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DAR Music: The 5 Greatest R&B Years Of The 90's

By @TrueGodImmortal 




The 90s were a great decade in music overall, but especially in hip hop and R&B. We've covered the years in R&B, looking at album after album that made that year special. As I was looking back at some of the years in R&B during the 90's, I began to wonder. Which year is the best? Which of these years have the best albums, best artists, and best releases? That led me to write this article. Today, I rank the greatest years of R&B during the 90's. Let's get into it.

5. 1992 
(Notable Releases: SWV's It's About Time, Sade's Love Deluxe, Mary J. Blige's What's The 411, Silk's Lose Control)





-When I look back at the year 1992, I realize how important it is to the genre and most of all, how important it is to the beginning of the apex of the 90'sR&B wave. As the end of the New Jack Swing era came about, we were treated to so many great albums from great artists, like Silk making their debut with Lose Control, SWV making their entrance in the game with It's About Time, the arrival of TLC, the arrival of Mary J. Blige, albums from Portrait, Shai, Jade, Sade and her classic Love Deluxe, En Vogue's classic Funky Divas, and so much more. 1992 is one of the best years of the 90's for R&B, and it could be even higher honestly. It's that good of a year.

4. 1994
(Notable Releases: Mary J. Blige's My Life, Boyz II Men's II, Aaliyah's Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, TLC's CrazySexyCool)





-I struggled with ranking 1994. It's one of the most important years in the genre in general. While the year is top heavy in releases, there are some disappointing albums. Still, there's the debut of Aaliyah, the 2nd album from Mary J., the huge mega sophomore album from TLC, as well as Boyz II Men's diamond selling sophomore album also. There were debut albums from Brandy, Blackstreet, and Usher, along with an underrated debut from Zhane, and two returns from legends Barry White and Anita Baker. 1994 isn't the greatest year in R&B for the 90's, but it's so close to the top that it definitely needs to crack the top 5, and has a claim to the top 3 as well. The list of successful albums and classics from 1994 is a long one and that's what earned it a spot here.

3. 1995
(Notable Releases: D'Angelo's Brown Sugar, Mariah Carey's Daydream, R. Kelly's Self Titled Album, Michael Jackson's HIStory, Prince's The Gold Experience, Soul 4 Real's Candy Rain)




-The ranking of this year is more about quantity and quality combined. There are some huge releases this year, from Jodeci dropping their third album, an underrated project, all the way to the new Michael Jackson project that garnered a lot of attention. Prince would release a very solid album, Soul 4 Real would take the world by storm with Candy Rain, Groove Theory debuted, the powerful Waiting To Exhale album would be a huge hit this year, along with hit albums from Adina Howard, Monica, Faith Evans, and All-4-One. The biggest albums of the year came from legendary names like D'Angelo, R. Kelly, and Mariah Carey, justifying the placement of this year in the top 3. The decade has so many great years that it's not easy to narrow it down but this year definitely deserves a top 3 spot.

2. 1998
(Notable Releases: Dru Hill's Enter The Dru, Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, Brandy's Never Say Never, Maxwell's Embrya)





-I wanted to put this year at no. 1. It's full of so many great albums and so much amazing music that it was tough not to give it the top spot. The hardest part about ranking these years was figuring out what criteria makes one year better than the next. For 1998, there are some monumental releases from Lauryn Hill dropping her solo debut to Monica returning with a new project all the way to the debut of Mya. Brandy would return with her sophomore project Never Say Never while Dru Hill dropped their 2nd classic Enter The Dru. R. Kelly returned with his R. album, alongside releases from 112, Total, Xscape, Deborah Cox, and so many more. There was so much that was great about this year, it's undoubtedly one of the best for sure.

1. 1996
(Notable Releases: Toni Braxton's Secrets, Blackstreet's Another Level, Dru Hill's Self Titled Album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, Ginuwine's The Bachelor)






-Is it a surprise to see 1996 as the no. 1 year in R&B. It shouldn't be. You have albums from groups like Total, 112 and Dru Hill, both of whom dropped classics right out of the gate. You have the return of New Edition, with their overdue comeback album Home Again hitting shelves in 1996. Blackstreet dropped Another Level, Maxwell made his epic debut in music this year, Aaliyah dropped her biggest album, Ginuwine delivered a solid debut album, SWV released what may be their best album, Keith Sweat released a comeback album that gave us an infamous hit, 702 debuted, Tony Rich, Babyface, Donell Jones, and many more gave us music to remember. 1996 is the best year of the 90's in R&B.

-True

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