R&B House Urban / Sisters & Brothers Volume Three 1995 - 2001


1995 – 1999


1 D’ANGELO / Brown Sugar / Brown Sugar July 1995

2 R KELLY / Religious Love / R. Kelly November 1995

3 FUGEES / Killing Me Softly / The Score February 1996

4 ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO / Who Is He And What Is He To You / Peace Beyond Passion June 1996

5 BLACKSTREET / No Diggity / Another Level August 1996

6 AALIYAH / One In A Million / One In A Million August 1996

7 GINUWINE / Pony / Ginuwine The Batchelor October 1996

8 ERYKAH BADU / On And On / Baduizm March 1997

9 REFUGEE CAMP ALL STARS / The Sweetest Thing / Single A Side April 1997

10 MISSY ELLIOTT / Sock It 2 Me / Supa Dupa Fly July 1997

11 AALIYAH / Are You That Somebody? / Single A Side June 1998

12 LAURYN HILL / Everything Is Everything / The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill September 1998

13 MICA PARIS / Carefree / Black Angel November 1998

14 WHITNEY HOUSTON / My Love Is Your Love / My Love Is Your Love November 1998

15 TLC / No Scrubs / Fanmail February 1999

16 ERIC BENET With Faith Evans / Georgy Porgy / A Day In The Life April 1999

17 MISSY ELLIOTT / Hot Boyz / Da Real World June 1999

18 MACY GRAY / Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak / On How Life Is July 1999 


1999 - 2001


1 DESTINYS CHILD / Jumpin’ Jumpin’ / The Writings On The Wall July 1999

2 MARY J BLIGE / Let No Man Put Asunder / May August 1999

3 ANGIE STONE / Love Junkie / Black Diamond September 1999

4 RAHSAAN PATTERSON / Sure Boy / Love In Stereo October 1999

5 KELIS / Good Stuff / Kaleidoscope October 1999

6 D’ANGELO / Devil’s Pie / Voodoo January 2000

7 JILL SCOTT / Do You Remember? / Who Is Jill Scott? July 2000

8 OUTKAST / Toilet Tisha / Stankonia November 2000

9 ERYKAH BADU / Bag Lady / Mama’s Gun November 2000

10 MUSIQ SOULCHILD / Just Friends / Aijuswannasing November 2000

11 N.E.R.D. / Things Are Getting Better / In Search Of March 2001

12 DESTINYS CHILD / Bootylicious / Survivor April 2001

13 MISSY ELLIOTT With Ludacris / One Minute Man / Miss E So Addictive April 2001

14 INDIA ARIE / Strength, Courage And Wisdom / Acoustic Soul April 2001 

15 BILAL/ Fast Lane / 1st Born Second July 2001

16 AALIYAH / We Need A Resolution / Aaliyah July 2001

17 MARY J BLIGE / Family Affair / No More Drama August 2001

18 ANGIE STONE / Wish I Didn’t Miss You / Magogony Soul November 2001


   In a new climate demanding authenticity, Mary J. Blige hijacked pure hip-hop to pull R&B away from the courtship-grooving-in-a-club, get-your-partner-in-the-mood music-for-the-boudoir bullshit of the past. Sadly, Mary J. was still the exception and nineties R&B was still an ugly place to be. Sure there was Teddy Riley finally getting it right with ‘No Diggity’, Aaliyah’s ‘One In A Million’ stripping away almost everything but the beats, and all the ultra futuristic, super syncopated beat science. But for all the changing production paradigms, narcissism and naked greed still dominated.

   In this climate, D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, The Fugees The Score and The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill were nothing short of revelations, standing as champions for soul’s ability to communicate more complex ideas. Looking back to gospel, vintage soul and old skool hip hop, they were the most influential albums of the era, and were followed by a whole raft of records navigating the present and the future while reconnecting with the past.

   Neo-Soul presented one obvious connection with the past. Once just a record company marketing tool for D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, but arguably originated by Mary J. Blige, it also covered Macy Gray, Angie Stone, Rahsaan Patterson, Jill Scott and India Arie. Despite the crazy hair-do’s, vintage threads, appropriated sounds and early seventies mannerisms and styles, neo-soul was an honest update of soul, if not the revolution it often claimed to be. Hip-hop too was changing and for the first time Missy Elliott, Outkast and N*E*R*D* were building R&B into their sonic architecture.

   Even sassy, manufactured femme funk like TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ provided their own retro-nuevo revelations. Buried within the gender war lyrics was a wealth of information about the legacies of slavery, economic alienation and emasculation, and the divisive con of capitalism and the American Dream. In one stroke, ‘No Scrubs’ broadened the landscape of concern for a mainstream audience. 

   Of course, the group who came to epitomise new millennium black music more than anyone were Destiny’s Child. They appeared out of nowhere, with bottomless resources, great looks, teen longing and adolescent sass. Sounding somehow ladylike, even religious over immaculate beats from an all star cast of producers, the real star of the show was Beyonce, the epitome of an independent woman, and the face of the 21st century.