Music

Top 10 hip hop and R&B singles … 20 years ago

I spend far too much time expounding the virtues of 90’s music. Unlike most of my peers at the time, I didn’t grow up on hip hop. I found it in the early 90’s, mostly through college when I started in 1993. Where most people I knew grew up on Sugar Hill Gang and fond memories of the roots of hip hop, I grew up on Naughty by Nature.

The 80’s was a time of Rick Dee’s American Top 40 on a weekly basis. An exposure that wasn’t wasted in the least. I knew most of the samples of 90’s hip hop from my 80’s upbringing.

But for as much as I go on about how the 90’s urban scene was better than the overly commercial and somewhat sad scene as it is now, was it really everything I remember it? No. Thinking on it seriously, the 90’s urban scene was pushed on commercialism as badly as it is now. With an over saturation of urban films hitting cinemas and endless soundtracks cashing in on the latest rappers and R&B singers, it wasn’t really all that different.

Well, we don’t really have urban films any more. But at least the music was more pleasing to my ear.

This lead me to a curious thought. What was hot back in April, 1992, Week 3? Thanks Billboard.com, and your Top 10 R&B/hip hop charts. It was a sad and sobering moment when I realized that this was 20 years ago. At the time I was 17. Still in highschool.

Here I Go Again, by Glenn Jones was number 1. I don’t remember this track in the least. It just reminds me that smultsy R&B tracks still made it up the charts in a sea of swagger.

Don’t Be Afraid, by Aaron Hall at number 2. The Juice soundtrack. Juice was one of the biggest films of the early 90s. Also, topically enough, it was 2Pacs first starring role in a film. It’s well worth picking up if you can.

Ain’t to Proud 2 Beg, by TLC at number 3. Man, dayglo was popular back then. TLC were the shit back then too.

Goodbye, by Tevin Cambell at number 4. I never much liked Tevin except for a few of his tracks. I didn’t much like Babyface, his producer. Who was one of the biggest producers of the time.

Live and Learn, by Joe Public at number 5. This track was utter gold when it hit, and threw this four guy group up the charts. Other than one other track, this was their one hit wonder. In a decade of rising street crime and gangs, Joe Public were part of a small minority of conscious guys dropping warning messages in their tracks. This tracks still one of my fav of the 90’s.

I’ll leave the rest of the Top 10 to Billboard. They have not only full tracks but videos where available. I might even check out April, 1992, Week 3 next week.

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