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Unsung 90s Male R&B Groups

Celebrating Black Music Month with seven groups you may have forgotten

By Michael BonnerPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

Happy Black Music Month!

Every June we celebrate the history and accomplishments of African-American composers, singers, and musicians in all genres. Recently, the R&B sounds of the 1990s has had a resurgence, partially because of many current artists sampling their music. Groups like SWV, Brownstone, Jodeci and more have had their music reintroduced to a new generation. Films and TV shows are also doing the same. One of the most powerful scenes in Netflix's When They See Us features I'm So Into You by SWV. 90s R&B and 90s Rap is officially making a comeback.

However there are many groups that flourished during the 90s, even though their music wasn't 'crossover' material like Blackstreet, TLC and others. We will discuss the female group later, but for now let's show some love to some of the forgotten male R&B groups of the 90s.

With the recent passing of Melvin Edmonds, it's only right we mention this group first. After 7 started as a trio, with Kevon Edmonds, Melvin Edmonds and Keith Mitchell. With two members being the brothers of the more famous Edmonds sibling, Babyface, After 7 didn't get the chance to fully step out of his shadow.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Ready or Not"
  2. "Can't Stop"
  3. "Baby I'm For Real"
  4. "Heat of the Moment"

Sleeper Album Cut

  1. "Kickin' It"

The harmony of this group rivals Boyz II Men. Their slow songs still stand the test of time, but they didn't have true crossover success even with a legend like Al B. Sure! backing them. He wrote their hit "Falling In Love Again," which was so good on the their first album The Moment that the group re-recorded it for their second self-titled album.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Party 2 Nite"
  2. "Deep Down"
  3. "Fallin In Love"
  4. "I Miss Your Lovin'"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "Baby I"

Do you remember the movie Lean on Me? Do you remember the iconic bathroom scene, where the boys surprised Joe Clark with the Eastside High School Song? Four of those boys became this group after the movie's release. This is another group that has harmony, talents and hits, but didn't have true 'crossover' appeal to become superstars. Some of the members have been a part of other groups we will showcase later.

Notable Hits:

  1. My Heart Is Failing Me
  2. Temporary Insanity
  3. Voyage to Atlantis
  4. If You're Serious

Sleeper Hit

  1. Adjust Your Love

Michael Jackson had a lot of acts under his MJJ label, and Men of Vision was one of them. It is rare these days to find a five person singing group, but MJ let them shine on two albums.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Do Thangz"
  2. "Housekeeper"
  3. "Break Me Off"
  4. "Do You Feel Me"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "Personal"

Most people think of the movie with Tom Cruise when they hear 'A Few Good Men.' However this group left a mark on 90s R&B, with an EP and a full album.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Have I Never"
  2. "Tonite"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "Let's Take A Dip"

Being an artist and dancer wasn't the only thing MC Hammer was doing in the 1990s. He also helped to launch this group. Special Generation gave us two albums of harmonies and grooves with a style that Mr. Too Legit 2 Quit would be proud of.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Love Me Just For Me"
  2. "Spark of Love"
  3. "Butterflies"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "You Can Tie Me Down"

It is a shock that "Spread My Wings" by Troop isn't a staple karoake/ talent show song. Troop is one of the few group on this list that are still together and performing to this day. With five albums and counting, this is another group that because R&B legends, but could not break into pop culture as a whole.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Spread My Wings"
  2. "All I Do Is Think of You"
  3. "Mamacita"
  4. "Sweet November"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "Keep You Next To Me"

Waldo Geraldo Faldo of Family Matters had a cousin. That cousin, according to the show, was a member of Portrait. You may remember when they sang in an episode for the prom, but they were making waves on R&B radio before then. They released two albums before they parted ways, but have recently announced a comeback.

Notable Hits:

  1. "Here We Go Again"
  2. "Day By Day"
  3. "Problems"
  4. "How Deep Is Your Love"

Sleeper Hit

  1. "I Can Call You"
90s music

About the Creator

Michael Bonner

Michael Bonner is an Atlanta creative who wears many hats to dress for the weather of the world we live in. Some of those hats include artist, musician, full-stack web developer and content creator.

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