2Pac released his second album in 1993.
One could not help it if they scanned the musical landscape of the early 1990s and conclude that certain genres had hit a golden era in artistic expressions.
Kids that grew up in the 1980s and 1990s heard the countless stories of the good ole days of Motown Records, Stax Records and The Beatles in the 1960s and 1970s.
Well, now those same kids often tell their kids about the good ole days when music had so much diversity that seemingly every artist had something for everyone from hip-hop soul to traditional R&B to conscious rap to gangsta rap to traditional rock to grunge.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of some of the best albums of all time, RegalMag.com would like to take its readers down memory lane when Snoop Dogg was stranded on Death Row, and the brothers from Shaolin finally showed the hip-hop mecca (New York City) that Staten Island had emcees too.
Therefore, check out the best albums of 1993 according to the staff at RegalMag.com.
- “Get a Grip” by Aerosmith—Run-DMC might have reintroduced Aerosmith to the urban audience with “Walk this Way” in the 1980s. But Aerosmith definitely converted that alley0-oop and continued to score points at a rapid pace well into the 1990s. With “Get a Grip,” Steven Tyler and the boys dropped songs like “Livin’ On The Edge,” “Crazy” and “Cryin.’”
- “Midnight Marauders” by A Tribe Called Quest—For those who did not like gangsta rap because of the violent and misogynistic lyrics or thought political rap was a little too heavy, A Tribe Called Quest was that happy medium. Although the group from the boulevard of Linden had become icons years before, songs like “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” kept the hits going for Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
- “Diary of a Mad Band” by Jodeci—The year 1991 was pivotal for R&B. Boyz II Men gave fans the good guy image with their debut album. And Jodeci gave ladies some bad boys in R&B that had a street swagger to go with the awesome vocals of brothers K-Ci and JoJo Hailey. Their debut album “Forever My Lady” changed the game in 1991. Two years later, “Diary of a Man Band” showed that the quartet from North Carolina had too much talent to suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump. Hit songs continued in 1993 with “Cry For You,” “Feenin’,” “What About Us” and “My Heart Belongs to You.”
- “Toni Braxton” by Toni Braxton—Babyface had Anita Baker in mind when he wrote the track “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” for the “Boomerang” soundtrack. When Baker could not do it, she suggested the young lady singing on the demo. That lady was Toni Braxton. And thanks to Babyface and a hit Eddie Murphy comedy, a star was born. Her self-titled debut album dropped in 1993 and featured “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” from the aforementioned soundtrack, “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Seven Whole Days,” “How Many Ways” and “You Mean the World to Me.” Can you say instant classic?
- “12 Play” by R. Kelly—Say what you want about his past transgressions and his cancelation by many. But very few can argue that R&B did not rival hip-hop with hits songs when Robert Sylvester Kelly reigned supreme. His second studio album, and first since ditching his backing band Public Announcement, gave freaky fans that signature Kellz sound. “12 Play” featured the title track, “Bump N’ Grind,” “Your Body’s Callin,’” “It Seems Like You’re Ready,” “For You” and “Sex Me (Part I) and (Part II).” And he gave his signature inspirational song to his departed mother with a cover version of “Sadie.” No one, but himself, could stop Kelly by 1993.
- “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz—The son of actress Roxie Roker (“The Jeffersons”) does not get the credit he deserves for genre-bending anthems. He does not have the resume of Prince. But Lenny Kravitz has a similar vibe that allows him to switch easily from rock to R&B to pop. The title track is an absolute gem. “Heaven Help” is a piano ballad that stands with any soul song from decades past. “Eleutheria” has that reggae feel. And “Just Be a Woman” and Sister” harken back to feel of the late, great Curtis Mayfield.
- “Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z…” by 2Pac—The legendary 2Pac did not totally hit his musical stride (from an entire album aspect) until his third release, “Me Against the World.” But his sophomore album proved that the blossoming thespian could also release hit songs. On his debut, Pac showed he had a message with “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and “Trapped.” Two years later he had not forgotten his mission of releasing music with a message as evident in songs “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Holla If Ya Hear Me.” But he showed he could make a party anthem with “I Get Around” featuring his old groupmates, Digital Underground.
- “Janet” by Janet Jackson—Janet Jackson has a classic album period in the late 1980s to early 1990s like Stevie Wonder did in the 1970s. In 1986, “Control” showed she was no longer just the baby of the Jackson family. Three years later, she showed she had something political to say. And with “Janet” in 1993, Ms. Jackson proved she had something sexy to say with songs like “Anytime, Anyplace” and “If.”
- “Doggystyle” by Snoop Doggy Dogg—After his star making performances on Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic,” Snoop, arguably, became the biggest star in hip-hop leading up to the release of his debut album, “Doggystyle.” While not quite as iconic as the “The Chronic,” hit songs like “Who Am I (What’s My Name)”, “Gin and Juice,” “Doggy Dogg World” and a classic cover of Slick Rick’s “Lodi Dodi” showed the dog had some fight and bite in him as a solo artist.
- “Enter the W-Tang (36 Chambers)” by Wu-Tang Clan—Nine dudes in one rap collective. And all nine of them dudes could spit fire. Many rap groups have weak links. One artist might be more of the personality of the group. One member might be the most talented on the mic. And one member might be a gifted producer. While RZA was the visionary and production genius of the group, everyone one of the boys Wu had star power, talent and bars. That is evident by the successful solo careers that followed.