The 90s were an awesome time for anyone alive at the time. I was a kid during this period, but the music will always be stuck in my head. Here’s my favorite albums from the best decade for music! It was tough creating this, since it is my favorite decade of music next to the 80s.
20. En Vogue- Born to Sing (1990).
The Cali native divas lived up to the name of their album. They debuted with their hit single “Hold On,” & became a force to be reckoned with. Songs like strange, lies, don’t go, part of me & you don’t have to worry demonstrates how these divas RULED the game in the 90s.
19. Miki Howard – Femme Fatale (1992).
I have to show love to my Midwestern musicians! Miki Howard from Chicago released this masterpiece when I was two months old. The Love under New Management songstress is shining through on songs such as ain’t nobody like you, and release me; Miki’s covers of Good Morning Heartache and This Bitter Earth is what captures your attention. Miki didn’t care for being the biggest R&B star. She just wanted to sing her jazz like her idol Billie Holiday.
18. Madonna – Erotica (1992).
The queen of stirring up the pot, Madonna won with this album. Unfortunately, she released this album with her infamous sex book, & it got lost in the sauce as I like to say. Songs like Deeper and Deeper, In this life & Bye, Bye Baby is what makes this album a gem.
17. Whitney Houston – I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990).
Nippy’ third studio album is my favorite out of them all. Being a R&B album all of the way, Whitney proved that she was not just a black pop girl. She excels on All the Man I need, the Babyface produced Anymore, Miracle & We didn’t know..her duet with Stevie Wonder.
16. Destiny’s Child – The Writing’s On The Wall (1999).
Sophomore slump WHO? The Houston, TX natives proved they were here to stay with their second studio effort. With hit songs such as Bills, Bills, Bills, Jumpin’ Jumpin’, Say My Name & Bug-a-Boo, the divas hit up the charts! Even with album cuts like Confessions, Temptation & If you leave, you see that baby Beyoncé was on her way to greatness.
15. Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton (1993).
Toni Michele Braxton is a treasure in the music industry & is one of my favorite musicians period. After her introduction on the Boomerang Soundtrack, her debut album dropped in 93. An ALBUM, it sure is. This 12 track LP is very impossible to skip through. Toni shines through on every track, & shows the girls how to make an entrance into the world of music.
Tupac’s fourth studio album was a masterpiece. It was the only double album for Death Row, and almost every song on the album is timeless! My favorites on this record are Run tha Streetz, I ain’t mad at cha, How Do U Want It, What’z ya phone #..basically everything on the album.
After the heartbreaking My Life, Mary made several changes in her life, & led a positive life…which is evidently shown in Share My World. The feel good jam Love Is All We Need featuring Nas is a favorite of mine, & numerous others. Her cover of Natalie Cole’s “Our Love,” is a gem & then some. Mary never disappoints.
12. N.W.A. – Niggaz4Life (1991.)
A forgotten album by the legendary rap group N.W.A. (without Ice Cube,) it is easily the best rap album to come out of 1991. It’s the group’s final album together following Dr. Dre going to Death Row and Eazy-E’s untimely death in 95..but I think the album title resembles how the members felt about each other. It has heavily sexual themes on this album (She Swallowed It, I’d Rather Fuck You,) and the most petty song I have ever heard, automobile. I’d give this album a listen because it’s totally underrated.
11. Janet Jackson – janet. (1993.)
The album that proved that Janet is not successful due to the fact that she’s a Jackson. In my opinion, janet. is Jackson’s magnum opus because she shines on topics such as intimacy, being sexually liberated while protecting yourself and expressing yourself as an African-American woman. One of her signature songs That’s the way Love Goes, derives from this album, along with album cuts like If, Throb, The Body that Loves You & the pro-black woman anthem New Agenda. “& to a world sick with Racism, get well soon.”
“I’ll never be an angel. I’ll never be a saint, it’s true.” Madonna’s 6th studio effort came at a controversial time in her career, where people thought she went too far with her sex book. I love to call her R&Bdonna because she worked with Dallas Austin & Babyface. Her best work, if you ask me!
Aaliyah did not disappoint with her sophomore record. Her most beloved songs are here.
“I have the Faith, that can move any mountain. Faith that can conquer anything.” The Jersey native proved to do just that with her debut. After writing for Pebbles, Usher & Mary J. Blige, Faith became the First Lady of Bad Boy with hit signature songs like “Soon as I get Home” & “You Used to Love Me.” Her debut May chronicle her marriage to the late Biggie Smalls, but with the Isaac Hayes sampling “No Other Love” & jazzy tune “Give it to Me,” Faith gives us R&B & still does to this day.
The velvet rope is Janet’s most riveting album to date. The concept from this record is the need to feel special. It can bring out the best and worst in us. The bold themes of depression, homophobia, bisexuality, domestic violence & bondage..makes Janet a winner. Revisit this record.
released after Big’s untimely death, this rap masterpiece proves that had he lived, he would’ve released more greatness. The album title lives up to it’s name.
Michael Jackson. That’s all I have to say. This flawless album was a favorite of mine growing up. New Jack Swing never sounded so good from the king of pop. His bone chilling “Will you be there” is a favorite.
Mariah came into the industry cementing her status as THE pop diva with her self-titled debut album. With Emotions, she continues where she left off..with immaculate pen writing & perfect vocals. Gems like “can’t let go” & “if it’s over” rest here, but if the first 56 seconds of “You’re so Cold” doesn’t blow you away, you’ll never understand the lambily’s love for the songbird supreme.
3. TLC – CrazySexyCool (1994.)
We all know TLC’s story, & CSC is the album that transformed the safe-sex promoting trio into grown WOMEN. This impeccable LP is known for Waterfalls and Creep, but it should be remembered for its impression it left on the industry. Gems like the Prince cover “If I was your Girlfriend,” the summerjam “digging on you,” Chilli’s lovey dovey “take our time” and more, make this album so timeless.
2. Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992.)
Dr. Dre is my favorite producer, period. So when I listened to this album as a teenager, I was impressed by the production and the lyrics. I am glad that many people find this album to be an influential record. Let me Ride & Nuthin’ But a G thang gives you nothing but good vibes. Enough said.
1. Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995.)
After the success of the great Music Box album, Mariah felt it was time to have more control over the direction of her albums. This album is the mother of her magnum opus “Butterfly.” It is apparent that R&B is something Mariah desired to do for a looooong time. This album also began her relationship with her musical soulmate Jermaine Dupri, & thanks to that, we have Always be my Baby. Daydream has Mimi in her comfort zone, & gives us a glimpse of the greatness that is to come. – MJ.