Going Old School: Great throwback songs by Black artists


Black History Month has come to an end. What better way to wrap up the month than with some great throwback songs by Black artists.

“Ms. Jackson” (2000)  – Outkast 

This hit 2000’s song is made by the iconic duo consisting of André 3000 and Big Boi. The song was written as an apology from André 3000 to Erykah Badu’s mother. André 3000 was previously in a relationship with Badu and they had a child together. This song is great to blast with the windows down while driving with your friends. 

“It’s Growing” (1965) – The Temptations 

This beautiful love song written by the amazing Smokey Robinson then beautifully performed by the Temptations, warms your heart. David Ruffin’s vocals mix perfectly with the backing vocals from the rest of the group. Written about how a man’s love for his girl is growing, this song gets you in that lovey feeling. 

“Super Freak” (1981) – Rick James

Ranked #153 on the 500 Best Songs of All Times list by the Rolling Stones Magazine, this 80’s hit song is sure to get you moving. This groovy song got James nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal category at the 24th Annual GRAMMY Awards. “Super Freak” would go on and be sampled numerous times, most notably, MC Hammer, the Black Eyed Peas, and most recently, Nicki Minaj. 

“Got Your Money” (1999) – Ol’ Dirty Bastard

From his second studio album, this song is by American rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard with the chorus being sung by R&B singer Kelis. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was a member of the legendary rap group the Wu-Tang Clan. Not only did the song already have two great artists on the track, but also was produced by songwriting and producing duo the Neptunes.

“Get Ur Freak On” (2001) – Missy Elliott

There is no doubt that Missy Elliott is one of the best female rappers of all time. While there will always be debates on who is the “Queen of Rap”, everyone can agree that Missy Elliott is definitely on the list. 

“Earth Song” (1995) – Michael Jackson

Now we all know about the “King of Pop” and his awesome discography. From this ninth studio album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, this ballad is better self explanatory, a song written about the environment and animal welfare. This song makes you feel like you are being called by a higher power. 

“Every Little Step” (1988) – Bobby Brown

“Every Little Step” is from Brown’s second solo album, Don’t Be Cruel, which is believed to be his most successful and popular album from his solo career. In the music video, Brown showcases his funky hit dance moves that also gets you moving. So if you’re in the mood to dance, Bobby Brown is your man. 

“N.Y. State of Mind” (1994) – Nas

You can never go wrong with Nas. Often hailed as one of his best and most popular songs, the first verse was done in one take. “N.Y. State of Mind” was ranked 31 on the Rolling Stones’ Top 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time. This is a song where Nas shows off his ability to write complex lyrics and raps about the “dangerous” environment of New York City and also his rapping. 

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” (1998) – Lauryn Hill

From her debut solo award winning album, the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is “Doo Wop (That Thing)” is Hill’s one and only Billboard Hot 100 number one hit. Despite only one song being a number one song, Hill would go on to win five categories are the 41st GRAMMY Awards for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, two of which were for “Doo Wop (That Thing)”. There are very few things in this world better than a Ms. Lauryn Hill song.