Okay, so we don’t really need them to make a comeback, but the people on this list made some of our favorite jams over the years. Some were wedding worthy jams, dance club-a-licious, and others were so ’90s we love them just because. Your definition of one-hit wonder might be different, but if we can only think of one jam that reached the top of the charts or got attention, than those artists were put on this list. Either way though, it’s all love…
Nicole Wray- “Make it Hot”
“I got what you want, I got what you neeeeed!” When Nicole Wray dropped that Timbaland produced-Missy laced track on us in ’98, as Missy said, she was making us all want to bob our heads. She was a decent alternative in the camp to our girl Aaliyah at the time, whose voice Wray’s was a polar opposite of (but the two women were friends–check Aaliyah in the video), but for some reason, after “Make It Hot” went gold, Wray’s career started to slow down big time. She’s done some features, but “Make it Hot” was the last time we’ve successfully heard her shine on her own.
Positive K – “I Gotta Man”
The Bronx-born rapper had everyone acting a fool (men especially) in ’92 when he dropped “I Gotta Man,” the very popular track which wound up going gold. In Prince-ish fashion, he not only was recorded as the man on the track but also was the woman as well, using a sped up version of his voice to sound more feminine–genius! Despite his obvious creativity and the success of the jam, he really hasn’t dropped much since, so we only have this song and video to remind us of this brotha’s potential.
Dionne Farris – “Hopeless”
On a killer soundtrack like the one for the film Love Jones, it’s hard to pick a favorite song, but who doesn’t love the easy-going and laid back “Hopeless”? Farris actually had more than one big hit, so technically she was a two-hit wonder, (see the acoustic-heavy “I Know“), but “Hopeless” was the song that garnered her the most love thanks to the classic film, and still causes folks to sit back and reminisce. The song did big things in ’97, and ten years later she released a new album–For Truth if Not Love. However, it’s pretty clear that the ’90s were her golden years.
The Rude Boys – “Written All Over Your Face”
I can’t tell you how much I adore “Written All Over Your Face” even to this day, but back when it was released in 1990 with the sweet vocals of their late mentor Gerald Levert as a feature, it was an even bigger deal. It charted on Billboard and the guys even won “Best R&B Song” for the track in ’91. They also had another big jam, “Lonely for Me,” but aside from those hits, the guys pretty much faded into black. But with a few new members, The Rude Boys are back to touring and are hoping to release a single sometime this year.
Robin S. – “Show Me Love”
The Queens, New York-born singer had everybody losing their minds on the dance floor when “Show Me Love” hit the clubs. Released in ’93, the song went on to reach number one status on the dance charts and number five on the Billboard 100 charts. Robin didn’t need to dance in the video or be a gimmick, she just had that big ‘ol voice, and when played through the speakers of a seedy club, it was awesome! I need some kind of closure Miss Robin! “Show Me Love II”?
Jesse Powell – “You”
The small singer with the huge voice (he could hit those HIGH notes) has had a slew of singles and albums come out in his career, but I’m pretty sure everybody knows homeboy for his song “You,” released in 1999. The ultimate love song for a new generation of folk, this track was played at so many weddings and receptions in the late ’90s and on that it’s pretty ridiculous. But what can I say? It was just soooo beautiful! His last album came out in 2003, but I’m sure if he could drop something similar to this classic he could have another hit on his hands.
Ghost Town DJ’s – “My Boo”
Okay, so the woman singing in this short-lived hip-hop group (Virgo) didn’t have En Vogue’s pipes, but the way people were grooving and still groove to “My Boo” since its release in ’96, it’s pretty clear that nobody else was paying attention to all that. The electronic beat and easy-to-remember lyrics were definitely what kept people head bobbin’ and bouncin’ in their Jeeps and at cookouts. And you have to love the fact that the video didn’t come off risque (people dancing face to face!), but was just good ‘ol fun. Oh the ’90s…those were the days.
Digable Planets – “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”
Though they would later break up over creative differences, the trio that was Digable Planets, with the help of other groups like A Tribe Called Quest, found a way to transform the sound of hip-hop. With their jazz sampled-hit “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” released in ’94, Doodlebug, Ladybug Mecca and Butterfly were doing huge things. They would later go on to win a Grammy for the song and have it certified gold. But after that, no other tracks of the groups had the same amount of impact or influence. In ’94, they truly were to rap what key is to lock…
K.P. & Envyi – “Shorty Swing My Way”
Ratchet much? Possibly. From the funny looking love interest (who turned out to be a young Polow da Don), the creep eye the rapping chick is giving all the dudes in the club, to the racially ambiguous singer (Envyi is that you???), “Shorty Swing My Way” had the most random video. However, that didn’t stop folks from bouncing to this song hardcore (bankhead bounce?) when it dropped in ’98. Hopefully this song was helping you swoop up a tenderoni back in the day, because it was the jam. Swing it over here shawty!
Wreckx-n-Effect – “Rump Shaker”
If the hip-hop group hadn’t been introduced to Teddy Riley back in the day, we may have never had the chance to shake our rumps in teeny bikinis to the classic that was “Rump Shaker.” Released in ’92 and with a verse written by a young Pharrell Williams (Riley’s protege), “Rump Shaker” went incredibly hard from its saxophone whining beginning to its thumping bass. A mix of New Jack Swing and hip-hop at its finest. Also check out their track “New Jack Swing,” which can randomly be heard on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
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