A well-serenaded culture was in place when the R&B boy band renaissance was in its prime. The baby-making vibes, begging for forgiveness after an argument and getting help to express feelings to a girl you had a crush on — man, this era was iconic and established a foundation in Rhythm and Blues that is still revered today.
No matter how far we’ve come from the ’90s, the music still feels as good as ever to listen to. Perhaps even better! These boy bands created music that had longevity, which is why a lot of their tracks are still getting sampled or name-dropped in today’s music. If it weren’t for these pioneering groups, who knows where R&B would be at this moment.
Check out our list of 11 R&B boy bands that did the damn thing in the ’90s below!
1. Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men stepped onto the scene and immediately let the world know they were not to be played with. Philadelphian boys Nathan Morris, Wanyá Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary easily became America’s sweethearts and influenced pop groups *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and more. This cross-genre boy band became cultural icons not only with their suits and baseball hats but also with songs like “I’ll Make Love To You,” “End of the Road” and “On Bended Knee.” Labeled “The Best-Selling R&B Group of All Time,” the quartet has a thick catalog with 60 million albums sold.
An ultimate boy band. Brothers K-Ci and JoJo joined forces with Dalvin DeGrate and DaVante Swing, and brought an edge to the R&B game. Songs like “Forever My Lady” and “My Heart Belongs To You” brought a softness, though. That same softness was blended with hot abs, shades, and leather jackets; as well as sexy suggestive songs like “Feenin’” and “Freek’n You.” Their debut album, Forever My Lady, was certified triple-platinum and the single “Come and Talk to Me” was certified gold by the RIAA.
Quinnes Parker, Marvin “Slim” Scandrick, Michael Marcel Keith, and Daron Jones came straight out of Atlanta, GA. The Billboard charts favored this particular group thanks to memorable hits like “Only You,” “Cupid,” “Peaches and Cream,” and more. Additionally, they were the designated quartet that a number of ’90s hip hop artists chose to harmonize on their tracks. They added a little razzle dazzle on the hooks of tracks for The Notorious B.I.G, Puff Daddy, and Mase.
4. Jagged Edge
Jagged Edge included twin brothers Brian and Brandon Casey, as well as Kyle Norman and Richard Wingo. Ending the ’90s with their album A Jagged Era, the group had all the girls tuned in when they sang about love and marriage. “I Gotta Be,” “Let’s Get Married,” and “Promise” are songs that are still on many’s playlists. Even social media influencers today reenact some of their music videos in sketches.
5. Dru Hill
Baltimore, MD takes all the credit for this boy band. Original members Mark “Sisqó” Andrews, Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin, Larry “Jazz” Anthony and James “Woody” Green successfully sold over 40 million records worldwide. The R&B group was always a package deal that brought hip hop soul to your headphones. “Tell Me,” “In My Bed,” “We’re Not Making Love No More,” and “These Are the Times” are songs that are still getting plays to this day.
This trio originated from Minneapolis, MN and its members consisted of Robert “R.L.” Huggar, and brothers Terry “T-Low” Brown, and Raphael “Tweety” Brown. A song about a hard-on while dancing with a girl turned into a hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998 with the single “Too Close” and it’s been a classic track ever since. The group was widely recognized as the IT R&B group that year, as a result. Funny enough, that specific song was remixed into a viral meme song “Why You Always Lying?” in 2015 by an inspired Nicholas Fraser who mimics the poses and moves from the group’s music video.
The R&B/soul quartet from Washington D.C. began their music journey singing at Howard University as a hobby. Marc Gay, Carl Martin, Darnell Van Rensalier, and Garfield A. Bright didn’t anticipate the day that an album of theirs would drop. But, it did and caused a bang. “If I Ever Fall In Love” was released in 1992 as the title track of their debut LP and it was received exceptionally by fans, which made it go two-times platinum.
This group made music for those silky lingerie-wearing moments. The quintet, which has sold over 5 million records included original members Timothy Cameron, Jimmy Gates Jr., Gary Glenn, Gary Jenkins, and Jonathan Rasboro. Their most popular baby-making ballad was 1993’s “Freak Me,” yet other hits like “Meeting In My Bedroom” and “If You” had young men grinding at functions. “Meeting In My Bedroom” has even trended on TikTok.
Following the pattern of a pair of brothers coming together with a mutual friend or two to make feel-good music and form a group, H-Town was no different. The members were Keven “Dino” Conner, Solomon “Shazam” Conner, and Darryl “G.I.” Jackson. In 1993, they released their famous ‘”Knockin’ Da Boots” single. The lyrics of the track were just as steamy as the song title. That same year, the song went No.1 three times and remained on the chart for 12 weeks.
Immature, who would later go on and become IMx, set their singing chops in Los Angeles, CA. This group gave us stories of romantic discovery in soft beautiful voices. Its members were Marques “Batman” Houston, who would later make his own solo records and albums; Jerome “Romeo” Jones, and Kelton “LDB” Kessee. Their hits “Never Lie,” and “Constantly” from the 1994 Playtyme Is Over album enticed you in puppy love that felt grown up. Immature walked so future groups like B2K could run.
The New York-based group that rebranded and was founded by record producers Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal also included Eric Williams and Terrell Philips. Their singles “No Diggity” ft. Dr. Dre peaked at No. 1 for four weeks in 1996 and “Before I Let You Go” eventually led to them winning an award at the 40th Grammys Awards for Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocal. The group also collaborated with the stylistic likings of Foxy Brown on “Get Me Home,” one of the major MCs making waves at the time. They also gave us the catchy song “Take Me There” ft. Mýa, Mase, and Blinky Blink for The Rugrats Movie soundtrack.
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