The Nineties were a golden era for R&B, a time when hip-hop and soul music joined forces to bridge gaps and create new sounds. Today, singers like Summer Walker, Partynextdoor, and Bryson Tiller all draw inspiration from the music recorded back then, making a period that ended 20 years ago feel timeless.
This week’s latest installment of Rolling Stone’s weekly playlist series, “Music at Home,” flashes back to 10 tracks that highlight the era of love songs, baggy-pants overalls, and smooth jams.
The Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter delivered an uptempo, feel-good single for his 1995 debut album, Brown Sugar. Listen to it now, and you can almost hear it blasting as you pass by a BBQ or a wedding reception, with D’Angelo’s honeyed vocals hanging in the air as he sings “Youuuuu’re my ladyyyyyy/You’re my laaaaady.”
Brandy’s 1994 debut album helped shape the sound of R&B for years to come. As a teen, her voice of vulnerability paired with tasteful melodies helped create a signature sound that’s gone on to influence everyone from Jhene Aiko to Ari Lennox. On “I Wanna Be Down,” she executes that sound flawlessly.