The Best R&B Songs From the 90s Still Sound Fresh Today

From floor-filling anthems to emotional outpourings – the greatest R&B songs from the 1990s still sound fresh today. Classic titles as well as lesser-known gems – add these soulful gems to your vinyl collection for timeless listening pleasure!

Ginuwine’s timeless classic “Lady on Top,” complete with its unmistakable rattle of his signature beat, has long been considered an indispensable Friday night party starter.

1. Dru Hill – “Fantasy (Remix)”

Dru Hill made waves in the late ’90s thanks to their distinctive blend of soul, gospel and hip-hop styles, led by Sisqo’s serpentine vocals. Dru Hill achieved widespread acclaim thanks to hits such as the romantically charged “In My Bed,” vulnerable “Never Make a Promise,” and besotted comfort of “How Deep Is Your Love”.

Produced by Jermaine Dupri, this remix of the group’s 1992 debut single features an uptempo Wu-Tang Clan beat and guest verse from Da Brat – creating an irresistibly catchy record that proves smooth edges can coexist alongside rough textures on wax. Jermaine Dupri’s production shows what can happen when an old song gets new life!

2. Mariah Carey – “Fantasy (Remix)”

Mariah Carey’s original Fantasy was an undisputed hit, but this Bad Boy remix elevates it even further. Utilizing Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love,” this track from the ’90s became an instant classic that combined unexpected musical styles into something truly spectacular. With its catchy 80s-esque instrumental and Carey’s charismatic vocals blending beautifully with ODB’s charismatic verses to form an unparalleled pop/rap collaboration – making a powerful pop/rap mix that stands the test of time!

This song perfectly encapsulated the spirit of 1990s party culture with lyrics about indulging one’s fantasies and initiated a trend where pop-R&B singers brought on hip hop heavyweights to add an edge to their melodies.

Carey marked an important achievement with her debut single to go double platinum and reach number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, its accompanying music video also marked a breakthrough moment: Carey directed it herself while rollerblading through Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York while singing her heart out.

3. Busta Rhymes – “Touch It (Remix)”

Mariah Carey has an enormous repertoire, making it difficult to narrow it down to just one song from her oeuvre, but this particular track stands out. From Mariah’s signature vocal runs and beat-driven groove, to its contemporary R&B feel – this track truly defines R&B.

Busta Rhymes’ 2006 edition of his song “Touch It” included an incredible remix featuring several prominent hip-hop artists such as Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks Papoose and DMX – this added element elevated the track and became one of the biggest remixes in music history.

This high-energy song became an instant classic on every Hip-Hop radio station and music video, as both were engaging to watch. The video features cheerleaders dressed in burgundy and silver outfits before Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Brooke Valentine, Black Rob Deelishis Deelishis DJ Kay Slay Sean Paul come on stage. There’s even green lighting in the background while an electronic machine makes a zapping noise as they continue dancing alongside cheerleaders! Everyone involved enjoyed making this song which remains timeless today!

4. Ja Rule – “I’m Real (Remix)”

Remixes once had the power to transform songs beyond their original forms, whether through new verses from other artists, different production techniques or updated lyrics. Remixes often made music even better than its original versions – Ja Rule’s unhindered flow combined with Chris Brown’s passionate vocals made this classic ’90s love record one of the all-time great love records.

The original version of this song sounded like an open-minded woman writing an open love letter to her boyfriend who might have other women in his past but didn’t matter because they still had each other. On remix by Mokenstef — R&B group members Mo (Monifah), Ken (Kenya), and Stef (Stefanie) — they took this record to new heights with flawless flow and production that proved the harmonious union between Hip-Hop and R&B music genres.

At its release, this song seemed to signal a new era for R&B music. With its sparse arrangement of blips and warbles on the beat that reminded listeners of futuristic productions that would soon define R&B, plus Mustard’s signature vocal cuts, this track seemed poised to take over radio waves and become one of 2018’s biggest hits.

5. Jagged Edge – “It’s Heavy D & Soul For Real (Remix)”

Brian and Brandon Casey, Richard Wingo and Kyle Norman comprised Jagged Edge – an Atlanta R&B group that helped shape Atlanta R&B in the late ’90s. Signed to Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Records label, Jagged Edge established itself as an influential presence within industry.

As opposed to other groups from their time such as Jodeci and New Edition, Jagged Edge never disbanded into solo careers or took any long hiatuses from music production – in fact they continue their journey and release albums such as their most successful classic, J.E. Heartbreak II.

Although they haven’t experienced quite the same level of success since their earlier days, Brian and Brandon continue to release albums and perform regularly. Both Brian and Brandon are accomplished songwriters who have written hits for other artists; additionally they’re active philanthropically as well as offering beard oils as part of their brand. Their story will premiere this Sunday after Wyclef Jean on TV One’s Unsung at 9 pm ET/PT.

6. Jennifer Lopez – “I’m Real (Remix)”

After the release of her debut album, Lopez quickly rose to stardom – appearing in movies, touring worldwide, and scoring hit singles such as this New Jack Swing tune with Ja Rule featuring Rick James’ classic sample “Heavy D & Soul for Real”. Although pairing Lopez and Rule might initially seem unlikely, their collaboration works beautifully on this track.

Mokenstef — composed of Mo (Monifa), Ken (Kenya), and Steff (Stefanie) — were among the first R&B artists to express their sexuality openly on record. Mokenstef used an emotional, yet provocative, melody as one of their signature tracks to tell a tale about an infatuated lover that might already have someone sleeping with him, yet still had feelings for Mokenstef as she sang about being jealous about their individual lives.

Jermaine Dupri’s remix of this girl group hit was an instantaneous success, adding Diddy and Murphy Lee as guest performers. The music video features shots taken at various urban locations such as a basketball court, park, and swimming pool as the trio dance, rap, and sing to its beat.

7. Mariah Carey – “Fantasy (Remix)”

Mariah Carey is an American singer-songwriter and record producer known for her five-octave vocal range, mellismatic singing style, and signature use of whistle register. To date she has sold over 200 million albums worldwide making her one of the top female artists ever. She holds the record for most number-one singles on Billboard Hot 100 with 19, making her the third-best selling female artist in America. she won multiple Grammy Awards, and was recognized as Female Vocalist of the Year for her 1991 album Vision of Love. Additionally, she has received many other music awards and nominations, such as two Golden Globe Awards. For the song “Fantasy”, which marked her directorial debut and also created its concept and chose its location at Playland amusement park in Rye, New York – she made history!

Ol’ Dirty Bastard provided rap verses for the remix version, helping Carey further establish herself within hip hop culture and popularizing collaborative rap as a genre-crossing element in mainstream pop. She featured it frequently during live performances, appearing on albums such as #1’s (1998) and Daydream (1995).

8. Maxwell – “Session 32”

Maxwell began by expanding and refining neo-soul. On his grooving debut single “Session 32,” Maxwell offered an unconventional breakup song without succumbing to bitterness or spitefulness; instead opting for an introspective journey through its aftereffects. Acoustic guitar sets the mood on this stripped down track while warped glockenspiels add rawness. Together these elements created an iconic ballad that introduced one of R&B’s finest songwriters.

Finding one’s way through Mariah Carey’s extensive catalog can be difficult, but this remix of her 1995 anthem “Genius of Love” provides an avenue for future pop-rap hip-hop collaborations. Based around a sample from Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love”, the song seamlessly merges pop and R&B elements, starting off with vocal runs before reaching its groove.

Mary J. Blige’s debut LP boasted several noteworthy remixes, but Method Man and ODB’s version of Bad Boy hit “Don’t Stop Believin'” stands out among them all. While its original form featured laments about being single, Method Man and ODB transformed this breakup song into a wedding reception classic by their energetic back-and-forth over its uptempo production.