By Kyle Anderson
Updated June 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM EDT
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/
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Despite Chris Rock’s protestations (“It’s just people singing over rap beats!”), R&B had a fruitful and vibrant decade from 1990 to 2000: The rise of New Jack Swing, the innovation of hip-hop soul, a bevy of breakout stars, and the ever expanding and collapsing boundaries of the genre.

To celebrate the Age of Irony’s best booty shakers and slow jams, VH1 is airing “40 Greatest R&B Songs of the ’90s” on Thursday night at 9 p.m. With the assistance of stars like Usher and Keith Sweat, the countdown special tips its hat to smashes like Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly,” and Bobby Brown’s immortal “Humpin’ Around.”

In fact, all three of those songs appear in the bottom 10 of the countdown. Check out entries 40 to 30 in an exclusive reveal below.

40. Bobby Brown, “Humpin’ Around”

39. En Vogue, “Hold On”

36. Boyz II Men, “Motownphilly”

35. Keith Sweat, “Twisted”

34. Aaron Hall, “I Miss You”

32. Johnny Gill, “Rub You The Right Way”

31. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Tha Crossroads”

30. Ginuwine, “Pony”

That’s a pretty solid kick-off to the list, though this journalist personally believes that “Pony” should be in the top 10.

So what else to expect? Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” will almost certainly be in there, as will K-Ci and JoJo’s “All My Life,” right? And while it seems certain that superstars like Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, and TLC will be well represented, which of their songs will get the nod? We’re thinking “Fantasy,” “Bills, Bills, Bills,” and “Waterfalls,” respectively, but you could easily go with “Honey,” “Say My Name,” and “Creep,” right?

Let us know which songs should fill out the top 40 list, and make sure to watch the results on VH1 this Thursday night at 9 p.m.


Attack of the '90s

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