It may be because I was born in the 80s, or maybe because it truly was just the best darn music of all time, but either way I am and forever will be a die-hard 90s R&B fan. (My husband will chuckle when he reads this because he thinks I’m a tad bit stuck in the era when it comes to musical tastes, but who cares?) R&B was the most romantic and real back then. The harmonies were real (sorry auto tune!) and the singers (and groups) knew how to take you there – there meaning wherever they wanted you to go, in an instant. A 90s love song was therapeutic and it spoke to your heart in a way love songs just don’t today. The music was a snack and an entrée for your soul.
Back then Jodeci could have “Come and Talk(ed) to Me” any time and any song from the group Shai was always my “Comforter”. “Remember the Time” when Michael Jackson was in his second prime and there was “No Diggity” doubt that Blackstreet knew how to make a summer barbecue anthem? Back then girls waited for their loves to make the transition from Boyz II Men and tell them “I’ll Make Love to You” like you want me to, and it would eventually happen, almost always courtesy of a playlist with a few good “Slow Jams”. Ladies, you were his “Tenderoni” and he was your “Endless Love”, right? Sigh…I remember those days!
And when it wasn’t love and the two of you had reached the “End of the Road” you wrote him a “4 Page Letter” and thought to yourself, “How did you get here? ‘Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here'”, right? I remember those moment too. Those were tough times but you gave it “One Last Cry” and then knew you just had to pick up those pieces and start “Back At One”. After that heartbreak, “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” you were doing, you had finding “Real Love” on the brain. But you remembered the scars from the last time, so when you met a new guy you asked him to “Never Make A Promise” that he couldn’t keep, and hoped that if you gave him your “Unconditional Love” that in return every time he saw you he’d say “My, My, My” you sure look good tonight, and “For You I Will” be a better man. He was your “Dreamlover” and you were “So Anxious” to be his “Lady”. It was “No Ordinary Love”, but alas, as young relationships often go, things didn’t exactly go the way you both planned, even though you tried to “Hold On” to the love. Hey, it happens.
A little later down the road you met The One and he made you so “Weak” in the knees you could hardly speak, you’d lose all control and secretly hope that he referred to you as the “Love of My Life” and that one day he’d say “Let’s Get Married” and go “Half On A Baby”. Then he “Creep”(ed) out on you and had another girlfriend on the “Down Low” and though you were devastated you’d still sometimes call him and say, baby, “Unbreak My Heart”. Such are the trials and tribulations of learning the highs and lows of love.
But “Here and Now” I believe that the R&B of the 90s was truly the soundtrack to my adolescence, my coming of age memoir, and the therapy that got me to where I am today. Musiq was love and love was music, and so what if “I’m Still In Love” with it today? May 90s R&B forever live on!