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Hot R&B Singles Review: 1993

Welcome back to another Hot R&B Singles Review. Let’s get started.

LINK TO 1993 HOT R&B SINGLES CHART

Hip Hop Hooray-Naughty By Nature: We start off this Hot R&B Singles Review with… a hip-hop song. Yeah, this happens a lot. But hey. This is another opportunity to talk about another dope ass song. Hip Hop Hooray serves as a love letter to hip-hop with Vinnie and Treach trading bars and they hit hard. Along with that, you have a slamming beat that’s heavy on samples and an anthemic chorus that’s easy to recite. Great song. I would give it a 5/5.

Freak Me-Silk: Silk is an Atlanta-based R&B group who were discovered by Keith Sweat and the song that they’re best known for is called Freak Me. It’s another example of how to make a good raunchy sex jam. The keys and drums in the production set a dream-like atmosphere and the verses are performed in spoken-word, a trend that was very prevalent in this time period. It also helps that these guys have some good singing, especially on that chorus. I like this. I give it a 4/5.

That’s The Way Love Goes-Janet Jackson: Well, I hope you like that last sex jam because the next two songs are just that, starting with That’s The Way Love Goes. I talked about this song in my Best Songs of the 90s list and I stand by what I said. The funky bass/guitars and dusty drums of the production and Janet’s sensual performance makes this sexy slow jam that wind up being one of her biggest hits to date. I give it a 5/5.

Knockin’ Da Boots-H-Town: Next up is H-Town’s own H-Town (that’s Houston for those who don’t know) with their signature hit Knockin’ Da Boots, which is about, well, knocking boots. And it’s a really good song that sets the right mood for you know. The beat knocks, utilizing the same Zapp sample that would be used in 2Pac’s Keep Ya Head Up, and the vocals are also really good. For a lovemaking jam of the 90s, you can’t go wrong with this one. I give it a 4/5.

Weak-SWV: Weak is the biggest hit for SWV, topping both the R&B charts and the Hot 100. I wouldn’t call this my favorite song from the group, the production hasn’t really aged that well, but it’s a fine enough ballad. It has some good harmonies and the writing ain’t half-bad. I give it a 3.5/5.

Whoomp! (There It Is)-Tag Team: Who doesn’t know this song? This is one of those party songs that has weirdly stood the test of time, appearing in movies and sporting events and spawning parodies and covers. It was the second biggest song of 1993, it was that huge. So let’s talk about Whoomp! There It Is. I’ll say this, the song is incredibly catchy, even if its chorus just repeats the title, and the beat does bump. Still, if you look at the verses, it’s nothing you haven’t seen in a million other Miami bass songs. Still, there’s nothing in here that offensively bad, especially when compared to a song like Dazzey Duks or even Whoot, There It Is, which came out two months before Whoomp! and shares a lot of similarities, only with worse production. Overall, this song isn’t anything that great, but I don’t hate it at all. I give it a 3/5.

Lately-Jodeci: Now onto Jodeci, who did a cover to a Stevie Wonder song called Lately for MTV Unplugged. It’s a really good cover. These dudes really bring it vocally, especially when they sing it live.

I give this a 4/5.

Right Here/Human Nature-SWV: If you want to know my favorite song from SWV, this is it right here, no pun intended. The original Right Here is a good enough song, but the Human Nature remix is another beast. The production, done by Teddy Riley, samples Human Nature by Michael Jackson and the way it’s mixed with the vocals is so dope. Hearing Michael on the chorus was basically the cherry on top of the sundae. Also, Pharrell is on this song, doing the “S, The Double, The U, The V” on the intro. I give this song a 5/5.

Just Kickin’ It-Xscape: To tell you the truth, I never was an Xscape fan. The 90s had no shortage of R&B girl groups and this group never really grabbed me. I do know that one of the members, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, has a relationship with T.I. Anyways, Xscape’s first big break is a song called Just Kickin’ It and I’m not feeling it. The production is cheap and flat and that synth riff is so goddamn shrill. The vocals aren’t bad and neither’s the writing, but they don’t really elevate this song above mediocrity. Also, that bridge.

This is for the niggas, strictly for the niggas
This is for the niggas, the real niggas
This is for the niggas, strictly for the niggas
This is for the niggas, the real niggas
This is for the niggas, strictly for the niggas
This is for the niggas, the real niggas
This is for the niggas, strictly for the niggas
This is for the niggas, the real niggas

Yeah, get this out of here. I give this song a 2/5.

Gangsta Lean-DRS: You know? I can get behind making a song about friends who passed away, but Gangsta Lean by DRS just doesn’t work. First off, the production is really weak. I know what it’s trying to do, but it comes off more sleepy than mournful. In this context, gangsta lean means lying in a coffin, which is the weirdest phrase you could use for that situation. This leads into my main issue with this song; it doesn’t feel genuine, it feels like a cynical cash-in on a tribute song that’s guaranteed to get played at black funerals. Also, I never want to hear the word “homey” again after listening to this crap. This is a 1/5. Fuck outta here with this nonsense.

Can We Talk-Tevin Campbell: Well, this is one way of end this review, with Tevin Campbell. I will say this: his singing has improved. The dude was 17 when this song came out, so it makes sense. Still, his singing on this song is still shrill and nasal. This makes me hesitant to go back to the song. But that’s not the only issue. There’s also the production, which is sloppy and aged poorly, and there’s also the writing, where he’s too shy to talk to a girl he likes. It seems elementary at first until later on where it becomes more forceful. Yeah, I am not digging this at all. I give it a 1/5. This started off good and ended badly.

BEST

That’s The Way Love Goes

HONORABLE MENTION

Right Here/Human Nature

WORST

Gangsta Lean

DISHONORABLE MENTION

Can We Talk

And those were the number one songs on the Hot R&B Singles chart of 1993. Next time, we’ll be looking at the number one Hot R&B Singles of 1994.

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Last Time That I Checc’d-Nipsey Hussle ft YG

One thought on “Hot R&B Singles Review: 1993

  1. ’93 had several classics this years. I really don’t get why Hip Hop Hooray is classified as an R&B song, it’s right there in the title, it’s a “hip hop” song. In any case, that’s a bonified classic and Naughty By Nature’s best song. I really love Weak, but the Right Here/Human Nature remix was SWV’s best song by far. Fun fact, “Whoomp! There It Is” was the first rap song I ever listened to on the radio. It gets too much hate, it’s just a fun, mindless party jam and decently rapped (not great by any means, but passable). Also, I’d rather listen to it than today’s supposed “turn up” party songs. I love Stevie Wonder’s version a lot more, but I enjoy Jodeci’s cover of “Lately” just fine. Freak Me is an example of a raunchy, sexual R&B song done right. Same goes for That’s The Way Love Goes and Knockin’ Da Boots. I don’t know what happened to R&B’s soulness in terms of love-making songs. I’m with you, I never cared for Xscape. They’re good singers, but their music is plain uninteresting. What’s funny is that Tiny is more famous as T.I.’s wife and that short lived reality show of theirs than she was in that group. And it was the group Kandi was from, which I didn’t know before I did research on the group, I thought she was a one-hit wonder with her solo career and that “Don’t Think I’m Not” song. As much as I want to like with Gangsta Lean and relate to the message, I can’t take it seriously with the organs and over-the-top funeral instrumentation, meh singing and overuse of “homey”. If you want your song about losing a close friend to be taken seriously, don’t say “homey” so much. Once was enough. Bone Thugs and even Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth did this song ten times better. And I heavily disagree with you on “Can We Talk”, I think it’s a great song and well sung. Honestly, it’s my favorite Tevin Campbell song that’s not a Powerline song. Looking forward to the next year.

    Liked by 1 person

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