There were many reggae songs and new artists that emerged in the 1990s, and here are the 10 best reggae songs of the 90s. They range from romantic, dancehall, modern roots classic, gospel reggae, to those combined with hip-hop. Some even crossed over to the R&B chart.
- Shabba Ranks (1992), “Mr. Loverman.” “Mr. Loverman” was originally included in a collaboration with Cocoa Tea and Home T in 1989. It was re-released as a new version of “Champion Lover” by Deborah Glasgow in 1992, after appearing in the film “Deep Cover.” The re-release went to number two on the R&B charts.
- Freddie McGregor (1994), “Shake It Up Tonight.” This song was featured in McGregor’s “Push On” album which was considered his finest outside production work. “Shake It Up Tonight” was also a major hit in Luciano’s 1995 “After All” album.
- Frankie Paul (1994), “Should I.” In the 1990s, Paul recorded for several labels. “Should I” (1991) and “Hard Work” (1994) were some of the highlights of his hits. Born almost completely blind, he is known as “The Jamaican Stevie Wonder.” He is popular as a dancehall reggae artist.
- Shinehead (1990s), “Billie Jean.” Shinehead is known for doing several covers, like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. He blends dancehall and ragga with hip-hop. No matter whether he is crooning, toasting, or rapping, his albums always have a cross between lighthearted sentiments and positive, socially conscious material.
- Sanchez (1995), “Praise Him.” The sounds of Sanchez are considered to be Afro-erotic and bass-dominated dancehall music. He often did his own reggae versions of all types of songs that were popular in the United States.
- Inner Circle (1994), “Summer Jammin’.” Inner Circle won Grammys in 1993 for their “Bad Boys” which featured the song “Sweat,” and in 1994 for “Summer Jammin’” which was in the soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop III, featuring Eddie Murphy. “Bad Boys” became popular again when it was the title song for the film “Bad Boys” produced by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
- Snow (1992), “Informer.” Snow is a Canadian reggae musician whose hit “Informer” reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1992. Even though he is not from Jamaica he is considered to be a great writer, has a fine singing voice, and includes Jamaican artists in his work. He is authentic, sensitive, genuine, and a dedicated artist.
- Bob Marley (1992), “Iron Lion Zion.” Bob Marley wrote and recorded this song in 1973 or 1974. It was released posthumously in 1992 on “Songs of Freedom” where it reached number five in the UK Singles Chart. Another remixed version was released in 1995 on “Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On.” The Real Salt Lake soccer team uses the song as their post-victory song.
- Luciano (1994), “One Way Ticket.” The album “One Way Ticket” features songs such as “Black Survivors,” “Give Thanks,” “Jah is Alive,” “Turn Your Life Around,” “Throw Out the Life Line,” and “One Way Ticket.” The songs cover issues like the endurance of slaves after being ripped from their roots, thanks to Jah for their survival, helping people in need, demand for a ticket back to Africa, and the artist’s own conversion experience. Luciano’s performance in these songs is formidable and the rhythm is strong.
- Garnet Silk (1994), “Splashing, Dashing.” This modern roots classic was released a few months before Silk was killed in a fire at his mother’s house. He refers to the 23rd Psalm that says people should take comfort from Jah’s rod and staff. He pleads for others to live a more spiritual life. This song was written as a poem, turned into a song with many meanings, and is a prayer for people to look inside themselves and know who they are.
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