One And Done: One Hit Wonders We Miss (Sorta)

August 1, 2014  |  

While many singers and rappers strive to have a long and successful career in the music industry, these artists had just one hit and then were done. Who do you wish had a longer career?

"Vanilla Ice pf"

Vanilla Ice

In 1990, Vanilla Ice had a hit on his hands with “Ice Ice Baby.” The song was everywhere and it shot straight to the top of the Billboard charts making Vanilla Ice a star overnight. But he could never repeat the same success again. The white rapper released other rap songs but the reception just wasn’t the same as his debut single. After overdosing on drugs, Vanilla Ice, real name Robert Van Winkle, switched his attention to heavy metal music before going into real estate.

"Craig mack pf"

Craig Mack

In 1994, Craig Mack had everyone singing “Flava In Your Ear.” The Bad Boy artist’s song was so popular, a remix was made. LL Cool J, Rampage, Busta Rhymes and The Notorious B.I.G. appeared on the track, marking the only time labelmates Biggie Smalls and Craig Mack were together on a song. The song received a Grammy nod but it lost out to Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.” However, Craig Mack’s success was over shadowed by Biggie and he soon left the label.

Luniz pf

Luniz

Oakland rap duo Luniz became international stars with their 1995 hit “I Got 5 On It.” The group released four albums throughout their career but none was as popular as “Operation Stackola,” which contained the hit song. “I Got 5 On It” was the group’s biggest hit here in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. The track sold over one million copies in the U.S. alone.

"SUnshine Anderson pf"

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson didn’t want to hear any excuses because she “Heard It All Before.” The North Carolina singer’s debut single helped put her on the R&B map in 2001. But that would be the biggest hit of her career. Signed to Matthew Knowles’ record label in 2004, it would take her three more years to release a sophomore album but apparently her fans had heard it all before too.

"Young MC pf"

Young MC

Who wasn’t trying to “Bust A Move” in 1989? Young MC released his debut album with that song on it and soon he was everywhere. The English born rapper parlayed his one hit into several movie roles and cameo appearances. Although he released other albums, none were nearly successful as “Bust A Move.” Young MC still performs sporadically and his song has been used in numerous commercials and movies.

"Khia pf"

Khia

Yes, the song bordered on raunchy but Khia still had a hit on her hands with “My Neck, My Bad (Lick It).” In the rap game since 2001, Khia has released five albums, with the last one released in 2012 but none brought her as much fame and success as her 2002 solo hit from her debut album. Khia still keeps herself somewhat in the public eye with controversial tweets and diss tracks.

"Mark Morrison pf"

Mark Morrison

Mark Morrison was born in West Germany but he was well known here in the U.S. thanks to his hit “Return of the Mack.” The 1996 song became a number one hit in the UK as well as in several other countries and peaked at the number two spot on the U.S. Billboard chart. But his career was soon marred by numerous arrests and he did several stints in jail. Intent on reigniting his career, Morrison released an EP this year.

"Adina Howard pf"

Adina Howard

Adina Howard was a talented singer but she was better known for her freaky side. Specifically, her hit song “Freak Like Me.” The debut single was released in 1995 and had women all across the country rocking to the song. Few R&B artists before Howard had embraced a hypersexual image and although it helped her sell records, Howard was soon forgotten.

"Tag Team pf"

Tag Team

Everybody knew exactly where it was with Tag Team’s ubiquitous “Whoomp! (There It Is).” The 1993 hit peaked at the second spot on the Billboard charts and the Atlanta duo got their first taste of success. Unfortunately for them it would be their only taste of fame. After releasing another album two years later, the group split up.

"Blu Cantrell pf"

Blu Cantrell

Blu Cantrell’s “Hit Em Up Style (Oops!)” helped her become popular but she is probably better known for her rumored relationship with rapper Jay Z. Released in 2001, the song served as her debut single and made its way all the way up to the second spot on the Billboard chart. Blu Cantrell followed that up with another album a year later and after that she disappeared from the music scene altogether.

"JJ Fad pf"

J.J. Fad

The female trio out of California was Just Jamming Fresh and Def. Backed by DJ Train, J.J. Fad released their hit song “Supersonic” in 1988. Backed by all of the members of NWA, the group had high hopes of having a long career but it just wasn’t meant to be. Three years later they released another album “Not Just A Fad” but unfortunately they were just that.

"DJ Kool pf"

DJ Kool

Nobody minded when DJ Kool cleared his throat on his hit song. The D.C. native toiled around for years in the music industry and he finally received recognition with 1996 chart-topping “Let Me Clear My Throat.” But after the song died down, DJ Kool went back into obscurity. However, his only hit remains a popular club song to this day.

"Wreckx N Effect pf"

Wreckx-N-Effect

Teddy Riley influenced the music industry with his New Jack Swing sound. After making a name for himself as the mastermind behind Guy, he lent his talents to the hip-hop duo Wreckx-N-Effect. Their debut album made little noise but it was their hit song “Rump Shaker” on their second album that put them on the map. Released in 1992, the song was a bonafide club banger but it didn’t help the group stick around for too long.

One Hit Wonders

Jimmy Cozier

R&B singer Jimmy Cozier had exactly one hit on his résumé. “She’s All I Got” was released in 2001 and it immediately brought him worldwide attention. Cozier, who’s the son of a jazz saxophonist, would take nine years to release his sophomore album but after being gone from the music scene so long, people had long forgot about him.

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  • ITrue

    Jimmy Cozier had a great album back in the day.

  • Alicia

    Barry White said it best. A lot of these so called artists are nothing but novelty acts. They have no staying power. They are nothing but a fad. Lack of talent is what I call it. I would rather listen to the stuff I grew up on. Where do these so called record executives find these clowns?

  • PS

    What about Glen Lewis “Don’t You Forget It”….

  • Tee Elyse

    KP & Envyi’s “Shorty Swing My Way” & Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” should’ve been on here! They are BOTH classic summer anthems!!!!

    • IGotItLikeThat

      OMG, I forgot about KP & Envyi! “Shorty, Swing My Way, you sure look good to me, so would you please swing my way…” THAT WAS THE JAM!!

  • Dmonique Holl

    I wish kut klose, Mona lisa, sa-deuce, and sam salter had longer careers

  • Sheila

    Where is Prophet Jones with Lifetime?!? I may be mistaken but I only remember this song being big. In my eyes you can’t have a one hit wonder list without Prophet Jones.

  • IGotItLikeThat

    Long before we had Eminem, there was Vanilla Ice! I think he was the first White guy I ever saw rock a hightop fade, lol! “Tag Team back again, check and direct and let’s begin, Party on, party people, let me hear some noise, DC’s in the house jump, jump, rejoice..” Whoomp, there it is” was the jam! Y’all forgot Baha Men “Who Let the Dogs Out,” & Quad City DJs “Come & Ride Da Train.”

  • Tubie

    What’s really cool about some of these songs like “Bust A Move” and “Let Me Clear My Throat” is how timeless they are. Throw one of these songs on at the club and it’s on!

    • IGotItLikeThat

      Those songs right there are CLUB BANGERS! I betcha Young MC is still collecting royalty checks from writing that single!

  • MayBaby

    These songs take me back to time when life was simple and I had the biggest crush on my camp counselor, Dekedrus. He was so cute! I like all of the songs in this list with the exception of “My Neck, My Back”. That there song was pure ratchicity! Hmmmm….sigh….here come the feelings of nostalgia.

  • EP

    I like all of these songs except “My Neck, My Back.” I hated that song. But I loved “Freak Like Me”, “I Got 5 On It”, etc. This was a good list. Yall forgot Gina Thompson “The Things You Do”. I loved that song. Also, “Get Gone” by Ideal. That was a good one as well as “He’s Mine” by Mokenstef. Sigh… .the 90’s. Great songs that I miss.

    • IGotItLikeThat

      I think we all can agree that “My Neck, My Back, lick my p***y & my crack” were some of the worst lyrics ever. Where else could Khia’s career go after that? Lol

      • papillon

        Why are they some of the worst lyrics ever? Because they’re raunchy?

        • IMO, it marked the beginning of RATCHET lyrics!

          • papillon

            She singing about sex, that’s ratchet? I’m not fluent in slang so I am sincerely asking what you mean by that. If “My Neck” is ratchet why isn’t “Freak Like Me”? They’re both talking about the same thing.

            • IGotItLikeThat

              IMO, it’s not what you say it’s how you say it!! Listen to “My Neck & My Back,” & then listen to “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard. There’s a BIG DAMN DIFFERENCE in the delivery of the message both songs are trying to convey!!

              • Fox Fine

                Just because Khia knows how to ask for exactly what she wants isn’t a bad thing.

            • Fox Fine

              “Freak Like Me” is like a gospel compared to some of Khia’s songs. Shoot, it’s a gospel compared to even some of Adina Howard’s own other songs.

              “My Neck, My Back” is like the actual act of love making, whereas “Freak Like Me” is just the before play. I hope that makes sense!

        • IGotItLikeThat

          Like I said before, after a song like that, there was NO PLACE for Khia’s career to go.

          • Fox Fine

            She independent. I would bet she probably has more money than you and me combined, because aside from paying revenues and some market ads, she pockets her cash because she is her business.

    • Fox Fine

      Lol, “My Neck, My Back” was a trip. It’s nothing I would ever bump unless I was at a party, but Khia got some other good songs.

    • Ms. White

      Damn you remember all the good jams.

  • “I wanna freak in the morning, freak in the evening, just like me…” who doesn’t remember “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, I definitely wish she had a longer career (last saw her on “Life After”, she’s a chef now)! Sunshine Anderson spoke for all us ladies “Come home late, It seems you barely beat the sun, tapping my shoulder thinking you gon get you some…” yes ma’am, I still rock to “I heard it all before.” “Hit Up With Style” was the jam! Both Blu Cantrell & Sunshine Anderson should be on R&B Divas!

    • melissa

      Nicole wray is still aroud a bit. Check out Blakroc’s song What You Do To Me. One of my favorites!