DAR Music: 8 Classic R&B Singles From 1998

By @TrueGodImmortal

The 1990s were the best time of R&B music and despite some opinions that are saying otherwise (they're wrong), today, we wanted to take a look back at one of the most important years of 90's R&B: 1998. While last week we looked at 7 classic albums from 1993, we wanted to fast forward 5 years and take a look at some of the best singles that were released during this pivotal year in the genre. Some of these songs were released on the actual album perhaps a little earlier or later, but as a single, every song on this list was released in 1998. Which songs make our list of 8? Keep reading on and find out.

*Deborah Cox- Nobody's Supposed To Be Here 

-Many people tend to forget how important Deborah Cox was to the genre during the end of the decade. She was an essential voice of course, and one of the more underrated women in R&B, but this song sought to change all of that. This single is quite possibly the most important single of this year and of the late 90's in R&B, as it would be a no. 1 R&B hit for 14 weeks and also crack the no. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks. This song is one of the most recognizable songs from the 90's in terms of the genre and it turns 20 officially in September.

*Aaliyah- Are You That Somebody 

-This single just turned 20 a few weeks ago in June and it conjures up a number of memories whenever you hear it I'm sure. The Timbaland produced banger was a game changer in many ways, as the song would become immensely popular and a top hit on the charts and is still one of the biggest songs in the career of the late Aaliyah, reaching no. 1 on both of the charts that Billboard registered it for and it was all over radio. The single would open even more eyes to the talent Aaliyah possessed, as this song was nominated for a Grammy. The single officially turned 20 in June.

*Brandy and Monica- The Boy Is Mine

-Released in May 1998, this single turned 20 just a few months ago and it is still a true classic in many ways. The back and forth of the song and the entire premise made this song instantly a hit, as I'm sure a number of women could relate. The video was also a major hit on BET and MTV. The Darkchild produced single was no. 1 on the charts for 13 weeks, which is an amazing feat and it catapulted Monica and Brandy to the highest height of their career. This single turned 20 officially in May.

*K-Ci and JoJo- All My Life

-So TECHNICALLY, this song should be 21 years old because the album Love Always turned 21 in June of this month, but as a SINGLE, this song didn't actually get released until March 1998. The album from K-Ci and Jojo would be successful from the gate, but it would be this song that would take the duo to another level together. It was a simple ballad with a simple piano riff backed by an extremely catchy hook that took this song to the height it needed to be. Self produced and written, this single has become a karaoke favorite all throughout middle America and an instantly recognizable song that still gets a reaction if you play it anywhere. The song would be successful, reaching no. 1 on the charts for three weeks and becoming a certified platinum single. Surprisingly, this is the biggest single in the career of the duo and Jodeci together if you look at it that way. That alone makes this a classic.

*Dru Hill featuring Redman- How Deep Is Your Love

-So, Dru Hill was on fire as the year 1998 came about and they wouldn't show any signs of letting up with this track. A bit more upbeat than their previous hits, this song was a huge success for their Enter The Dru album and on the Rush Hour soundtrack. With a solid verse from Redman, along with a catchy hook, this single skyrocketed up the charts to reach no. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a no. 1 R&B hit for multiple weeks. This single officially turns 20 in September.

*Tyrese- Sweet Lady

-Well, 20 years ago, Tyrese wasn't known for his social media antics, his role in the Fast and Furious franchise, or for his movie being played 20 times a week on BET. No, at this point, Tyrese was essentially a young upstart artist who wanted to reach the top of the charts, and he would see success with this single. While not a number one smash hit, it did reach no. 9 on the R&B charts, top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and would have a ton of radio play. Not roo bad for a relative newcomer to the music world and the R&B landscape. This single turns 20 officially in November.

*Mya and Sisqo- It's All About Me

-I remember when Mya first came onto the scene, everyone on my block fell in love. Slim, lightskin, pretty face, and she was making songs with all of the artists we respected. That might sound insignificant to you of course, but to us, it was very important and extremely relevant for whatever reason to me. However, this single capitalized on the popularity of Dru Hill and allowed Mya to make a name for herself instantly. The track would reach no. 2 on the R&B charts and no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it an excellent introduction for the newest songstress in the genre.

*R. Kelly- Half On A Baby

-Well..... there were plenty of hits off of the double album that R. Kelly dropped in 1998, but perhaps none were greater than this classic, as the title has become a regular saying, usually in a hilarious context, based on this song (the saying was around before, but in the culture, many people jumped on this saying after the song dropped). While the song was never as big on the charts as it could have been, this is one song that exceeds chart performance. It turns 20 officially in August and although it didn't climb up the charts like that, it was still one of the most played singles on radio and a legendary song in R. Kelly's catalog.



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