Growing up in the '90s supplied me with some of the best music that I keep in rotation to this day. From the smooth sounds of Toni Braxton to the pop beats of Christina Aguilera, every genre of music grace my ears and found a way to remain relevant long after the decade passed. Though there were many songs that I loved during the '90s, there were a few songs that didn't make a big impression. That was until I heard them when I got older and realized those '90s songs that are totally better now than they were then.
Back then, some songs just annoyed me. But as I listened to them more, I actually began to like them. For example, "Pony" by Ginuwine was one of my least favorite songs when it first aired on the radio. But now I consider it a classic. Another song that gets more play from me now than it did in the '90s is Monica's "Like This and Like That." Though I loved the song back then, my love for it has heightened since.
So, whether you learned to love a song over the years or just found a way to love it more, these 31 songs will take you back and remind you why they're just so dang good now.
1. "The Ex-Factor" by Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill's now iconic single "Ex-Factor" didn't resonate with me much in the '90s. But now that I'm much older and have dealt with a heartbreak or two, this song is so much better to me.
2. "I Want You Back" by *NSYNC
Being a '90s kid made me feel like we'd never see the end of *NSYNC, but boy was I wrong. "I Want You Back" is greater now in 2016 because it really conveys my feelings about bringing the group back. Plus, were you listening to JC's vocals on this song? Oh my God.
3. "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" by Selena
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Selena. 'Nuff said.
4. "Waiting For Tonight" by Jennifer Lopez
Who would've thought Jennifer Lopez would be the huge star she is now when she was twirling around in the millennium-inspired video for "Waiting For Tonight"? And you can't deny the sex appeal of this song.
5. "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls
"Iris" may have been to deep for my '90s self, but I can truly say that all of that has definitely changed now.
6. "If I Ever Fall In Love" by Shai
Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love" was a hit in the '90s, but when you actually know and feel what you're singing about, it makes it sound a lot better.
7. "Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me" by Donell Jones
Though his single "Where I Wanna Be" grabbed the attention of everyone in the '90s, Donell Jones' "Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me" became a favorite of mine when I went back and listened to the album when I was in college.
8. "One More Chance" by The Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie's "One More Chance" has the power to turn any party from drab to fab with just its instrumental now. If that isn't impressive, I don't know what is.
9. "Keep Your Head Up" by Tupac
We get it now, Pac. We really get it.
10. "Heartbreak Hotel" by Whitney Houston Feat. Faith Evans & Kelly Price
Although I'm not sure if I appreciate this song more now because we no longer have the talents of Whitney Houston, I know I loved it when I first heard it and it only gets better when I hear it now.
11. "Are U Still Down?" by Jon B. Feat. Tupac
Jon B. was the Justin Timberlake of the '90s and will never be forgotten. Delivering soulful sounds and looking so good while doing it, his 2Pac featured "Are U Still Down?" will set you into a trance when you hit play now.
12. "Don't Let Go" by En Vogue
This song really gives me chills now. I don't know if it's because of the strong vocals or the lyrics, but I do know that I didn't appreciate this song as much in the '90s as I do now.
13. "All Around the World" by Lisa Stansfield
Releasing her album Affection in 1990 for North America to enjoy, Lisa Stansfield "Around the World" quickly placed on the charts. Though I was only 2 years old when the track was released, almost 30 years later, I can see how people loved it during its release.
14. "No Ordinary Love" by Sade
Sade will always be a gem when it comes to giving supreme sounds, but something about "No Ordinary Love" in my adult years sounds so much better than it did in the '90s.
15. "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" by Maxwell
When I was a child, my mom would play Maxwell's first two albums around the house and I didn't quite understand why she loved it so much. Though I jumped on the "stan train" long before I became an adult, "Ascension" just sounds so much more official now that I am.
16. "All Star" by Smash Mouth
As a kid, I didn't understand what the lyrics behind "All Star" really meant. Now that I really get what they were singing about, it makes it sound so much better.
17. "No Time" by Lil' Kim Featuring Puff Daddy
Lil' Kim's "No Time" was cool back then, but now that I can really turn my inner Lil' Kim on when rapping it, it's much better.
18. "Return Of The Mack" by Mark Morrison
It's 2016 and there's no way on earth I'd skip over this song on any playlist.
19. "The Roof (Back In Time)" by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey has definitely seen her fair share of hits over the years and while "The Roof" was one of them, it took me to get out of the '90s to appreciate it how it should've been appreciated. Thank you, Mariah for blessing us with this one.
20. "I Got That Fire" by Juvenile
Though "Back That Azz Up" is widely known as Juvenile's most popular hit, his track "I Got That Fire" was one that needed more recognition than it got. Now, years after its release, I'm pressing play repetitively.
21. "Renee" by The Lost Boyz
A legit love song, "Renee" by Lost Boyz is so much better now to me than it was in the '90s.
22. "Sometimes" by Britney Spears
Back in the '90s, I thought Britney Spears was singing about playing hide and seek. Though it was surely one of my favorite songs when I was in elementary school, something about really understanding the lyrics makes it much better now.
23. "One In A Million" by Aaliyah
Aaliyah's "One In A Million" is a song that will get better as time passes, so there's no debate on why it sounds better now than it did in the '90s.
24. "Higher" by Creed
I would always jokingly sing the chorus to this song to bother my sister when it came out, but now, I literally love it.
25. "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D and The Boyz Featuring Aaron Hall
I can't be the only person who appreciates the sounds of Heavy D and The Boyz now more than I did in the '90s.
26. "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
I fell in love with The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" through the movie Cruel Intentions, but it wasn't until I got older that I understood what it was about.
27. "Love U 4 Life" by Jodeci
Jodeci's "Love U 4 Life" has always been one of my favorite songs of all time, but now that I know what love feels like, it's gotten so much better ht an it was in the '90s.
28. "Tell Me" by Groove Theory
This song is only better now than it was back then because I didn't really know what I was singing about when it came out.
29. "Too Much" by Spice Girls
I liked "Too Much" by the Spice Girls back in the '90s, but it was only after I listened to it recently that I realized how good it really was.
30. "Can We Talk" by Tevin Campbell
Do you sing this to the top of your lungs now too? I knew you did.
31. "On & On" by Erykah Badu
The love and appreciation for Erykah Badu has surely grown over the years, and with it, the same has happened for her single "On & On."