“Listen In” is a weekly feature in which we ask musicians to curate a mixtape-length YouTube playlist of songs they’re currently digging.
That handsome fella to the left is Houston rapper Fat Tony, circa senior year of high school. And though his “Listen In” playlist reaches quite a bit farther back than his own mid-2000s salad days, its not hard to see it through the soft-lit nostalgia for youth (he did title it “8th Grade Prom Mix,” after all). Tony’s mix zeroes in on R&B of the late-’80s to mid-’90s, from Guy, a group that counted new jack swing originator Teddy Riley as a member, to Aaliyah, who did her own pushing at the boundaries of R&B and pop almost a decade later.
Click the big play button above to hear the whole playlist, and scroll down to see and play individual songs.
“Just Kickin’ It,” Xscape, 1993
“All Night Long,” SWV, 1995
“Honey Love,” R. Kelly, 1992
“I Wanna Be Down,” Brandy, 1994
“Are You Ready?” Aaliyah, 1996
“Baby-Baby-Baby,” TLC, 1992
“Piece of My Love,” Guy, 1988
“Old Times’ Sake,” Sweet Sable, 1994
“Escapade,” Janet Jackson, 1989