Hot R&B Singles Review: 1998

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


Nice And Slow-Usher: We start with Usher’s first number one hit on the Hot 100, Nice And Slow. As the title implies, this is a nice and slow lovemaking jam utilizing the best of Usher’s maturing vocals on top of Jermaine Durpi’s production. This won’t be Usher’s only number one single as we go further in his career I give this a 5/5.

No, No, No-Destiny’s Child: No, No, No is the debut single of Destiny’s Child, a girl group who I’m sure you’ve all heard of and has a member whose solo career would overshadow the group like Diana Ross did with the Supremes. It’s an okay song about a dude who isn’t fully honest about his feelings for someone. There’s another version of this song that features Wyclef Jean and different production. It’s not any better. Overall, No, No, No is a 3/5.

Let’s Ride-Montell Jordan ft Master P & Silkk The Shocker: Well, this is a big downgrade from This Is How We Do It. Let’s Ride is the other big hit that Montell Jordan had and it features No Limit rappers Master P and Silkk The Shocker. It’s not good at all. The production is a clunky mess and both Master P and Silkk bring this song down to negative numbers. Oh, and just like Diddy, Master P never shuts up throughout the song. This is getting a 1/5 because it’s terrible.

All My Life-K-Ci & JoJo: Here’s a song that was pretty huge in 1998 and it’s courtesy of K-Ci & JoJo of Jodeci fame. All My Life was a number one hit for the duo. Working off of a grandiose orchestral and piano number, this R&B ballad is dedicated to that special lady in these dudes’ life. It’s not one of my favorite songs, but it’s a song that works pretty well as a wedding song. I give it a 4/5.

Too Close-Next: Remember this lovely meme from a few years ago?

Well, here’s the song it cribbed from, Too Close by Next, which happens to be the number one song of 1998 according to Billboard. It’s about getting a boner while dancing with a girl. Seriously. They don’t even try to hide it.

Baby, when we're grindin', I get so excited
How I like it, I try but I can't fight it
You're dancin' real close, 'cuz it's real, real slow
You're makin' it hard for me
Step back, you're dancin' kinda close
I feel a little poke comin' through on you
Now girl, I know you felt it
But boo, you know, I can't help it
You know what I wanna do
I wonder if she could tell I'm hard right now

This was a number one song, by the way. They let a lot slide in the 90s. Anyways, if you can get past that, this is a fun song with a bouncy beat and delicate keys. Plus, the guys of Next sell the embarrassing feeling of growing a tent down there while on the dance floor. I give this song a 4/5.

I Get Lonely-Janet Jackson: And we move on to another hit from Janet Jackson called I Get Lonely. It’s another great song from Janet, who expresses her desire to be with someone to curb her loneliness. The production is perfect for a 90s R&B slow jam thanks to the keys and those horns on the chorus. There’s also a remix with Blackstreet, which is cool, but I prefer the original. I give it a 4.5/5.

The Boy Is Mine-Brandy & Monica: The Boy Is Mine, the biggest hit for both Brandy and Monica which won them a Grammy and it’s the second biggest song of 1998. I should dislike this song because it’s about these two fighting over a guy. But holy shit, is this a good song. This is some pretty fine production here, starting with an elegant harp before going into a sticky bass-heavy beat. Plus, the vocal performances from both Brandy and Monica are excellent as they both compete for the affections for this one dude that they’re into. It’s a better version of The Girl Is Mine, the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney collaboration that inspired it. This was a peak for both singers involved. I give it a 4.5/5.

Friend Of Mine-Kelly Price: This is a song about finding out your friend betrayed you by sleeping around with your significant other. Kinda fucked up, but the song itself is just okay. There’s a remix with R. Kelly and Ron Isley. I have the same feelings about that as I do the original. I give this a 3/5.

The First Night-Monica: This is another perfectly okay song from Monica. It’s about a girl on her first date and she’s resisting the temptation to have sex. You know. Just pure PG-rated fun stuff. I’ll also give this a 3/5.

How Deep Is Your Love-Dru Hill ft Redman: Even Redman couldn’t save this song from being meh overall. It’s a 2/5.

Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here-Deborah Cox: We end on an okay ballad from Deborah Cox called Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here. Musically, it leans a bit towards the gospel side and it’s about looking for love again despite a heartbreak. Not a bad song, but not one of my favorites, either. It’s fine. I give it a 3/5.


Nice And Slow


The Boy Is Mine


Let’s Ride


How Deep Is Your Love

And those were the number one songs on the Hot R&B Singles chart of 1998. Next time, we’ll conclude this entire series with the number one Hot R&B Singles of 1999.