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They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Episode 29: Nayhoo - '90s Male R&B Groups

This week we're discussing 1990's male R&B groups. The greats, the duds and everything in between, such as Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Dru Hill, Playa and more. Why did we name this episode Nayhoo? Pull up "Can You Stand The Rain?" by New Edition, fast forward to :18 and listen to Johnny Gill set up the the next decade of R&B music with one phrase.

Transcript

Christina: Thanks for coming back to They Reminisce Over You. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. This week, we're talking about '90s R&B groups. But in this episode, we're only going to talk about the men because we have an episode coming up after this, about the ladies. We tend to have a lot of passing references to a lot of different acts from the '90s and 2000s. So we decided to not only talk about some of our favs, but some of the duds from this era as well.

Christina: Well, they're not all duds. Just some, maybe made less of an impact.

Miguel: There are some definite duds we're going to talk about. And we're also going to talk about some of the fallen and forgotten groups from this time as well. So are you ready to get into it?

Christina: I'm ready.

Miguel: All right. So we have broken this down into three tiers. Three tiers from 1990 to 2000. Tier one has groups like Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Tony! Toni! Toné! Then we moved down a level, you got 112, Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, groups like that. And then we move down to the "who?" That's where we got Mista, 3T, All-4-One, those kinds of folks. Like they had songs that we know, but you're not rushing to listen to them right now in 2022.

Christina: Or maybe they just had like one or two songs or something.

Miguel: Yeah. And then there's others that we'll get into later, that's like, who the hell is that? So, with that said, let's work our way from the bottom to the top. How about that?

Christina: Oh, I thought we were gonna go top down.

Miguel: We can go top down if you like.

Christina: I say top down.

Miguel: All right. Top-down it is.

Christina: So for the first tier you had, Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Blackstreet and Tony! Toni! Toné! listed.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: I agree. And I will tell you why in a second, but I was trying to decide if Mint Condition belongs in the top tier or second tier. Since we're doing the period of 1990 to 2000.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: They all came around at the same time, except for Blackstreet, which I'll get to that in a second. So like Jodeci, Boyz II Men and Mint Condition, their first albums were all pretty much released in 1991, just merely a few months difference. So that's why I kind of feel like Mint Condition should be in the top tier. And you can't say that like, oh, Mint Condition was influenced by Jodeci because they came out at the same time. And also all of these groups represent their own sound that I feel like everyone else that came after had bits and pieces of each group.

Miguel: That's true.

Christina: And then Blackstreet, they didn't come out as a group until 1994. But technically because Teddy Riley had been out here for a while already, so I kind of put him in that other people are influenced by him, including Boyz II Men and Jodeci doing the new jack swing stuff in their music.

Miguel: Yeah, that was my thinking with having Blackstreet in the top tier, at least some of it. And the rest of it is based obviously off their body of work. But the biggest thing was Guy was only around for like two years in terms of them putting out music because their first album was like ‘88 or something. So, same thing with Teddy being a part of Guy he's part of Blackstreet, I guess I can combine it and say Guy slash Blackstreet.

Christina: Slash whatever Teddy Riley's working on.

Miguel: Well, whatever Teddy was working on, we can just change Blackstreet to Teddy Riley's groups.

Christina: Teddy Riley and them.

Miguel: Yeah. Teddy and them. That's what we're going with.

Christina: Yeah. So that's why I chose that group as tier one, because they were kind of the trailblazers of the '90s.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: And they all have their own sound.

Miguel: Basically everything comes from Teddy. Kicking off the new jack swing movement in the late '80s, because basically everybody was kind of, at least in the early '90s trying to do that. Everybody's just kind of trickling down from the Teddy tree, basically. At least in my opinion.

Christina: Because new jack swing started in the late '80s and it moved into the '90s, these groups that started in the '90s felt like they had to incorporate some of it, but they were still also crafting new sounds aside from it. But it almost felt like, oh, let's put some of this new jack swing stuff in here.

Miguel: Because it hadn't completely died yet. It was still sticking around a little bit. But I say the shift came with the songs on the Jodeci album that I do like.

Christina: Definitely.

Miguel: All of the ballads and stuff. So that is where the shift kind of started with people leaning away from the new jack swing sound and moving into this new, harder hip hop edged R&B basically.

Christina: Right. I agree. But I also want to add when people think '90s, R&B, male groups, it usually boils down to Jodeci, Boyz II Men. And I look at it as they are two ends of a spectrum. Like Jodeci, definitely brought in this harder hip hop style of R&B. And then Boyz II Men were the nice guys. The–

Miguel: Yeah, they were very pop.

Christina: Yeah. They were like the pop R&B. And I feel like each one is in one end of the spectrum and everybody else is kinda sorta just somewhere along those lines. I mean, you do have groups like Tony! Toni! Toné! and Mint Condition who have more of that traditional, like they have a band.

Miguel: They're an actual band with multiple instruments being played.

Christina: And so that feels a little more of like traditional R&B, which stays throughout the '90s. That's how we end up getting neo soul and stuff, which we kind of talked about in the last episode with D'Angelo. So Tony! Toni! Toné! and Mint Condition and bands like that are still making an impact in keeping the tradition of having bands. But Jodeci and Boyz II Men, I think, brought in a totally new sound in different ways for the '90s.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So as I was saying, Jodeci's more of the bad boy kind of hip hop edge. And Boyz II Men is like reminiscent of the doo-wop era.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And so to me, it was like that's two ends of the spectrum and everyone else kind of fell somewhere in between. And then you had a couple bands somewhere in there mixed in too.

Miguel: As I was saying about Teddy Riley, the reason that I put Blackstreet in this mix is I didn't really realize it until I started listening to it, but they had a lot of hits.

Christina: They did.

Miguel: And they basically had three different versions of Blackstreet. Like every album, the groupings were different.

Christina: Yeah. It took me a while to actually realize that the members had changed somewhere in between.

Miguel: Every album they're completely different. Teddy and Chauncey are the constants. The other two pieces keep moving. Cause their first single, I actually thought was a Guy song.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Because the guy who was actually singing lead on that didn't even make it to the first album.

Christina: What was the first single?

Miguel: Baby Be Mine.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: He kind of sounds like Aaron Hall. But he doesn't at the same time. So there was Aaron Hall inflections, and then you hear Teddy on this like, oh, it's a new Guy record. See the video, like, who are these niggas? I don't know these people, but he didn't make it to the album. He was out of there really quickly.

Christina: Yeah. I didn't even notice that. I thought there was a change from the first to the second.

Miguel: Yeah. There was another change then.

Christina: Oh, what's his name? Anthony? No, no, no. Dave Hollister.

Miguel: So Dave replaced that guy.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And he was on the first album. And then him and I think his name is Levi, they left and the other two guys came in.

Christina: 'Cause I know Dave Hollister. I know Chauncey and I know Teddy and I always, there was always a fourth where I was like, I just know there's a fourth. I don't know what his name is and I'm not sure if I remember which version he was in.

Miguel: Yeah. Until you actually see the videos, it's kind of hard to keep up with.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: But just based on that, my favorite version of the Blackstreet lineup is the second one, because all them dogs can sing. I was just sitting there listening to it earlier. It was like, damn, they really gonna do this? Cause there was uh...oh, now I can't think of the name of the song, but it was all three of them minus Teddy that was singing. And that's what I like.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And something I did notice this is a sidebar, that you can tell that Pharrell is Teddy's son, because he's always insisting on inserting himself into songs where he shouldn't be, whether it's singing or rapping, but—

Christina: So—

Miguel: Pharrell is a better singer and rapper than Teddy.

Christina: So you're saying Pharrell is really of the school of Teddy Riley?

Miguel: Yes! He's like I'm taking this Teddy thing to heart. So I noticed that today, it's like Teddy is always rapping and singing badly when he's got Aaron Hall and Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister here. Why are you forcing yourself into these songs?

Christina: Singer singers.

Miguel: Yeah. Like you just stay on the boards, make the beats, let them do what they do.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: But I just wanted to say that.

Christina: I'm just looking at the track listing because I mostly just like the first two albums. I actually like the first album better.

Miguel: Okay. I'm okay with that.

Christina: Yeah. I think there's a lot of singing and stuff in here too. Like "sanging" I mean. I'm sure some people may put more thought into sequencing than others, but it's just funny that on the first album, their song "Booti Call" is followed by "Love's In Need." I'm like what a transition.

Miguel: Oh, that's funny. I didn't even think about that.

Christina: I think I actually wrote that in my notes, but it's something that I think about whenever I listen to the album, cause you're all "Booti Call..." And it's using the "Hot Sex On a Platter "beat. And then you have "Love's in Need" that comes in afterwards. And it's...

Miguel: And then you follow that up with this sweet Michael Jackson song, "Joy."

Christina: Yeah. So I'm like, that's some interesting sequencing here.

Miguel: It is.

Christina: I think I basically kind of said this already, but I don't include Blackstreet in that Boyz II Men, Jodeci spectrum because they're in their own lane. Just kind of coming off the new jack swing and kind of rolling with that for a bit and evolving that sound.

Miguel: I see Blackstreet kind of a mixture of the two.

Christina: There's Boyz II Men and Jodeci on two ends. And then there's Tony! Toni! Toné!, Mint Condition and Blackstreet just kind of around.

Miguel: Right. There's one more that I want to add to the list that I didn't have on it when I sent it to you.

Christina: For tier one?

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: But it's kind of a cheat because they are more of a legacy act. And the album came out—

Christina: Bell Biv Devoe!

Miguel: Yes. In 1990.

Christina: See, I was just about to say that too, cause I have them in tier two, but I don't feel right leaving them in tier two.

Miguel: Yeah, I put them in tier one afterwards.

Christina: I'm okay with that.

Miguel: But like I said, even though it came out in 1990, they are still an '80s act and that's why I didn't originally have them on the list. But that album was so major that you can't leave it off.

Christina: I think that it does count because Bell Biv Devoe as a group came out in 1990. They're not New Edition anymore. We know them as formerly part of New Edition, but they're their own group with Bell Biv Devoe. And so I say they count, and I'm willing to move them from tier two to one.

Miguel: Okay. I didn't even have him on the list.

Christina: I know I was going to ask you about that. I figured because you were kind of grouping them as New Edition.

Miguel: Yeah, I felt that the, the tail end of New Edition kind of bled into this. And technically it's a '90s album only because it came out in 1990.

Christina: See, I wouldn't put New Edition in this discussion.

Miguel: Oh no.

Christina: Because they're ‘80s.

Miguel: Yeah. And—

Christina: Their reunion album was in 1996.

Miguel: I don't count that. It wasn't enough to keep them on this list.

Christina: Right. So, but I say Bell Biv Devoe should be included in this list because they are their own group.

Miguel: I agree.

Christina: Speaking of Bell Biv Devoe, while we're still on this topic, we can't talk about Bell Biv Devoe without talking about why were we singing along to these problematic lyrics so gleefully? I can't listen to "Do Me" the same way anymore.

Miguel: You know what I have "Do Me" here in my notes and I wasn't even going to mention it. I was just going to let it go. But since you brought it up, we can't.

Christina: "Backstage underage, adolescent..." In case you didn't get the underage part. And I remember singing along with this.

Miguel: You sure did. So did I. And here's the thing.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: This is a story time for Miguel.

Christina: Story time.

Miguel: Since you always have story time, here's some story time for me. When I was 19, 18 or 19, there was a couple clubs in LA that would have 18 and under nights. So one weekend we decided we're going to go out. We had like 25 bucks each in our pocket.

Christina: Oh, 18 and under?

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: I thought it was 18 and over?

Miguel: Yeah. That's what meant.

Christina: Okay. I've heard of 18 and over, but 18 and under?

Miguel: There were some 18 and under nights as well. But I misspoke. I meant the 18 and over nights.

Christina: So that the 18 and 20 year olds who are technically adults can party with adults without drinking.

Miguel: Even though there's no alcohol. In 1990 whatever, you can go to these clubs and get in and have a night full of drinks with 25 bucks.

Christina: Oh, so you, there were drinks?

Miguel: Yeah, but like juice and, Coke and Pepsi.

Christina: Oh, non-alcoholic drinks. Okay. So there's a lot of juice for $25.

Miguel: Right. Anyway, we're at this 18 and over club, I forget the name of it, on a Friday night. And of course BBD comes through and I'm like, why are these niggas here? Because all of the girls are now looking at them and taking attention away from us. But kind of let that go.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: The next day, we go to the mall to hang out for a little bit. Saturday afternoon, who comes strolling through the mall as we're in line, trying to get in some Sbarros pizza? Get in line right behind us? Bell Biv Devoe.

Christina: Stealing your thunder again.

Miguel: I was like, why y'all torturing us this weekend? What did we do to you? That you have to follow us everywhere we go? So of course there's a gaggle of girls behind them. Next, well the same night, Saturday night, Prince had a club in downtown LA called Glam Slam. They had a night for the 18 and over as well. We go there, who shows up? Bell Biv and fucking Devoe. Like, why are you doing this to me? We're trying to get these girls. They're not going to look at us if you are here, go away. So I say that to say this, I realize that listening to "Do Me," what five years ago, maybe? And that line kicked in. I was like, oh, these dudes were out here really doing it.

Christina: Yes, because at that time they were older than 18.

Miguel: Yeah. They were definitely older than 18. I don't remember how much older than 18, but they should have left our girls alone.

Christina: They should've went to the 21 and over club.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Even if they weren't 21 yet, but I haven't done the math—

Miguel: If they weren't 21, they were probably like 22, 23. But yeah, they were ruining our weekends. And then going back, listening to the songs "backstage, underage..." I'm like these niggas.

Christina: But you know, saying "backstage, underage..." is bad enough already. And then he said, "adolescent."

Miguel: That's the one. That's the one.

Christina: I do listen to the song still. I'm not going to lie, but it feels a little weird.

Miguel: And I'm going to put this out there. I'm not confirming that Bell Biv or Devoe, we're actually picking up women at these clubs. But the fact that they were there and ruining game for us bothered me. So don't run and tell people that Bell Biv Devoe were out molesting girls and Miguel saw it, because that's not true.

Christina: You just saw them.

Miguel: They were just there.

Christina: You saw them there and you saw the gaggle girls following them around.

Miguel: Yes. And then the lyric. So.

Christina: Allegedly.

Miguel: Yes, it was a different time. Things were different. The '90s were different. That's all I'm saying.

Christina: Well, it wasn't allegedly cause you saw them there.

Miguel: That's true.

Christina: But we don't know what they were doing there. That's what we're saying.

Miguel: They could have been doing a walkthrough. They were paid be there.

Christina: Got some juice and then went out the back.

[music break]

Miguel: Anyway, we can move on.

Christina: Yeah. So those are the top tier for obvious reasons. Oh, I do want to say one more thing about top tier and this may be a hot take.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: I probably should have checked our stats to see how many Philly listeners we have.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: But the only reason why I put Boyz II Men in the top tier is because of their impact. Personally, I barely listen to Boyz II Men anymore. I loved them at the time, when I was a kid. But as an adult, it did not...it didn't grow with me.

Miguel: I don't think that's a hot take.

Christina: Okay, I don't think it's a hot take cause there's a lot of people who feel this way, but there are also a lot of very strong Boyz II Men fans.

Miguel: That's true.

Christina: Like to me, Boyz II Men, they almost feel too perfect. I like Jodeci, because I liked the rawness of the way they sing. And Boyz II Men, it's like, oh, here's your wedding song. Here's a graduation song. Here's the song you can dedicate to your mom. Like, it's just, it's so nice.

Miguel: That's basically the issue that I had with them because their first album had some of the stuff that you're talking about. It wasn't Jodeci, but it wasn't saccharin and sugary sweet at the same time either.

Christina: Yeah, like— I like the first album the best, but I think by the third or fourth was when I was just like, ehh.

Miguel: It was a little too polished.

Christina: Yeah, just looking back at it now, it almost felt like they're like, we're going to be the anti bad boy.

Miguel: I don't think it was anti bad boy

Christina: Well, we're going to be the nice guys.

Miguel: More than we're going to be pop stars rather than just R&B.

Christina: I guess. Shall we move on to tier two?

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So who did you put in tier two?

Miguel: So for me, I have from groups like Hi-Five, Dru Hill, 112, Silk. Which I've got something to say about Silk a little bit later. I also had Mint Condition in tier two and not tier one. And Next, you know how I feel about Next.

Christina: You can't stand them.

Miguel: I put Next in tier two, just based on their popularity.

Christina: Same.

Miguel: Not, not whether or not I liked them because I have a really irrational hatred for Next. There is no reason for it. They're probably great guys. And if I met them and we can hang out, we would probably have dinner and a drink, but I cannot stand their music.

Christina: I've said several times I hate when there's like moaning and groaning and in R&B songs. So their intro / interlude is them saying, all right, this is, it's a sexual album. And then they have egregious moaning and groaning. You're going to hear some of this and maybe some of this, and then you get into "Too Close," but you get the actual beginning that you don't usually hear on the radio where he says, "Hmm. I wonder if she could tell I'm hard right now?" And that sets the stage for this disgusting album. I'm not going to lie, I used to listen to "Too Close," when we were at the club and I actually still like "I Still Love You." But this song, this album's kind of sleazy. And considering their lead single is talking about poking girls with their peen at the club. Come on now.

Miguel: See, none of that bothered me. I just don't like them.

Christina: Actually, I think the first single was Butta Love.

Miguel: Yeah, that was the first one. But none of that bothered me. I just don't like them. There's no reason. For me not to like them. I just don't.

Christina: But then there are other problematic songs that I like. So I don't—

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: Really have a gauge of why I liked some and why I don't like others.

Miguel: The content has nothing to do with me not liking them. I just don't like them for no reason at all.

Christina: It's a vibe, I guess.

Miguel: And it didn't work on me. Which is funny because pretty much everything else that Kay Gee was producing around this time, I loved it. I just couldn't get into these dudes.

Christina: I can't really put my finger on it either, even though I said it was a sleazy album, but I've liked problematic songs before.

Miguel: I've liked and continue to like much worse stuff.

Christina: Definitely. I've heard some of those things that you like.

Miguel: So it's not that I just don't like them.

Christina: Let's move on then.

Miguel: All right.

Christina: So I loved Hi-Five. Even though their first album came out in 1990—

Miguel: That counts.

Christina: I still put them in the second tier rather than the first tier, which kind of goes against my reasoning of how I created tier one. Just because they weren't as big. Like, people love Hi-Five, but they didn't have the same impact as Boyz II Men or Jodeci—

Miguel: They didn't.

Christina: Or whatever. So that's why I put them in tier two, but I love them.

Miguel: Yeah, they actually were pretty successful.

Christina: Yeah, they had a few albums.

Miguel: The problem is when you're comparing them to Boyz II Men and Jodeci, they're just in another stratosphere in terms of sales and impact.

Christina: And they were kids when they came—they were younger. You can, I mean—

Miguel: They were really teenagers, like 17 when they first came on the scene.

Christina: Oh no, no. There's a song called "Just Can't Handle It" on the first album aware Tony Thompson sings about, "I was only 16 and she was 25."

Miguel: I don't remember that.

Christina: Oh yeah. Talk about problematic.

Miguel: I remember the, see the thing with all of the songs is, my mind wasn't conditioned to look out for stuff like that. So I've heard this, the lyrics and didn't think anything of it.

Christina: Same here. Like, you know how I was saying, it's weird being a teenager because you get it, but you don't get it. Cause I remember hearing the song and singing along as "I was only 16, she was 25." So it's about him chasing this 25 year old woman. And his friends slash bandmates were like, she's too old for you, but they're not talking about it in a moleste-y way. They're just saying she's too old for you. But he's like "I skipped school and went to her place." It's terrible.

Miguel: Oh man, I'm going to have to listen to it.

Christina: You should.

Miguel: Cause I remember the song by title, but I don't remember anything about it right now.

Christina: Which is funny because when you think about those lyrics, about the 16 year old getting with a 25 year old, that's just crazy, right? That's just wild. But then you have "Kissing Game," which yes, they're talking about kissing, but it's such a wholesome song.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: On the same album.

Miguel: It's a little bit different. Not chasing down somebody who just graduated law school.

Christina: Right. So I love, love, love Hi-Five, but I do feel comfortable leaving them in tier two, but they're at like the top of tier two, the higher end of tier two. So I moved Bell Biv Devoe to tier one. You said Dru Hill.

Miguel: Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, Silk, Playa.

Christina: So Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, and Silk, I leave them in tier two because—

Miguel: Oh yeah, definitely.

Christina: Of their popularity as well. But me personally, ehh. Jagged Edge out of that group, I liked the best, but it's just like a couple songs here and there. And it's funny because to me, Dru Hill, out of this second group is the most like Jodeci.

Miguel: They are. And that's the thing—

Christina: But I don't like them.

Miguel: That I didn't like about Dru Hill is because it was too much like Jodeci.

Christina: I just figured just off of that, that I would like them. But the only Dru Hill songs that I like is the Jermaine Dupri remix of "In My Bed." And I thought it was just Sisqo, but it looks like Dru Hill is credited, but they have a duet with Mariah Carey, "The Beautiful Ones." I love that song. And it's funny because DeVanté also worked on that song. It's like I somehow knew it was Jodeci adjacent or something.

Miguel: Yeah. Didn't like them because they were too similar to Jodeci, but I didn't dislike them either. They were just kind of there.

Christina: If it was on, it was on, but I wouldn't purposely listen to it. Maybe it was the weird dance moves on "Tell Me."

Miguel: When they're just—

Christina: With that bopping up and down.

Miguel: Jumping up and down.

Christina: "Tell me, what you want..." But the way they sound, there's no reason why I wouldn't like them, but I listen to the album and I'm like, meh.

Miguel: Yeah, same. I, like I said, I don't dislike them. I don't like them. They're just there.

Christina: The next for me in this tier is 112 and Playa. 112, Playa and Shai.

Miguel: Yeah. That's another one.

Christina: And Soul For Real. So Shai to me, they're more on the Boyz II Men end of the spectrum. Whereas Dru Hill's more than the Jodeci end of the school.

Miguel: Okay. So now what we're doing is. We are starting at the bookends and now we're building towards the center. All right. Okay. I'm going to workshop this and we might have to put a chart together at the end of it.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: So we got Jodeci and Dru Hill, Boyz II Men and Shai and we're working inward. All right.

Christina: I'm going to put Silk closer to Jodeci, not as far as Dru Hill, but they're more on that end. And Hi-Five is definitely more on the Boyz II Men end just because—

Miguel: Yes, they're going in that direction.

Christina: They were kids. So they're very, more bubble gummy, even if they're talking about twenty-five year old girls, but...

Miguel: I have a curve ball here for you.

Christina: What's the curveball?

Miguel: That I added to my list and didn't tell you about. LSG. Where would they fall on this? Because I have an opinion on LSG.

Christina: Blackstreet. They're going to be on the outside circle with Blackstreet.

Miguel: But they're in...Blackstreet is in tier one, but LSG is in tier two. Here's my thing with LSG. First of all, they got creepy uncle vibes to me. Sugar daddy vibes.

Christina: Yes, because they were—well, first of all, they're older than—

Miguel: But they weren't.

Christina: What?

Miguel: No, they just came off as older. So I looked up the ages.

Christina: No way!

Miguel: Because I had to confirm, I had to confirm.

Christina: I could have sworn they were older. That's why it's creepy uncle.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: "Y'all know nothing about this!"

Miguel: See, they would be my uncles in terms of like, I have an aunt that's 10 years older than me and I have an uncle that's about 12 years older than me. So that's where they would fall. Because around this time I was 23, 24.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: When that album came out, Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill were both 31 years old.

Christina: What?

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Well... I mean...

Miguel: They were 31. And Keith Sweat was 35.

Christina: But we were in our twenties and 30 feels old—

Miguel: It did.

Christina: When you're in your twenties.

Miguel: But also the kind of music that they made, it was older type R&B.

Christina: Because they had all been singing since they were teenagers.

Miguel: Right. And this is what kind of solidified it, that they were uncle status. When Gerald Levert passed, I saw an interview where Johnny Gill said that Eddie Levert, his father, was going to replace him in LSG.

Christina: Oooh.

Miguel: You shouldn't be able to make that transition that your father can join the group that you were in. So that's what gave me the, the uncle vibe from them.

Christina: Interesting, interesting.

Miguel: Because Eddie has been around since the sixties. And you telling me he's going to be in LSG? Replacing his son?

Christina: Uh, I don't know where to put them on the... see, there's the Jodeci, Boyz II Men. And then remember there's this area outside of the spectrum that we put Blackstreet, Mint Condition and Tony Toni Toné! in.

Miguel: Yeah, but again—

Christina: Legacy groups, Blackstreet, Bell Biv Devoe LSG. Those are legacy groups.

Miguel: They are, but these dudes—

Christina: They don't even feel like a boy band.

Miguel: They don't and they, but they were making hits at this time. In spite of them being creepy uncle.

Christina: It's just funny because I love Keith Sweat And Johnny Gill. But when LSG came together, I don't know if maybe adding Gerald Levert to it, I was just like, I can't get into this.

Miguel: And I tell you this all the time, I cannot stand the song "Casanova." So I just looked at Gerald Levert as an old dude. But he wasn't. He was not old when he was making these albums.

Christina: I don't know. I don't think they fit in the spectrum. They can, you can leave them in. I'm okay with leaving them in tier two.

Miguel: They're in tier two, but they don't fit anywhere.

Christina: They're in that outside bubble.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: They can go hang out with Blackstreet.

Miguel: All right.

Christina: All right, so we said 112. I would say, I feel like they're pretty much in the middle. I feel like maybe Diddy was trying the Jodeci recipe, but it didn't really come out that way.

Miguel: Yeah, it didn't work because the times were different.

Christina: Because they were like ‘96, I think the first album came out. So we're starting to move into that sort of jiggy era. And they just didn't have... like to be in the Jodeci spectrum, you have to have a certain type of voice and singing style as well. It has to be this grew up in the church, probably got babies all over town...

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Like, you know how you said.

Miguel: Oh God.

Christina: What's his name? "If You Think You're Lonely Now," what's his name?

Miguel: Bobby Womack.

Christina: You said Bobby Womack just sounds like he ain't shit. See, to be on the Jodeci end of the spectrum, you have to sound a little problematic. So I'm—

Miguel: Yeah, I get what you're saying.

Christina: I'm going to put H-Town on that end too.

Miguel: Yes, definitely.

Christina: In the "Back Seat (With No Sheets)?"

Miguel: Yeah, definitely H-Town would be on that end.

Christina: They have that voice. And Playa too. But Playa makes sense because they were part of DeVanté's Bassment Crew, right?

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So Playa's definitely on that end too, and plus them being like from the same area, they just have the same sound.

Miguel: The only reason I don't go towards Playa as much is because they didn't have the success.

Christina: Yeah. They only have one album, but "Cheers 2 You"...

Miguel: That's a winner.

Christina: That just kind of solidifies them for me.

Miguel: I'm cheating when I say this, because Static Major was involved in a lot of songwriting and production after that, I'm keeping them on the list at tier two. Even though that's not part of the rules and it's supposed to be based off of the Playa album, I'm putting his history after that, as keeping him there, or them there.

Christina: I'm putting them in tier two, just off the strength of "Cheers 2 You." But also even though they only had one album, it's a pretty solid album. If you've never heard the Playa album and you love "Cheers 2 You," I would suggest listening to the whole album.

Miguel: It's been a while since I've listened to it.

Christina: And there's one song with Aaliyah for Aaliyah fans.

Miguel: I didn't check it out while we were working on this.

Christina: I would recommend it. It's probably not going to be your favorite album, but it's a good album. It's worth a listen.

Miguel: And I mentioned that I wanted to say something about Silk. So I'm watching the, the "Freak Me" video and the guy who sings the chorus with the high voice, the other two dudes who are doing the little raps, you can just look at them and they don't even believe the shit they're saying. It's like—

Christina: I have to watch that.

Miguel: There's a complete lack of confidence in the shit that they're saying, and you can see it in their eyes. But then Lil' G comes on and he's [singing] "Let me lick you up and down" like, killing it. But these two are just "Yeah."

Christina: Oh.

Miguel: "I want to be your man."

Christina: Maybe they just there to be cool.

Miguel: Like you don't believe any of this.

Christina: I can't get over the "meeting in my [singing] bedroom bedroom bedroom." I just, I can't. It's too much for me.

Miguel: That's another one that I was laughing at yesterday. I don't even remember the line that I texted to you. Then he followed it up with, "be there or be square."

Christina: Something about, um, was it something about your steelo?

Miguel: I'm going to look it right now.

Christina: I thought you were talking about 702.

Miguel: No, I was talking about these dudes.

Christina: Oh.

Miguel: Where is it? "You jiggy and you know, I'm feeling your steelo." Like, he didn't believe that. He didn't say it with any confidence, but Lil' G comes in singing the hook. You can tell he meant that shit. Yeah, I just wanted to get that off my chest. It's like, y'all don't you have no confidence in yourself. You don't believe in yourselves.

Christina: The only song that I actually like. Like will take the time to listen to of Silk is "Hooked On You." But that [singing] "bedroom, bedroom, bedroom." But remember we saw a video of one of these bands, the school bands played that song?

Miguel: Yeah. That's um, it was a marching band. What school[1] was it? I don't remember. It was one of the HBCUs and they played that.

Christina: When you showed it to me I was like, "I know this song. What is it?" But then when they got to the "bedroom," I was like, "it's Silk".

[music break]

Christina: I'm just looking at my list and see what else.... Soul For Real is, music wise and the way they were marketed, I would put them at the Boyz II Men end. But not only that they were marketed as the next Jacksons cause they were brothers. And actually at the beginning, I think of the "Candy Rain" video, Heavy D is there and he's talking to someone who's like, "oh, they're going to be the next Jacksons, they're brothers." And that was what they were molded to be. But we watched an interview with them that they did a couple of years ago on The Breakfast Club[2] and their personalities are not like that at all.

Miguel: At all.

Christina: And so it's interesting because their personality seems more like they wanted to be more like Jodeci.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: My absolute favorite Soul For Real song is not even a single. It's "All In My Mind" from the first album.

Miguel: I don't know it because I've only heard their singles until I listened to some of their newer stuff yesterday. I had only heard the singles.

Christina: The first album is actually pretty solid.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: And the thing is, I think I like "Candy Rain" more for nostalgia. But of the singles, "Every Little Thing I Do" I like way better, but my absolute favorite song is "All In My Mind."

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: They even have a Patti LaBelle cover. They did "If Only You Knew"

Miguel: Oh, I'm going to have to look this up.

Christina: It's a good first effort.

Miguel: All right. I will check it out.

Christina: I have some more to say about Soul For Real, but I'm going to save that actually for, for now.

Miguel: Okay, alright.

Christina: I'll get back to that.

Miguel: You want to move on to the lower tier?

Christina: I think we've covered—

Miguel: The one that I called, "Who?"

Christina: Which I feel kind of mean putting some people in the "Who?" tier, because they're only in here just because not that people didn't know them, but they maybe just had like one song, or wasn't as popular.

Miguel: Yeah. Now when I said that there were going to be some duds. It's not them. This isn't the dud section. This is just like, "oh, I forgot about these guys."

Christina: Okay. So no duds yet?

Miguel: Yeah, no duds.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Although I'm going to get some jokes off though.

Christina: All right. All right. So how about you tell me someone you have here?

Miguel: So I have Intro on the list, because again, I didn't realize this because I didn't have them in the original list, but just listening to them yesterday, I was like, oh, these dudes had jams.

Christina: They did.

Miguel: And I completely forgot about them. So that's why they're in the "Who?"

Christina: I love "Come Inside." Although, as I've said already, this episode, there is an egregious sort of little sex skit at the end of the song. But the song is called "Come Inside," so...

Miguel: Yeah, it is. You knew what you were getting.

Christina: Yeah, but before all that starts, the song is actually one of my favorites. They had like some little uptempo songs too that I liked

Miguel: Yeah. "Funny How Time Flies."

Christina: "Let Me Be The One." They have the "Ribbon In The Sky" cover. They're actually pretty good.

Miguel: Yeah. And that's why I added them to this category. Like, "Who? Oh yeah."

Christina: This is more of the "Who? Oh yeah" portion of this tier.

Miguel: It's not the, "Who? I've never heard of them." That's gonna be next.

Christina: Okay, Mista. Well, I really only know "Blackberry Molasses."

Miguel: That's all anybody knows.

Christina: And that Bobby Valentino came out of it. So it's one song. But when you talk about ‘90s songs, that song is going to come up.

Miguel: Yeah. Because of the Organized Noize production on it. It is very OutKast at the time. So it sounds like it could be like on an OutKast album, like "Spottieottiedopaliscious" or something.

Christina: What the heck is "Blackberry Molasses?"

Miguel: It's just molasses that's Blackberry flavored. That's—

Christina: I mean, in the context of the song.

Miguel: I couldn't tell you. I have no idea.

Christina: Anyway.

Miguel: Who else you got on the list?

Christina: I have Az Yet on the list.

Miguel: Me too.

Christina: And it hilarious because Marc Nelson was one of the original members of Boyz II Men.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: And yet he ends up in this tier "Who?" category.

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: So they went to high school together. So he was one of the original members[3]. I can't remember who is the original with him, I think Wanya and Michael joined later. I think it might've been Nathan, Shawn, and I don't know. I'll have to look that up, but he was one of the original members.

Miguel: Yeah, I just know he was in the group, but I don't know when he was in the group.

Christina: Before Motownphilly. Before they got to that point, because obviously we know when Motownphilly came out—

Miguel: He was not there.

Christina: He was not there.

Miguel: He was not part of the Alexander Vanderpool era.

Christina: He was not. I completely forgot about that.

Miguel: Did the Alex Vanderpool era ever start?

Christina: No, I don't think so.

Miguel: Me neither.

Christina: Uh, did it? I don't know.

Miguel: I don't know. I doubt it.

Christina: That was Nathan's nickname, right?

Miguel: I think so. It was one of them.

Christina: Michael was Bass for obvious reasons. What was Wanya though?

Miguel: That's a lame nickname though. Bass.

Christina: It's like they couldn't come up with anything. We'll just call you Bass. What was Wanya?

Miguel: He was tall, call him Stretch or something.

Christina: And then Shawn was Slim.

Miguel: That makes sense.

Christina: What was Wanya?

Miguel: I don't know. I don't remember.

Christina: I don't remember. Okay. Portrait.

Miguel: I forgot about Portrait.

Christina: They had hits.

Miguel: I didn't have Portrait on the list. Completely forgot.

Christina: "Here We Go Again," "Honey Dip." They also did a "How Deep Is Your Love" cover that I really like.

Miguel: I forgot about Portrait.

Christina: "How Deep is Your Love," was that Bee Gees?

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Yeah, their version—I'm sure Bee Gees fans would probably die if they heard it, but I like it. Cause we know how we feel when we hear certain artists try to cover...

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: [whispers] Taylor Swift.

Miguel: Yeah, you didn't have to bring that up. But you did.

Christina: So whoever suggested she sing "September," I dunno, they had an ulterior motive. But anyways.

Miguel: They just wanted to embarrass her, I guess.

Christina: Yeah. So I don't know how Bee Gees fans would feel about it. I don't know, but I liked their version of "How Deep is Your Love." And I'll really like, "Here We Go Again." We talked about our spectrums, but I would put them with the Mint Condition and Tony! Toni! Toné! circle.

Miguel: I can see it. I'll allow it. I got one for you.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Color Me Badd.

Christina: You know what? I didn't even want to consider them.

Miguel: But they had hits though. I wasn't a fan of them.

Christina: They did, but I—

Miguel: But they had hits.

Christina: I think they had like one foot in R&B and one foot in pop. And that's why I wasn't sure if they should be included in this discussion.

Miguel: I did. I added them.

Christina: Yeah. I'll allow it. I wouldn't, but I'm not going to argue...argue...argue with you about it.

Miguel: Yeah. I had both them and All-4-One. In this group and with both of these groups, they look like they shouldn't even know each other.

Christina: Oh. All-4-One...

Miguel: But they do. Because with Color Me Badd you got one of them looking like one of the guys from Milli Vanilli.

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: You got two of them that look like two different versions of George Michael. And then the Kenny G looking dude, they didn't make any sense.

Christina: They did not. And then they come out the gate with, "I Wanna Sex You Up"

Miguel: Right. They didn't make any sense in the same thing with All-4-One. Just look like they met on a school trip or something.

Christina: Yeah, All-4-One, this is probably going to sound mean, but I'm just going to say it anyways. What is that movie that you always tell me about where the main character keeps making copies of themselves and each one gets worse and worse?

Miguel: Oh Multiplicity.

Christina: Like once we get to this tier, it's just like, everyone's trying to make some kind of boy band and it just kind of gets worse and worse.

Miguel: They get progressively worse and that's kind of where All-4-One is, but they had—

Christina: "I Swear."

Miguel: "I Swear" which won a Grammy. It was number one on Billboard.

Christina: "I Swear" is the pinnacle of what I was saying that I don't like about Boyz II Men is that song sounds like it's made for a wedding.

Miguel: And that's what All-For-One is, they are the, the Multiplicity copy of Boyz II Men.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: but there's four copies in between Boyz II Men and them. So that's why it comes off as extra cheesy.

Christina: I cannot do "I Swear."

Miguel: What about, "I Can Love You Like That?"

Christina: No.

Miguel: That's a "nayhoo" song. It opens with a strong "nayhoo."

Christina: Does it?

Miguel: It does.

Christina: I didn't even bother listening to any All-4-One.

Miguel: Neither did I.

Christina: I didn't feel like it.

Miguel: I stumbled across "I Can Love You Like That," and was like, "oh, there's a ‘nayhoo' in it."

Christina: They don't try to do any "ooh yeahs" do they?

Miguel: They don't. But there's definitely—

Christina: Stay away from my, "ooh yeahs." Yes. I'm gonna save that for...

Miguel: "Nayhoos."

Christina: Jodeci and their ilk.

Christina: What about Riff?

Miguel: I didn't listen to any Riff.

Christina: The only one I remember is "Written All Over Your Face." No, that's not even them.

Miguel: That's not Riff.

Christina: That's Surface.

Miguel: No.

Christina: No no. That's uh—

Miguel: Rude Boys.

Christina: Yes. See, this is what happens. We're in the tier "Who?"

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: No, there is a Riff song that I know. I'm going to quickly look it up because I could have sworn it was that.

Miguel: And I will tell you why I don't like "Written All Over Your Face."

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Gerald Levert.

Christina: "My Heart Is Failing Me." That's Riff.

Miguel: He made the song a little too old for me. It's like, why is he growling at all over this song? And he was like 25 at the time.

Christina: I'm going to play the Riff song "My Heart is Failing Me" because I just want to hear what it sounds like again.

Miguel: Okay.

[song plays]

Christina: Let's get to the chorus. Here it is. Anyways. That's enough.

Miguel: I don't remember that shit at all.

Christina: I think I remember the title more than the song.

Miguel: I don't remember any of that.

Christina: Hmm. Yeah. I remember the title more than the song. But I know that title.

Miguel: I don't remember it all.

Christina: "My Heart Is Failing Me." So, Okay. Then there was Surface since I brought that up. So what was their song? Surface "The First Time." [singing] "The first time I fell in love..." Something like that.

Miguel: If you say so, I don't remember them either. So Riff and Surface are down into "Who?" category.

Christina: Oh, 1988. At least one of these songs is from 1988, 1986. Okay. Now I'm going too far back.

Miguel: Yeah. You way out of where we should be.

Christina: Okay, forget about Surface, forget about Surface. Get them outta here.

Miguel: Way out of where you should be.

Christina: Okay. Let's talk about 3T.

Miguel: Yeah, I couldn't tell you a 3T song if you paid me.

Christina: You know a 3T song. Yes, you do. I'm going to look it up. I can't remember... "Anything."

Miguel: 3T I have in my personal "Who?" Like I know they're Tito's kids, but that's it.

Christina: They had, like, a hit.

Miguel: The only thing they mean to me is that they were Michael Jackson's nephews. Outside of that. I know nothing about them.

Christina: Okay, I'm going to play "Anything."

[song plays]

Miguel: No, no.

Christina: Not ringing any bells?

Christina: [Singing] "...anything for you." Okay. Nevermind.

Miguel: Yeah. I don't remember anything about 3T at all. They are in the "Who?" category with Surface and who else did you say, Riff?

Christina: Yeah, but we're supposed to forget about Surface cause that was in the '80s anyway.

Miguel: Okay, so we're skipping ahead for a little bit to the "Who's is that?" So 3T and Riff for me. I'm putting them there cause I have no idea, any of their music.

Christina: Okay. I've got a couple more.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Skin Deep.

Miguel: Again, this is the "Who?"

Christina: They had, I don't know if they had any more songs, but they had this one song called "No More Games" with Lil' Kim.

Miguel: I do not remember this.

Christina: You need to hear this song because this is like classic Lil' Kim. So you would love her verse, I would think. Not only that, the song samples the same sample as "Dear Mama."

Miguel: I do not know this song at all. You are filling up my, "who are these niggas?" section.

Christina: it is called "No More Games," and there is a Lil' Kim verse on there. And when you look it up on YouTube, the majority of the people are just talking about Lil' Kim. So I'll play the Lil' Kim verse for you.

[song plays]

Christina: Parasucos.[Singing] "Movie!" "It's just one of them days."

Miguel: Yeah. I have no idea what that was.

Christina: Yeah. But it's it's classic Lil' Kim.

Miguel: If you say so.

Christina: Yeah. I just remember hearing this song, random little radio stations, that I would listen to late at night.

Miguel: I have no idea what that was.

Christina: Skin Deep.

Miguel: That's the name of the group?

Christina: Mmmhmm.

Miguel: All right. So I filled out my "who are they?" list. Skin Deep, Riff. Who else did I say? I don't even remember.

Christina: Surface, but we weren't supposed to remember Surface.

Miguel: And there were some, some other one that you had.

Christina: I forgot already.

Miguel: I don't remember.

Christina: I think it was just one of the ones I blurted out. Cause it's not on my list. I have more.

Miguel: Well, I have one more.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: But they're not in the "Who is that?" category and it's kinda cheating because they kind of straddle late '80s and early '90s too, Troop.

Christina: Yeah. They're not a tier "Who?"

Miguel: Yeah. They're in the tier "Who?" in the sense that you forgot about them.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But not in the category with Surface and Riff and Skin Deep, they're not down there.

Christina: Yeah, I always knew Troop the group, but I don't listen to their music. I would just kind of hear them...like they would always just come up in these conversations or recommendations. If I listen to this, I'm going to see Troop. But I know, I know some of their songs, but I can't think of any of them.

Miguel: "Spread My Wings."

Christina: Shrug.

Miguel: They did the Jacksons cover, "All I Do Is Think Of You."

Christina: Uh, oh yes. I like that one.

Miguel: You I'm sure you know

Christina: They're the tier "Who?"

Miguel: For you.

Christina: Yeah, for me.

Miguel: I'm sure you know the "Spread My Wings" too, because that's like their biggest song probably. I'll play it for you later.

Christina: Okay. Um, Immature.

Miguel: I know who they are, but I still put them in the "Who?" category.

Christina: If we're going to talk about kids, there's also Another Bad Creation. [singing] "Iesha."

Miguel: I wasn't even going to bring them up.

Christina: [Singing] "You know I want you so bad."

Miguel: Both Immature and Another Bad Creation were not for me. I was not the target demographic with that.

Christina: Am I going to get "I got the munchies for you, baby" stuck in your head again?

Miguel: Probably. The only thing I want to know about Immature is where's the Asian kid?

Christina: We saw, remember we found, uh—

Miguel: We found his wedding video. But other than that, he has lived a life of anonymity.

Christina: 'Cause didn't we read something that like his parents didn't really want him to be in the entertainment world?

Miguel: Yeah. Cause it was getting a little too wild because that, that House Party movie they did? Ugh.

Christina: I don't think he was in it.

Miguel: Yeah, he's definitely in it.

Christina: Was he? Oh, okay.

Miguel: That was his last act as part of Immature.

Christina: Oh wait, they were in another House Party movie, right?

Miguel: Yeah, he wasn't in that one.

Christina: Okay. Cause I saw, another Immature / House Party movie poster and he wasn't in it.

Miguel: Yeah. He's not in that one, but the one I'm referring to when they told their grandmother that they were going to rent her a movie to watch Ninja Turtles and it was a porno. After that his parents were like, nah. But him and Marques and Romeo are still hanging out ‘cause they were at the wedding.

Christina: Right. So it wasn't a bad breakup. His parents are just like, nah, you can just like go to college and be a doctor or something.

Miguel: They were not with this. Like nah, man. You outta here.

Christina: I have two more to throw at you.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Your favorite. These are not tier "Who?" because you know them, but you don't want to know them.

Miguel: Oh God.

Christina: Joe Public. [singing] "you got to live and learn..."

Miguel: Oh yeah.

Christina: I hate songs with messages. I just sound like a horrible person because I like all these problematic songs and stuff.

Miguel: You do.

Christina: But the only like, uplifting song that I like that I can think of off the top of my head is Jodeci's "Get On Up."

Miguel: That one is not really uplifting either, it's just fun and it's a party song. When you say uplifting, I'm thinking Sounds of Blackness "Optimistic."

Christina: Well like this Joe Public, "You got to live and learn. Brothers and sisters!"

Miguel: I can't stand that song. It burns my soul.

Christina: And the last one, which will kind of connect to the next episode when we talk about the ladies is, remember Subway with their inappropriate-ass song with 702? "These Little Games We Play" and they're all teenagers at the time. And the song is just "boy, you know, these little games we play" and just a lot of inappropriateness for a bunch of teenagers to be singing about.

Miguel: I wasn't a fan of that either.

Christina: That was back when 702 had four members, which we will talk about more in the next episode.

Miguel: Yes.

[music break]

Miguel: Now that we've gotten to the end, then I would like for you actually, did you give your tier "Who?" or do you have any?

Christina: I'm sure there are many that I have either forgotten about or never knew about, but nobody you've mentioned. Oh, I do have one more. Remember when, um, Michael Bivins with one of the Boyz II Men videos and he was showing all his acts and there was that one white boy band[4] group, and everybody's like, who the hell Is that?

Miguel: Sudden Impact? Yeah, there's a podcast about them called Waiting for Impact.

Christina: So clearly we're not the only ones who are trying to figure out who these guys are.

Miguel: What's the guy's name that did it, Dave something? He used to be an MTV VJ. It's his podcast. I have it on my list. I haven't listened to it yet.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But we all had questions.

Christina: Yeah. Like who are these guys?

Miguel: Who the hell was Sudden Impact?

Christina: Cause we never saw them again.

Miguel: We didn't. And I don't know if you remember this, but I showed you the video of the East Coast Family. Yvette Nicole Brown[5] is in the group. She used to be a singer.

Christina: Yes. I remember you showed me that.

Miguel: Yep. So she was part of the East Coast Family with Sudden Impact.

Christina: Okay. Yeah. So that's my tier "Who?" Who's Sudden Impact? Been wondering who they are for a long time.

Miguel: The rest of the world has too.

Christina: We'll have to listen to that podcast.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: All right. Yes. So that's it for me. Like I said, I'm sure I'm missing people, but of what you presented to me, it was just Troop.

Miguel: It was way too many.

Christina: But even then it doesn't really count as tier "Who?" because I know them. I just don't really listen to them to be able to think of their songs off the top of my head.

Miguel: All right. So now I need you to choose your favorite song, album and video from the '90s.

Christina: So this is too hard.

Miguel: Specifically with R&B groups.

Christina: Right. This is too hard to make me, force me to pick just one from each category.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: I'm going to start with album because you know who the love of my life's are in terms of '90s boy groups and that's Jodeci. So it was going to have to be Forever My Lady. I love them so much we're going to dedicate an entire episode to Jodeci at some point. But Forever My Lady, because those first five, six songs are perfection. It doesn't even matter that the rest of the album is okay.

Miguel: There's one song closer to the end that's alright.

Christina: "Xs We Share."

Miguel: Yes, that's it.

Christina: I actually don't mind the other ones, but the first five songs are so perfect and completely encompasses what I love about '90s male, R&B groups. You know how the there's always someone doing some kind of sexy talk. So you've got DeVanté doing that. You have the contrast between K-Ci and JoJo's voice, they're bringing in like this old soul, I grew up in the church vocals, but it's mixed with that new '90s hip hop swagger. It's perfect.

Miguel: Until you get to the interlude and it falls off a cliff.

Christina: Because the first half, they're like, let's do the ballads. The second half, we'll do New Jack Swing, and it just wasn't for them. But...

Miguel: Yeah. It didn't work.

Christina: those first five songs are so perfect that it doesn't matter.

Miguel: It's true. It carries the entire album.

Christina: It doesn't matter. The second album is really good as well. But I guess maybe cause you get hit with five songs right away that you don't get a break. Whereas the second album, there's more highs and lows throughout the album. So I'm going to have to pick Forever My Lady.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: So since I'm picking Jodeci as the album. I'm going to not pick any Jodeci songs. So I was like, let me just scan my list and whatever pops into my head right away, because it's really too hard for me to pick one song. So I think with my list, like the notes that I had, "Unconditional Love" by Hi-Five and "Cheers 2 You" by Playa. That's kind of head to head and yeah, I don't know. That's the closest I can get to picking something for a song.

Miguel: That's fine.

Christina: And for videos and you have to go back to Jodeci, and also the "Candy Rain" remix video.

Miguel: But which Jodeci video?

Christina: "Forever My Lady," because again, that sort of quintessential '90s, male, R&B group, the clothes, DeVanté air playing a keytar, not a guitar, a keytar. And I also threw "Candy Rain" remix in there too, because they're dancing around in them white linen outfits too. So it's a very like that similar '90s linens blowing in the wind, baggy, such and such.

Miguel: So I'm going to start with video. I'm going to read exactly what I have written here.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: "Forever My Lady" had it all. Hooded, rayon short sets, boots and DeVanté's—

Christina: Yes, the combat boots!

Miguel: And DeVanté's invisible keytar. Those are written here in my notes. And you said the exact same thing.

Christina: Quintessential '90s, R&B male group. Oh, don't forget the little bare chest too.

Miguel: I was going to put that on my list, but I figured it was a given.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: If you wearing a hooded rayon short set, you got your chest out.

Christina: Unless you're JoJo.

Miguel: Even he had his chest out in this video, though.

Christina: Did he?

Miguel: He did.

Christina: Okay. I don't even remember. I'm have to go back and—

Miguel: He had his chest out, a little herringbone chain.

Christina: Just a little bit, just a little bit.

Miguel: Yeah. He didn't have it down to his navel, like the rest of them. Uh, but for the album, I'm going with Tony! Toni! Toné! House of Music. That's my favorite album. And for the song I'm going with "Live And Learn" by Joe Public.

Christina: Yeah right.

Miguel: I'm not going with that.

Christina: You hate that song.

Miguel: I cannot stand that song.

Christina: "Brothers and sisters!"

Miguel: Can't stand it. Oh man. But I'm actually going to go with Blackstreet, "No Diggity."

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: That would be my ‘90s song. I don't care what the credits say.

Christina: Dr. Dre.

Miguel: We, we know Dre produced that even if it says produced by Teddy Riley. Teddy, ain't never made no drums like that. Ever.

Christina: I almost put a Blackstreet song in my favorite songs as well. I really love "Before I Let You Go." He hits you with a "ooh yeah" at the beginning. I don't know why I just didn't pick it, but it could be a contender up there too.

Miguel: All right. So from the tier "Who?" Who is somebody that you thought deserved better than what they got?

Christina: So I kind of cheated on this one too, because I'm actually picking someone from tier two. I think Soul For Real deserved better.

Miguel: All right.

Christina: Because...maybe I am now biased because we had just watched that interview on Breakfast Club, like I mentioned earlier, and they were basically talking about issues and maybe being blackballed and just stuff that pretty much seems to happen a lot with young acts that don't really know what they're doing.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Because when you listen to the first album, there's so much promise. And then they made the second album and it had zero promotion. But when I listened to the second album, it sounds like something, if I had known it existed, would have listened to.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: It doesn't quite hit the same listening to these 1996 songs in 2022 for the first time, because they sound like 1996.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But I'm like, if I had heard this 1996, it might've been different. And I just feel like if they had the opportunity to work with better songwriters or better production or a record company that actually promotes them or...even independently, but with more resources, I think they could have been bigger than they were.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: They wouldn't have been reduced to "Candy Rain" only. And maybe "Every Little Thing I Do."

Miguel: So the, the group that I'm going with, and I mentioned them earlier is Intro. Because I didn't realize all the hits that they had until I was listening to them and was like, these dudes were jammin'. So I'm going with Intro. They deserved to have a better shot, even though it was a lot of competition and everything was crowded, but I think they needed a little bit of a push.

Christina: Maybe if I hadn't watched that interview where they (Soul For Real) seems still very upset. Maybe I would have not picked them, but I definitely agree with Intro too, because they sound really good.

Miguel: So moving to the last section, I would like for you to give the people the answer, because I already know your answer to this question.

Christina: I think the people know the answer to this question.

Miguel: They might not.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Who is your favorite from this era? And I don't need you to give your reasons because we've already heard the reasons of why they're the best from this era. So go ahead and say...

Christina: Jodeci, obviously.

Miguel: Yep. Same for me. That's who I'm going with, them, just because they set the standard for everything to follow. All right. So we've come to the end of this episode. Is there anything you would like to add?

Christina: I came up with two realizations while doing research for these episodes. One, I miss intentionally listening to music. Most of the time these days, I just kind of have things playing on the background. Which is different, ‘cause when I was a kid, I would just lay in bed and listen to music.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: And maybe at the most read the liner notes or like paint my nails. But now it's like background, I'm always multitasking. So doing this podcast has kind of also made me kind of re-appreciate all the stuff that I'd loved to so much. And the second realization is, I think I tend to like my singers problematic.

Miguel: I know that already. I'm not surprised.

Christina: The common theme is they sound like they are reincarnates of problematic ‘70s, soul singers, who grew up in a church, but have '90s hip hop swagger.

Miguel: I know this very well.

Christina: And that's it.

Miguel: All right. So on that note, we are going to end this episode here. Make sure to follow us on social media @troypodcast on both the bird and the ‘gram. Listen to the playlist that we put together for this episode on Spotify. We'll link to that on the website. You can also check out the website, troypodcast.com to look at transcripts and all that good stuff.

Christina: And links to stuff that we mentioned and any corrections we may need to make.

Miguel: Exactly. It's all there at the website, troypodcast.com. Also, if you would like to hear this episode with an integrated playlist, you can search our name, They Reminisce Over You Music + Talk edition. On that note, we outta here. Talk to you in two weeks.

Christina: Bye.

Miguel: Bye.