’90s Music Makers We Miss

November 4, 2011  |  
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Do you remember Video Music Box with DJ Ralph McDaniels or Yo! MTV Raps back in the early ’90s? Remember when Donnie Simpson and Sherry Carter from BET would play all the hits on their Friday night countdown show, Video Soul? I can’t be the only one who reminisces about sitting in front of the TV jamming to music that I was really too young to understand.

If you were coming of age in the 90’s you were jamming to some good music, unlike today where the radio is filled with nonsense. Not too many of the hit makers from that time are still around today and for those who are, the music doesn’t always add up. Whatever happened to Changing Faces, Brownstone, Pebbles and CeCe Peniston? Take a trip down memory lane with me as I reminisce on some folks you probably forgot about.

Tony! Toni! Tone!

I know Raphael Saadiq is doing his own thing, but damn, do I miss the days of “Do you know what today isss? It’s our anniversary.” Those cats had some hits. From “Lay Your Head on My Pillow” to “Slow wine,” Tony! Toni! Tone! music is a staple in any man’s “Get-the-drawers-mix.”


Whatever happened to those lovely sistahs with voices? We know Coko tried her hand at a solo career, but the other two just disappeared off the map. Without SWV, who would know that “Downtown” is the way to a woman’s heart? Salute those women for making it cool to go “Downtown.”


We will never see a functioning, sober Jodeci ever again, and because of that, “Get-the-drawers-tapes” have been suffering for over a decade now. I miss K-Ci, JoJo, Mr. Dalvin and Devante walking around in leather jumpsuits and combat boots as the bad boys of R&B. “Come And Talk to Me,” “Cry for You,” and “Feenin'” are just a few classics from their amazing catalog.

En Vogue

Can we get an En Vogue reunion or a benefit show at the very least? En Vogue had it popping in the ’90s. Beautiful black women singing their hearts out, and giving us something we could feel at the same time. I had a serious crush on Dawn but uh, don’t tell anybody!


Rick James said cocaine is a helluva drug, but crack? Well that’s even worse. Crack took our beloved Dark Man X from us (not literally though) and we fear he’ll never be the same after being in and out of jail and in trouble. Unfortunately this is not a case of “where are they now,” we know exactly where to find DMX — he’s in Yonkers getting high!

Lauryn Hill

We can’t talk about the ’90s and not bring up the magnificent Lauryn Hill. Her The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album is in a league of its own. Whereas the crack took Whitney from us, fame sent Lauryn to the looney bin. You can still catch her doing shows, but you’re better off just turning on her old stuff and reminiscing.

Mint Condition

“Pretty Brown Eyes,” “What Kind of Man Would I Be” — man those brothers could sing. I feel bad that the youngins try to have sex to Trey Songz, because that’s not baby making music. I’m not sure what to call it but it’s not baby making music for sure. While Mint Condition still makes music today, it’s nothing like their classics from the ’90s. Those were the days…

I know I left out a few so tell us some of your favorites from the ’90s.

Email nativenotes at nativenotes@gmail.com or follow him on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr and check out some his writings over at Notes of This Native Son

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  • carmen_bender12

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    Tiffany`s story is terrific,, won weak-ago my uncle basically easily made
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  • MyaC

    Good List!

  • Rescuedvicky

    Ain’t nobody got shai on here?? Baby I’m yooooours, if you need me…

  • Paula867

    How exactly is Lauryn Hill in the looney bin again?  Nobody can distinguish between her being defiant and not caring about anyone’s thoughts AND her screaming on a bus, attacking random passengers.  Learn something, black people

  • Pingback: '90s Music Makers We Miss | Madame Noire | Black Women's …()

  • Prissy

    Tevin Campbell, Shai, AZ Yet, Total, BBD, Boyz II Men, The Boyz, Brian McKnight, Brownstone, Jade, Color Me Badd, Dru Hill, Jodeci, EnVouge, Expose, Gina Thompson, Hi- Five, Brandy, Immature, INOJ, Joe Public, Mariah Carey (her OLD stuff), Mary J. Blug (her OLD stuff), MoKenStef, Monifah, Montell Jordan, Silk, SWV, TLC, Sybil, Toni Braxton (her OLD stuff), Tony! Toni! Tone!, Xscape… My list could go on and on…. 

  • Rstanfor

    I love all the choices and I am surprised to see Mint Condition on here. I love them with all that is in me!!  And my fave song is U Send Me Swingin! Thanks for remembering my fave band.

  • Don’t forget Total, Blackstreet

  • Just_Kammie

    *scrolling through my playlist*
    Umm…..how about:
    Bobby Brown
    New Edition
    Brian McKnight
    Jagged Edge
    Dru Hill (original singers please)
    Heavy D
    Kid N Play
    Montell Jordan
    Positive K
    Ralph Tresvant
    Salt N Peppa
    Slick Rick
    Tevin Campbell

  • Lady G

    Please take Mint Condition out of the “What Ever Happened To” category. They are still doing it, and their latest CD, “7” is the business. I know you acknowledged they are still doing it, but I want to clarify they are still doing it BIG!!! 20 years later.

    And as an added note, Boyz II Men also has been doing it for 20 years, and still going strong!!!