Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” Is The Most 90s Song Of All Time! » VSB

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Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” Is The Most 90s Song Of All Time!

MCA Records


I didn’t set out this morning with the intention of yelling fire in a crowded theater. I didn’t. I was just minding my own business like I always do having thoughts of things I think about. Well, one particular thought stood out from the rest, dope as can be…and well, it went all the way left.

This morning I had the idea that, hey, you know what, I think that Kid ‘n Play’s “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” is the most 90s song of all time in the urban realm. Not only did I have this thought, I excitedly had this thought and felt so good about it that I began writing about how good of a thought this was. And I’d have gotten away with it too if not for the fact that I decided to share this thought with several people who all responded back to me with varying levels of disgust, disappointment, disdain, and emojis that I’m not sure are appropriate for children.

What followed were several discussions and debates about what constitutes a song that should be in the running for “Most 90s Song”. And here’s what I came up with as a criteria: if you have a 90’s party, what is the one song that you can’t NOT play without it being both noticeable and causing dismay. And by causing dismay I mean obnoxious, drunken party goers attempting to get to the DJ to request said song or ask when it was going to be played.

This is a DJs favorite happening of every night they ever DJ, by the way. Totally do this the next time you’re at the club.

(Don’t do this this the next time you’re at the club.)

Suffice it to say that while I’m in the minority of folks who think that Kid ‘n Play’s contributions to hip-hop are more vital than they actually are – who knew? – there are a few songs that did rise above the rest when trying to ascertain what the most 90s song would be. As the title suggests, and spoiler alert, “Poison” ended up being the proverbial winner.

But let’s talk about what DIDN’T win. “Poison” is almost a “duh” answer, especially in terms of the criteria. If you went to a 90’s party and you didn’t hear “Poison”, you’d feel like Rich Homie Quan (is he still around?). It’s one of the most certifiable Club Bangers of all time; one whose intro is one of the most recognizable on dance floors from here to there and back again. It’s got quotables, its got dancing AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!

Don’t you like how I said let’s talk about what didn’t win and then talked about “Poison”? I know you like it.

Here are some other choices that didn’t win.

Montell Jordan – “This Is How We Do It”

While super popular, it’s probably 100 times moreso in white establishments. I know more Black people who hate this song than I do who love it, or even like it at a picnic when its playing in the background while somebody is paintin’ the ribs. It’s also one of the few songs that I’ve heard DJs doing 90s parties flat out refuse to play, along with Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”. If you want to hear those, you have to take your ass to a pub with the flat foots and people who show up at the club with zip-up hoodies as their good clothes and love to recite lines like, “and now I’m the G, the girls see I got the money, dolla dolla bills y’all!” Be cooler than those people.

House of Pain – “Jump Around”

Similar to “This Is How We Do It”, it’s a super popular song and bangs like none other – real hiphop dawg – and I’m almost always guaranteed to hear it at a 90s party, but I could see a DJ leaving it out and nobody being pissed, whereas at the zip-up hoodie dress code spot I could see it being one of the main ingredients on the DJs list. Plus, let’s keep it one hundy, it’s a song whose title is also a direction that can be followed by even the most non-rhythmic individual, regardless of color, creed, or sexual orientation. I am always confused when I see a person jumping up when the rest of us are coming down. I’d call them rebels, but usually they’re just dicks.

Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg – “Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang”

You know what I noticed about the 90s and hip-hop 90s parties? They’re extremely East coast biased. You almost have to make a concerted effort to go outside of the NYC canon of music because there was so much and so much of it was good. Especially during the Bad Boy years. Even at the parties I’ve thrown, I had to specifically let my DJs know that they were to play West Coast and southern (the 90’s step child until Cash Money took over for the 99 and the 2000) music. While I think this song should be a staple of all 90’s parties, it can easily get lost amidst the NYC sets. And if you’re on the East Coast, the bias is real. Like real real. And you know what it means when you say it twice. (It means you mean it.)

Kid ‘n Play – “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody”

It’s a reach. I know. Hear me out. Look, I get it that it’s not a song most people remember. Hell, if it wasn’t for the fact that House Party 2 (and 3 and whatever the last one is called) get played on TBS so often, I’m pretty sure most people would forget that Kid ‘n Play even exist, let alone one of their songs. However, I contend that this song is one of those that you forget about until you hear it, at which point it transports you back to the 1992 and you remember how good it feels. It’s a feel good song that instantly makes the dance floor move. Though admittedly, if you never heard again, you’d never remember that you’d never hear it again. My guitar gently weeps for weeping guitars who are gently weeping. What? Exactly.

Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Baby Got Back”

Full disclosure, I’ve never heard this song played inside a club that didn’t have a SIGNIFICANT majority of white people. I throw 90s parties and I’ve never once heard this song played at my parties and nobody has ever complained about it. And my party is one where we’ve played the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. But it is a ubiquitous song that everybody knows even if nobody can remember the last time they heard it.

Alright, I’m going to end it here. I’m saying it’s “Poison”. I drew my line in the sand. What say you? State your case.

Always remember kiddies, you cannot trust a big butt and a smile.

Bell Biv Devoe…now you know.

Yo, Slick, blow.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • SPG

    Poison legit still gets spins, as it should.

    While reading the article though, I was already thinking “And I DON’T need to hear This Is How We Do It!” So to see it dismissed totally legitimizes this list.

    Other songs that should be played at Throwback Party (and I don’t care if they’re not 90’s) is:
    1. Children’s Story
    2. I Got It Made

    • KingsCounty

      Children’s Story, the very first song I ever remembered word for word. It was absolutely flawless.

      • Rastaman

        “Ran up the stairs up to the top floor,
        opened up the door there, guess who he saw?,
        Dave the dope fiend shootin’ dope,
        who don’t know the meaning of water nor soap,
        He said “I need bullets, hurry up, run!”
        the dope fiend brought back a spanking shotgun,”

        • Sigma_Since 93

          When the DJ stops the record and everyone yells

          “Dave the dope fiend shootin’ dope,
          who don’t know the meaning of water nor soap,

          Yes, yes, yes

  • Otis B. Watson

    No “Whoomp! There It Is?”

    • Other_guy13


    • Aka what happened to all that Stax Records paper on the low. *smh*

    • TeeChantel

      You just made me think of “Tootsie Roll.”

      • KMN

        OMGI remember seeing them at Jam 4 Peace in Milwaukee MOONS ago and being all hype because I was class of 199QUAD ROFL…ugh…and I tried to rush the stage to molest Krayzie Bone…ugh me and my types lol

  • Julian Green

    I have never met anyone- Black or White; Gay or Straight; Sane or Republican- who didn’t like This is How We Do It.

    • panamajackson

      Hi. We’ve never met. But now we have. I do not like “This Is How We Do It”. I know several people, in real life, who do not like that song.

    • Other_guy13

      I cant stand it unless its on the tax commercial…sorry bro.

      • KMN

        UGH that’s where it’s the WORST lolol…that damn commercial is just horrible..

        • Other_guy13

          But its funny so I deal.

          • KMN

            Meh i’ll give you that…still the worst though…fight me lol

            • Other_guy13

              Fight…nah…I’ll just find you and cancel your car insurance…#teampetty

              • KMN

                I’m already paying WAY too much…lmao I might have to welcome that

                Edit: and YES at #TeamPetty

    • KingsCounty

      I walk into a spot and they playing this is how we do it

      • miss t-lee

        I hear that playing…it usually means it’s not my type of spot.

        • OSHH

          I loathe that song, truly.

          • miss t-lee

            It got played real quick.

    • -h.h.h.-

      I have never met anyone- Black or White; Gay or Straight; Sane or Republican- who didn’t like This is How We Do It.

      • Other_guy13

        Cole…you stupid…LOLOLOLOLOL

    • Brother Mouzone

      Here’s one.

  • NoGames

    Nah B…”Rump Shaker” was the jam!

    • panamajackson

      Damon suggested Rump Shaker. I think its in the running, but I’m not sure it gets to Poison levels.

    • Junegirl627

      Check baby check baby 1.2.3.!

  • Other_guy13

    Sorry…Motown Philly got my vote *kanye shrug*

    • panamajackson

      Interesting. You might be the only person who puts that in the running. Must be how I feel with “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody”.

      • Other_guy13

        I mean…I was youg when it came out and I just remember my older cousins blasting it at Gm house…that’s my 90’s nostalgia song.

      • Other_guy13

        SN…thanks for this post…my 90’s play list is in full effect right now. You the MVP of the day!

        • panamajackson

          My man.

    • Val

      I hated that song.

      • Other_guy13


        • Val

          I just didn’t like the beat or the lyrics.

          • Other_guy13

            Your opinion is your opinion…I respect it

  • This list is great if you were a teenager in the 90s.

    • panamajackson

      This list is great if you weren’t a teenager in the 90s. This list is great.

      • When I think of the 90s, I want to hear the Spice Girls “Wannabe” and Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          License,registration, and Black Card please? Lol

          • Junegirl627


  • Andie

    Dun. I vote for Shook Ones. Mobb Deep.

    • To all the killers and the hundred dollar billers! To real ninjas who ain’t got no feelings!

      And on the same album, there’s the classic opening Queens Get The Money, Long Time More Cash! (Though I fear Trump will use it in his Black community outreach)

      • Andie

        It all just makes my soul smile… They really touched me with their art.

    • Junegirl627

      you lil gangsta!

    • That entire album is just amazing. NY rap was really interconnecting at that point. They had Nas, the Wu, and Q-Tip all on that album.

  • amina

    I am noticing a shocking lack of New Jack Swing in this list. Mr. Riley gave us more than just Nia Riley!!!

    • KMN

      I agree…where’s WNE and rump shaker at?

      • Agreed. And there’s No Diggity too.

        • KMN


          • Abby

            Seriously! Leaving out No DIggity is just wrong!

    • panamajackson

      And he didn’t even give us Nia!!!!

      • amina

        Word???? I thought that was just gossip.

        • panamajackson

          Naw. Nia is his adopted daughter. No word on how she adopted his chin tho.

  • KMN

    I agree with your Poison choice…I remember when that came out I was in 8th grade (damn I’m getting old lol) and these two Kimmy Gibbler and DJ Tanner look-a-likes KILT a dance routine to Poison at the talent show…I mean finished it in real life…ugh those were the good old days.

  • I used to like Montell Jordan until White people ruined him for me. Now I don’t mess with him like that.

    Poison though? I remember being in the 5th grade on my way to a school trip at the Con Edison museum with the bus on the Kosciusko Bridge, and the 5th and 6th grade sung that entire song on beat, with all the lyrics, including the line about never trusting a Big Butt and a smile.

    Sir Mix A Lot needs a bit more respect on his name. Baby Got Back is what got him to cross over but the album before that was pure party bangers.

    Nothing But A G thing is a good record, but it’s too slow to be a party record. It kills the energy in the room. Better to go with Too $hort or Digital Underground for you 90s West Coast fix. Ooh God, is that you Todd? ;-)

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      I felt the same way until I saw Montell Jordan’s Unsung and now he’s back in my heart again.

    • Dee Flyy

      shout out to ny upbringings. you got me on the Con Ed and Kosciusko bridge…

    • Val

      I think Baby Got Back has gone the route of Montell Jordan’s This is How We Do It. It’s kind of a White people’s song now.

    • mssporadic

      I still call old cars “hoopties”. My Posse’s on Broadway was the jam!!!! We not gonna talk about Put ’em on tha Glass!

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