Will Smith, 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air.' Google Images.

It is the era we grew up in; the era we feel most familiar and at home with; the era we have come to love the most as we roll into 2014. What is it? Why, the 90s of course. Compiled here are a list of the classics dating from 1990 to 1999. Madonna begins these throwback tunes with the ever so sleek and stylish pop classic ‘Vogue’ and moves onto Marky Mark’s take on good feelin’ pop rap with ‘Good Vibrations’ – the latter still one of the most hauntingly addicting sing-and-dance along songs at any throwback event you will attend. Recognize the third track? You should. While my first experience with the wonderfully punchy lyrics of Kriss Kross’s ‘Jump’ was not until watching the Justin Timberlake & Mila Kunis rom-com flick ‘Friends With Benefits,’ it is not surprising how much love went to singing duo Kriss Kross upon first releasing this 1992 single. If you are at all interested in checking out the expertly ‘skilled’ dance of JT’s that accompanies this song, check it out here for a few laughs!

As we roll on into the mid-1990s, the genre of the Top 40 ebbs and flows, beginning with Haddaway’s house-pop infused track ‘What is Love’ moving to TLC’s R&B/soul ‘Creep,’ and Will Smith’s (see first image) funk-hip-hop sounding ‘Gettin’ Jiggy With It,’ all of which were extremely popular among teens and young adults alike during its time of radio plays. More songs in the playlist (including the likes of Usher and Mariah Carey, who helmed their popularity into the 2000s) are a reflection of the 90s as a period in which Top 40 music was an eclectic mix of genres and beats both within songs themselves and with Top 40 as a whole, something that continued into the 2000s and a bit less into the 2010s. So just kick back, relax, and reminisce on the musical diversity of the 90s.

This playlist and accompanying piece was created by Alicia Hai, Music Blogger at Rhetoric Magazine. Come back for more every week!