclass in female rivalry and vocal powerhouse. Brandy and Monica trade verses with attitude and sass, each determined to claim their man. The beat is bouncy, the harmonies are flawless, and the drama? Delicious. This song became the soundtrack for every girl who ever had her heart played with.

Fantasy – Mariah Carey


This track is Mariah at her finest. Her soaring vocals, those iconic whistle notes, and the dreamy melody combine to create pure pop magic. It’s laced with 90s nostalgia and that feel-good energy that gets everyone singing along. Whether you were crushing hard or just daydreaming of a getaway, “Fantasy” unlocked a world of pure escapism.

Red Light Special – TLC


TLC pushed boundaries with this track, tackling the topic of sex from a woman’s perspective with boldness and confidence. The beat is hypnotic, the lyrics are steamy, and those whispered vocals? Pure fire. This song oozes empowerment and a whole lot of heat, proving that R&B could be both sensual and thought-provoking.

Creep – TLC


TLC redefined girl groups with their bold style and unapologetic lyrics. “Creep” is a classic tale of revenge for a cheating lover, and the ladies serve it up with a side of sass. The beat is infectious, the harmonies are on point, and the message? Timeless. This is an anthem for anyone who’s been wronged and wants to walk away with their head held high.

Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe


BBD brought the New Jack Swing energy with this banger. It’s got a hard-hitting beat, slick rhymes, and a whole lot of attitude. It’s a reminder that R&B could be both sexy and tough, a combo that defined much of the 90s sound. This track is still a go-to for anyone looking to hype themselves up.

End of the Road – Boyz II Men


Another Boyz II Men classic, and for good reason. This ballad is an emotional powerhouse. The harmonies are breathtaking, the lyrics tug at your heartstrings, and it builds to a crescendo that still gives listeners chills. It’s a timeless song about love, loss, and moving on, a guaranteed tear-jerker.

Twisted – Keith Sweat


This track is where sensuality meets a little bit of darkness. Keith Sweat turns up the heat with his raspy vocals and lyrics dripping with desire. It’s got a hypnotic beat that lingers long after the song is over, making it perfect for those late-night encounters. This is R&B at its most seductive.

I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) – Hi-Five


This jam is a sugar rush of 90s R&B joy. Hi-Five’s infectious energy and those playful lyrics make it impossible not to sing along. The beat is pure pop perfection, and this track defined what it meant to have a carefree crush back in the day. It’s nostalgic, fun, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Anytime – Brian McKnight


Brian McKnight’s voice is pure velvet, and this track is a showcase for his silky smooth vocals. It’s a timeless love song, full of promises and devotion. The melody is both tender and soaring, guaranteed to give even the coldest hearts goosebumps. This is the type of song couples would slow-dance to under the moonlight.

If I Ever Fall In Love – Shai


Pure, unadulterated 90s romance. Shai’s acapella opening sets the tone for this heartfelt ballad. It’s filled with yearning and a touch of insecurity, perfect for those moments when you’re falling hard but unsure if it’ll last. The harmonies are lush, and the lyrics capture that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling like no other.

No Diggity – Blackstreet ft. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen


This is a straight-up masterclass in 90s R&B. Blackstreet’s harmonies are flawless, Dr. Dre drops a legendary verse, and Queen Pen adds that extra dose of attitude. The beat is instantly recognizable, and this track defined the sound of an entire era. It’s cocky, confident, and impossible to sit still to.

Always On Time – Ja Rule ft. Ashanti


This collab is iconic. Ja Rule’s gruff delivery gets perfectly balanced by Ashanti’s sweet vocals. The lyrics might be about a less-than-healthy love, but the chemistry between these two? Unmatched. It’s that perfect blend of rough and smooth that defined early 2000s R&B.

Doin’ It – LL Cool J


LL Cool J’s got that old-school hip hop charisma, and this track is his ode to getting it on. It’s sultry, a little cocky, and a whole lot of fun. The beat is infectious, and LL’s verses are pure poetry for anyone feeling the heat. This one’s still a go-to when it’s time to set the mood right.

Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison


This track is an undeniable 90s classic. That opening line? Legendary. Mark Morrison’s comeback story is woven into the song, giving it an underdog edge that’s impossible to resist. It’s got swagger, a catchy melody, and a beat that still makes crowds go wild. It might be about heartbreak, but its vibe is pure triumph.

Don’t Walk Away – Jade


Pure girl-group fire. Jade brought the sass, the harmonies, and a whole lot of attitude. This song is about knowing your worth and not settling for less, a timeless message delivered with a catchy beat and fierce vocals. It’s a reminder that sometimes the best kind of love is self-love, and that’s what makes this track still resonate with women years later.

Pony – Ginuwine


This song is pure, unabashed sensuality. Ginuwine’s smooth vocals and that hypnotic beat set the mood like no other. It’s the track that launched a thousand stripteases and probably a whole lot of babies conceived in the 90s. The lyrics might be a little (okay, a lot) raunchy, but that’s part of its charm. This is classic R&B heat, undiluted.

This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan


The ultimate 90s party anthem. This jam is guaranteed to get the entire crowd bouncing. Montell’s got that smooth, laid-back flow, and the beat is pure feel-good energy. It’s impossible to stay still when this track drops, and it’s been a staple of house parties and club nights ever since it first hit the airwaves.

Freak Like Me – Adina Howard


This cut pushed the envelope, blurring the lines between hip hop and R&B in the boldest way. Adina owned her sexuality and wasn’t afraid to lay it all out there. It’s raw, it’s unapologetic, and it was an anthem for women taking control of their desires. Even today, the boldness and the beat still set dancefloors on fire.

I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men


This track is the undisputed king of 90s slow jams. Boyz II Men perfected the art of the love ballad, and this one sits at the throne. Those harmonies? Lush. The lyrics? Pure poetry for the soul. Whether you were getting hot and heavy or just dreaming of romance, this song defined an entire era of R&B love.

Weak – SWV


These ladies dropped one of the most iconic R&B girl-power anthems of the decade. That opening line, “I get so weak in the knees…” – every girl felt that. The harmonies are flawless, the beat lingers, and the lyrics capture that overwhelming feeling of falling head over heels. Whether you were going through a breakup or riding high on new love, SWV managed to put those emotions perfectly into words.
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Can We Talk – Tevin Campbell


This song is the OG for any dude who was too shy to approach a girl. Tevin’s got that youthful vulnerability in his voice, making it the ultimate anthem for those awkward teen crushes. This jam oozes that innocent R&B charm, and even with all the fumbling, those smooth vocals always manage to seal the deal. It’s a testament to how R&B in the 90s could be sweet, sexy, and totally relatable all at once.

I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Badd


Okay, this one’s the definition of a slow jam classic. Sure, the lyrics are a little cheesy, maybe even cringeworthy by today’s standards. But back in the 90s? This track was setting the mood everywhere. The harmonies, the beat that drops right at the chorus – it’s pure R&B seduction. It might not be the most intellectual cut, but it’s a guaranteed throwback that’ll make anyone who remembers the decade smile.

My Boo – Ghost Town DJ’s


This one’s pure 90s nostalgia. That goofy chorus? Yeah, we all sang it at the top of our lungs back in the day, whether we were crushing hard or rolling our eyes at someone else’s lovey-dovey vibes. This jam is like a sonic yearbook signature – maybe slightly cringe now, but it still brings that feel-good energy that made R&B at that time so dang infectious.

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