2. Bell Biv Devoe "Poison" (1990)
Producer: Dr. Freeze
"Poison" is one of those songs that has transcended the very genre that it perfected. That's the reason why it's still playing in the clubs. That's the reason that it's still on your iTunes playlist. That's why you know never to trust a big butt and a smile.
But why is "Poison" so good? For one it's stacked with quotables: "She's so fly/She'll drive you right out of your mind and steal your heart," "I know she's a loser/Me and the crew used to do her." Then there's that synth that seems to rise at just the right time, the Kool G. Rap sample, that addictive bass line, and that unstoppable drum pattern. Bell Biv Devoe tried to explain it all in a subtitle that runs through the music video: "Our music is mentally hip-hop smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop appeal to it." After 22 years that one sentence is still the best definition of the sound.