One And Done: One Hit Wonders We Miss (Sorta)
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.