10 SWV Songs To Keep You Reminiscing Amid ‘The Queens Of R&B’ Drama
After premiering earlier this month, Bravo’s SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B has been heating up with three episodes already in the books.
So far, viewers of the series have been given a front-row seat to their ‘90s nostalgia as the two legendary R&B groups give fans a backstage pass to their personal and professional lives as they prepare to hit the stage together. They’ve also been able to witness longstanding drama between members of the groups.
The whole thing has us in our feels and reminiscing about an era of music that touched our younger lives. So to celebrate that, BET has put together an essential playlist of 10 SWV songs for your enjoyment. No other playlist is complete without them.
“Someone” (feat. Puff Daddy) (1997)
Repurposing the beat of The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments,” SWV stepped into their Bad Boy bag with this one and tapped Diddy for an added-touch feature. Topically, it taps into the trio’s classic refrains of yearning for lost love and the pain that comes with it.
“Use Your Heart” (1996)
Sampling B.T. Express' “If I Don’t Turn You On (You Oughta Leave It Alone),” Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo really did their thing with “Use Your Heart.” The hit single from New Beginning, it relays the sentiments of loving someone for what they offer personally and emotionally rather than anything exterior. It also encourages listeners to follow their heart as a guide. Simply a classic.
Another It’s About Time bop, “Downtown” is an anthem for those looking to have a night out with the girls (or guys). It’s very exemplary of SWV’s then-fresh and new energy evident throughout their debut album.
From SWV’s third album Release Some Tension, “Rain” is the perfect ballad for anyone dealing with pain, heartache or sorrow which has the trio asking whether rain can “wash away the pain.” The hit made a nice splash (pun intended) commercially as well, peaking at Number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 7 on the R&B chart.
“All Night Long” (feat. Babyface) (1995)
A classic Babyface-produced record from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, “All Night Long” is one of the standouts from the film-accompanied musical release and sure to set the mood for any steamy night. Babyface has also previously noted that the cut was inspired by Waiting characters Russell and Robin.
“I’m So Into You” (1992)
The second single from It’s About Time, “I’m So Into You” combines soulful swingbeat harmonies with the funk of Teddy Riley and Allen Gordon’s production. It also pairs lyrics about a heavy attraction to someone with the desire to express those feelings for that object of affection. Commercially, the cut did well too, peaking at Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually attaining Gold status by the RIAA.
“Right Here/Human Nature (Remix)” (1992)
Simply put: no ‘90s R&B party is complete without this jawn. While the original version of the song, from SWV’s debut album It’s About Time, was a hit in its own right, the smoother remix took it to astronomical heights. It also samples Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” for good measure.
“Can We” (feat. Missy Elliott) (1997)
A permanent and Timbaland-produced cut from both SWV’s LP Release Some Tension and Booty Call soundtrack, “Can We” is a flirty one that begs the question of should two people link and explore their intense attraction to one another. The Missy Elliott feature is simply the cherry on top.
The breakout hit from SWV’s debut album It's About Time, this slow-burner exemplified the trio’s knack for creating smooth harmonies and lead singer Cheryl "Coko" Gamble’s dynamic vocal chops. All about vulnerability, “Weak” is essential to any love song playlist and was commercially successful upon its release, topping the Billboard Hot 100 & R&B Singles chart for two weeks respectfully.
“Fine Time” (1996)
This New Beginning banger is slower than molasses but extremely poignant. It’s about a woman who learns that her lover no longer loves her and wants to move on. The infectious vocal melodies also shine over synth hooks and instrumentals that build as the song does. For anyone trying to get over a breakup, this is the cut for you.