Whitney Houston contributed six tracks to “The Bodyguard” soundtrack in 1992.
Admit it, the 1990s produced some of the best R&B and hip-hop albums of all time.
As far as hip-hop is concerned, 1992 became a watershed moment as the G-Funk sound from Death Row Records took over pop culture.
Rapper The Game thought so highly of the year 1992 that he released an album called “1992” in 2016.
Thirty years later, some of the stars that dropped classics in 1992 remain on top of the game in a new millennium.
As a result of the 30th anniversary of some of the best R&B, hip-hop and even pop albums, RegalMag.com ranks the top 10 albums of that remarkable year known as 1992.
Honorable Mention: “Too Hard to Swallow” by UGK—Port Arthur, Texas natives UGK might not have shaken up the world in 1992 with their major label debut, “Too Hard to Swallow.” But Bun B and the late Pimp C definitely shook-up Texas and the entire Dirty South with instant classics like “Pocket Full of Stones” and “Short Texas.” People of a certain age remember where they were when they first heard “Something Good.” Those same people probably remember how upset they were when Jive Records refused to put out the explicit version on the album. Soon, UGK would shake up the world and their style influenced a generation of Houston rappers decades later.
- “Dead Serious” by Das Efx—Shout out to TV One for giving Das Efx an “Unsung.” And shout out to KRS-One for bringing those boys out on stage for his “Verzuz” against Big Daddy Kane because sometimes legends can fade to the background without getting the flowers they deserve. Although other acts in 1992 enjoyed more longevity, Das Efx dominated 1992 with classic singles like “They Want Efx,” “Mic Checka” and “Check Yo Self” with Ice Cube.
- “Lose Control” by Silk—People do not give Keith Sweat enough credit for his songwriting skills and his ability to spot talent in others. Although he produced hit records for others in the 1980s like “Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp, when he laced Silk with “Freak Me,” he created a sultry classic that still gets people in a sexy mood 40 years later. Sweat joined the boys from Silk on “Happy Days,” and penned another hit with the title track.
- “If I Ever Fall in Love” by Shai—To stand out in an era of male R&B stars which included Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Bell Biv Devoe and so many others mean talent is not one of your problems. When these brothers from Howard University dropped the accapella version of the title track, it shut the R&B genre down. On that version, they sounded like Boyz II Men. But other hit singles like “Comforter,” “Baby I’m Yours” and “Together Forever” proved they were more than just clones or one-hit wonders.
- “The Predator” by Ice Cube—Although his best albums might be “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” or “Death Certificate,” Ice Cube proved he still ran hip-hop as far as rhymers were concerned with his third LP, “The Predator.” The album had songs that did not sound like his previous songs like “Wicked.” Furthermore, the album had songs that will go down in the hip-hop singles Hall of Fame like “It Was a Good Day,” which talked about some of the good things that happen in the hood and not all the treachery. Additionally, the third single “Check Yo Self” became a catchphrase for people in the 1990s when they felt disrespected.
- “Funky Divas” by En Vogue—When En Vogue dropped the first single off their second LP “Funky Divas entitled “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” the quartet made it clear they would not fall victim to the sophomore slump. In an era in which many children stayed in front of the television watching BET, MTV or VH1, artists knew the visuals would impact sales as much as the talent. So, groups like En Vogue combined obvious vocal superiority with sex appeal in videos like “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and gave both sexes what they wanted from a girls group. They brought in old school R&B fans with homages to the film “Sparkle” with covers like “Hooked on Your Love” along with the aforementioned, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel.”
- “3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of…” by Arrested Development—In an era in which much of hip-hop leaned toward the gangsta rap that N.W.A had popularized in the late 1980s, Arrested Development stood out for staying true to their African roots, Black activism and positive vibes. Speech was different. Dionne Farris was different. And what group had an old dude dancing in the videos for no apparent rhyme or reason. But aesthetics aside, the group had classics like “Tennessee,” “People Everyday” and “Mr. Wendel,” which touched on the topic of homelessness when others rapped about guns and girls.
- “It’s About Time” by SWV—Just like Texas rap fans remember what they were doing when they first heard “Something Good” by UGK, R&B fans from around the world remember when “Weak” dropped by SWV. Girl groups at middle schools and high schools tried to cover the hit at talent shows. Michael Jackson became such a big fan of the group, that he allowed them to use his vocals on “Right Here (Human Nature Radio Mix).” And the hits continued to follow like “Right Here,” “You’re Always on My Mind,” “Downtown,” “Anything,” and “I’m So Into You.”
- “Ooooooohhh…On the TLC Tip” by TLC—SWV’s debut album might have contained more R&B hits and they might have changed the game with their around the way girl aesthetic. But TLC destroyed every female stereotype with their debut album. No one sounded like T-Boz. No one had more personality than Left Eye. Dudes wanted to shoot their shot at Chilli. And oh yeah, the album had classics like “Ain’t 2 Proud to Beg,” “Hat 2 Da Back,” “Baby-Baby-Baby” and “What About Your Friends.”
- “The Bodyguard Soundtrack” by Various Artists—Although “The Bodyguard Soundtrack” contained contributions from artists like Kenny G, Aaron Neville, Lisa Stanfield and Joe Cocker, people probably only played the first six tracks because the late Whitney Houston nailed every song. In 1992, no matter what genre you listened to, you could not avoid Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” But you couldn’t avoid the other hits either like “I Have Nothing,” the Chaka Khan cover, “I’m Every Woman,” “Run to You” or “Queen of the Night.” The girl from Newark, N.J. who grew up singing in the church choir also included a rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.”
- “The Chronic” by Dr. Dre—If Houston recorded every song on “The Bodyguard Soundtrack” it might take the top spot on RegalMag.com’s top 10 albums of 1992. But since she didn’t, and since “The Chronic” became so instrumental in pop culture with the introduction of Dr. Dre as a solo star after his departure from N.W.A and gave us the superstar known then as Snoop Doggy Dogg, the first album from the Death Row Records catalog must take first place. Gangsta rap was big prior to “The Chronic,” but songs like “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” “Let Me Ride” and “Dre Day” took gangsta rap mainstream. The album also made legends of everyone associated with the landmark project like Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg, The Lady of Rage and RBX.