1. Soul II Soul "Back to Life (LP Version)"
If you want to start the night off as dramatic as the opening scene in the 1998 Hype Williams movie "Belly" flip to the B side of this 12'' and drop the needle on the 1/2 acapella and 1/2 impeach the president laced classic!
2. Zhane "Hey Mr. D.J."
Have you ever noticed how every R&B song from this era has a random rapper stopping by for 8 bars to give the song credibility in the streets? This jam is not exempt.
3. Ini Kamoze "Here Comes the Hot Stepper"
Many people may be surprised to find out that Ini had been putting out records 12 years prior to this 1993 cross over classic. Ironically for those raised in the 90's, Taana Gardners' 1981 single "Heartbeat" is better known as instrumental for "Hot Stepper". For those raised in the 2000's Kamoze's 1984 cut "World-A-Music" is better known as the voice heard on Damien Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock".
4. Naughty by Nature "Hip Hop Hooray"
I kinda prefer this 1993 cut to their classic, "O.P.P." based on the simple fact that this song can physically get the party a little more live. Instead of the crowd yelling "yeah, you know me" you can have party-goers waiving their arms from left to right while screaming "Hey...Ho" throughout the chorus. "Hip Hop Hooray" scores 2 points to "O.P.P."s 1.
5. Deelite "Groove is in the Heart"
This funky cut that's laced with a Bootsy Collins baseline may disappoint that dude requesting 2pac but real Hip Hop fans know how to wait for the verse from Q-Tip!
6. Mark Morrison "Return of the Mack"
Growing up in the nineties I was really into Hip Hop music and didn't have much of an appreciation for anything else but this cut definitely grew on me when my aunt used to have the cassette bumping while cruising my cousins and I around during the summertime. Thanks Tia Steph!
7. Heavy D "Now that We Found Love"
At the time there was something a little more authentic about this song than a lot of other Hip-House fusion cuts out. This song was definitely a defining moment for the overweight lover. If you're DJ'ing a 90's dance party this track sounds unquestionably like 1991.
8. SWV "Right Here"
Possibly one of the smoothest songs of the nineties. This R&B classic is so 1990's it's straight off the "Free Willy" soundtrack! This R&B song's random rap moment (see 2) is brought to you by a young Pharrell Williams.
9. Boyz II Men "Motown Philly"
This song comes with the running man and all the Philly cheese steaks you can eat!
10. Mary J Blige ft. Big E. Smalls (aka Notorious B.I.G.) "Real Love (Remix)"
Every aspect of this 1992 remix still sounds incredible. It even features a verse from Notorious B.I.G. when he was known as "Big E. Smalls".
11. The Pharcyde "Passin me by"
I tried to keep all the underground classics like "93 til Infiniti" and "Award Tour" off the list but I kinda felt like I had to put at least one on. As a DJ you can never please everybody but play this 93 classic and you will definitely please some one guaranteed.
12. Bel Biv Divoe "Poison"
This single made Teddy Riley's innovative "New Jack Swing" style synonymous with the 1990s. If I was forced to only bring one record to a 1990's dance party this might the one!