Section 1: The Ass End
“Dancehall Queen” 1997, #90 (3 weeks) (download)
Beenie Man actually starred in the movie Dancehall Queen which seems appropriate since he calls himself “King of the Dancehall.” This track was his first hit in the US, five years after he started releasing albums. It features Chevelle Franklyn on vocals.
Bell Biv Devoe
“When Will I See You Smile Again?” 1991, #63 (8 weeks) (download)
Poison is a legendary R&B record that still sounds good today but these guys weren’t really made for ballads. As members of the East Coast Family, BBD was tailored more for funky hip-hop tunes, while Boyz II Men took the balladeering over. “When Will I See You Smile Again?” is a good track of the debut but you just don’t remember it over “Poison” or “Do Me!”
Eh, throwaways here. “Make It Like It Was” is a total snooze inducer, I mean could you make the song any duller?
“Feed the Tree” 1993, #95 (4 weeks) (download)
I started college in 1994 and Tanya Donelly and Belly’s Star, released in January of 1993 was still going strong at our radio station. In fact, I would bet that if you walked into the dorm room of the music director right before me, you would have heard this all the time. Tanya Donelly’s name was mentioned more damn times than I care to remember. I have no issues with her or her music, but I swear to God I’ve heard “Feed the Tree” and “Gepetto,” 2000 times a piece.
“Georgy Porgy” 1999, #55 (14 weeks) (download)
Not only did I think Eric Benet was bigger than he really was (one top 10 hit and six songs bubbling under for his career) but I now realize the only reason I know him is because he was Mr. Halle Berry for a half decade. I actually went through and listened to all his singles from “Femininity” in 1997 to “Sometimes I Cry” in 2010 and didn’t recognize a one of them. “Georgy Porgy” is actually a really decent tune though even if Benet’s voice is rather ordinary. Faith Evans backing him up on the tune really make it.
I went to see a Better Than Ezra concert in Philadelphia at some point in 1998 or so and was flat out overjoyed at how much energy they brought to the stage (and off of it). Singer Kevin Griffin jumped down off the stage and brought a sampler into the crowd and sample people saying their own name during one of the songs. And my buddy crowd surfed and got dumped on his ass in the middle of the floor. I also like to think I was on a double date with the girl I had a crush on, but I think my buddy did too (a lot of people did) and it might just have been a friendly type thing. The fact that I’m still not sure, leads me to believe it was just four friends going to a show.
Anyway, that’s getting off topic. Have I said that I’ve often loved the tunes of Better Than Ezra? “Desperately Wanting” is actually one of my favorite songs of all time. “King of New Orleans” was a college radio sing along and even some of the more hip-hop oriented songs on 2001’s Closer regularly get spins in my house.
“Doin’ the Do” 1990, #90 (4 weeks) (download)
Looking at the sexy British singer Betty Boo, I would have never quite pictured her as a rapper per se. She’s known as more of a dance artist but she does do enough rapping to add that genre into the mix. Off stage, Alison Clarkson was apparently nice and quiet, but she was a ball of energy live and on record and dressed quite provocatively on many an occasion. I remember her more for her look (I was 14 at the time this was released) than her music and while I do enjoy parts of “Doin’ the Do,” it would be much better if the chorus was listenable.
B.G. the Prince of Rap
“This Beat Is Hot” 1991, #72 (9 weeks) (download)
Not to be confused with the other B.G. which stood for Baby Gangsta, this B.G. or Bernard Greene is a rapper from Washington, DC. That might surprise you when you hear “The Beat Is Hot” since it’s a total rip off of Snap’s “The Power,” and had a total euro sound to it. However, Greene was in the military after high-school and spent time in Germany, which is where Snap! was from. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Big Audio Dynamite II
“The Globe” 1992, #72 (10 weeks) (download)
You could ask me 100 times if I like B.A.D. and 50 times I’d say yes, 49 times I’d say no and the other time I’d punch you in the face for asking me so often. Mick Jones made some totally crazy music, some really catchy and enjoyable, others downright unlistenable thanks to what seems like a desire to work a couple dozen samples into every song. “Rush” has like six of its own and is a fantastic song, but “The Globe” never did much for me. And it samples “Should I Stay or Should I Go” which I’ve often felt was a little lazy on the part of Jones to sample something he wrote. But rappers do it all the time these days and I have no problem with it so I guess that can’t be my excuse here. Maybe it’s just dull?
“Need Your Love” 1997, #70 (5 weeks) (download)
“Need Your Love” wasn’t a hit because it was a Big Bub song but rather because it featured both Queen Latifah & Heavy D on it. There apparently wasn’t a weight limit in that studio.
Big Mountain was one of a couple dozen very generic reggae groups that made it big in the ‘90s. There’s nothing wrong at all with their sound but it’s simply by-the-books. But if I have a pina colada in my hands and I’m lying on a beach somewhere, it’s perfectly fine. But they are never going to be known for any of these tracks. Their cover of “Baby, I Love Your Way” was included in Reality Bites and that’s really why Big Mountain is known by most people.
“I’m Not A Player” 1997, #57 (20 weeks) (download)
You think that Big Pun wasn’t a player? Here in ’97 he tells us that he isn’t then in ’98 he has a bigger hit telling us that he still isn’t. And both were on his debut album Capital Punishment. Strangely enough, “Still Not A Player” in which he crushes a lot is before “I’m Not A Player” in which he fucks a lot. Don’t you have to not be a player first in order to still not be one? At least the singles were released in the right order.
“’Round We Go” 1996, #91 (2 weeks) (download)
Really, any dance song could be at least a minor hit in the ‘90s, right?
Bingoboys featuring Princessa
“Borrowed Love” 1991, #71 (6 weeks) (download)
Well, at least “Borrowed Love” is better than their #25 hit, “How To Dance.” Bingoboys were a trio of Austrian DJ’s and recruited New York rapper Princessa to rhyme on both these tunes. The track was originally an S.O.S. Band non-hit from back in ’86. You can find both of these tracks on the curiously titled debut album from them – The Best of the Bingoboys.
“Biscuit’s In the House” 1990, #85 (3 weeks) (download)
Holy crap. This is the first tune we’ve talked about so far that could very well make the “worst songs of BF90” list. This lame ass rhyme is the reason why we’ve never heard of Biscuit since that point. Before this (as he alludes to in the song) he was a bodyguard for New Kids. He gives them two shout outs. Christ.