100 Greatest Neo Soul Songs of All Time

Updated on April 21, 2016


Compiling the list of the 100 greatest neo soul songs of all time was much more difficult than I originally imagined. First, the issue of what is neo soul arises. I think neo soul is a sound, a mood if you will. I believe you don't have to be a neo soul artist to produce neo soul songs and you will find that evident in a couple of songs listed here.

For the purpose of this listing I have the neo soul era beginning with D'Angelo's Brown Sugar although there are 1 or 2 exceptions listed on my comprehensive list. You will find a couple of artists with more than one song listed, this is part youth of the genre and part quality of the artists. Lastly, each and every one of these songs I have listen to extensively, I would like feedback on any omissions.

Without further adieu...... "The 100 greatest neo soul songs of all time"

"Brown Sugar"

The List

  1. D'angelo - Brown Sugar
  2. Jill Scott - A Long Walk
  3. Erykah Badu - Otherside of the game
  4. Maxwell - Sumthin Sumthin
  5. Tony Toni Tone - Lay your head on my pillow
  6. Musiq - Mary Go Round
  7. D'Angelo - Untitled
  8. India Arie - Brown Skin
  9. Lauryn Hill - Nothing Even Matters
  10. Erykah Badu - On & On
  11. Bilal - Soul Sista
  12. Goapele - Closer
  13. Digable Planets - Rebirth of Slick
  14. Common - Come Close
  15. Anthony Hamilton - Where I'm From

Maxwell "Sumthin Sumthin" Live

16. Mos Def - Umi Says

17. Les Nubians - Makeda

18. John Legend- Ordinary People

19. Alicia Keys - Butterflies (Keys Remimx)

20. Angie Stone - Brotha

21. Dwele - Subject

22. Jill Scott - The Way

23. Mary J. Blige - My Life

24. Floetry - Say Yes

25. Me'shell Ndeg'ecello - Fool of Me

26. Maxwell - Fortunate

27. Bilal - Sometime

28. Raheem Devaughn - You

29. Anothony Hamilton - Charlene

30. Alicia Keys - You don't know my name

31. Dionne Farris - Hopeless

32. Musiq - Just Friends

33. Floetry - Lay Down

34. D'Angelo - Me and those dreamin eyez of mine

35. Kemistry - Love Calls

36. Amel Larrieux - Get Up

38. Robin Thicke - Lost Without You

39. Chrisette Michelle - Epiphany

40. The Roots - You got me


41. Lauryn Hill- Killin me Softly

42. Eric Benet' - Georgy Pordgy

43. Adriana Evans - Seeing is believing

44. Maxwell - Whenever, Wherever, Whatever "Live"

45. Andre 3000 - Prototype

46. Erykah Badu - Telephone

47. Blackstar - K.O.S.  Determination

48. Glenn Lewis - Don't you forget it

49. Rahsaan Patterson - Where you are

50. Foreign Exchange - Sincere

51. Jill Scott - Whatever, Whatever

52. Vivan Green - Emotional Roller Coaster

53. Dwele - Find a way

54. Kindred the Family - Far Away

55. Rapheal Saadiq - Still Ray

56. Eric Roberson - Pretty Girl

57. D'Angelo - Jonz in my bonz

58. John Legend - Heaven Only Knows

60. Angie Stone - I wish I didn't miss you

61. Corinne Bailey Rae - Like a Star

62. Rapheal Saadiq - You should be here

63. Amy Winehouse - You sent me flying

64. Elisabeth Withers - Be with You

65. Heather Headley - He Is

66. Chrisette Michelle - Your Joy

67. Raheem Devaughn - Woman

68. Adele - Hometown Glory

69. Blackstar - Thieves in the Night

70. Lesdisi - Alright

71. Vivian Green - What is Love

72. Gaelle - Fallin

73. Eric Roberson - I love you too much

74. Algebra - At this time

75. Goapele - Different

Adele "Hometown Glory"

76. Leela James - Music

77. Van Hunt - Seconds of Pleasure

78. Joss Stone - Spoiled

80. Gaelle - Fade Away

81. Jazzyfatnastees - Breakthrough

82. Lalah Hathaway - Let Go

83. Corinne Bailey Rae - Enchantment

84. Kemistry - I can't stop loving you

85. Soul Sista - Bilal

86. Julie Dexter - Venusian

87. Dwele - I'm Cheatin

88. Chico Debarge - Iggin Me

89. Lucy Pearl - I want to dance tonight

90. Lyfe- Never Never land

91. The Roots - Hypnotic

92. Allen Anothony - Alright

93. Dave Hollister - One woman man

94. Trina Broussard - Inside my love

95. The Refugee Camp - Sweetest Thing

96. Dwele - Vain

97. Van Hunt - Down here in hell

98. Donnie - If I were you

99. Jazzhole - Wintersky

100. Jaquar Wright Told Ya

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        ARMY 4 weeks ago

        BTS, V - STIGMA


      • profile image

        Ricardo 16 months ago

        Awesome list. Missing some Remy Shand badlyyyyyy

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        Michael 20 months ago

        I hadn't noticed that India Arie wasn't on the list the now four years ago I visited this site...lol. I do not see a top 100 list of neo-soul songs not include her.

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        Mike 21 months ago

        Omar and India Arie and Donnie are missing from the list.

      • trusouldj profile image

        trusouldj 2 years ago from Indiana


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        Muzi 3 years ago

        Good list, also a difficlut list to make as you see from the comment. I've had this list bookmarked for 4 years!

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        Rafael Lua Salazar 1993 3 years ago

        Anything by Ledisi

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        tbag_atl 3 years ago

        Fertile Ground - Please don't sleep on those cats.

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        Rafael Lua Salazar 1993 3 years ago

        Eric Benet I Wanna Be Loved

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        Kevokay 3 years ago

        Great List :-) well done....

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        Johna385 3 years ago

        Write more, that's all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what you're talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read? kabdeadffgba

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        MEL 4 years ago

        What about Amel Leroux??

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        stace 5 years ago

        Why by Eric Benet


        When white turns to Gray by Bilal

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        chris 5 years ago

        great, great list.

        but needs to include:

        - more d' angelo

        - more erykah

        - maxwell - this womans work, and ascension.

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        npg fan 5 years ago

        No Prince on here?

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        Mikael 5 years ago

        Neo-Soul in my humble opinion is the masterful blending of 70's soul with hiphop. There are many who have a problem using this term to describe this music. I, as a musician, have no issues with it because I think of it as paying homage to a genre of music (R&B/Soul) that was created in era when "music was music" and not prefabricated or pieced together. I realize over time Neo-Soul has become somewhat of an umbrella term, including all variations on the theme. But, I'm a purist, and being a Purist, some of the songs appearing on this list wouldn't necessarily make it on to mine if I were putting together a top 100.

        All in all, well done to the author of this article!

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        Jorge Avila 1987 5 years ago

        Eric Benét "I Wanna Be Loved"

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        Jorge Avila 1987 5 years ago

        This is my kind of music. How about Remy Shand "Take A Message", I first heard this song on 102.3 KJLH in Los Angeles and was under the impression that it was Earth, Wind & Fire. I'm a young Hispanic but I really love this kind of music.

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        Christian 5 years ago

        What about a list with 1.What Happened-Algebra Blesett 2. InMy Mind-Shannon Sanders 3. So Fine- Rahsaan Patterson 4.Closer-Goapele 5. Love is You-Chrisette Michelle 6.Teach Me a Lesson-Robin Thicke 7. Still a Man- Toni Tone Tony 8.Starship-Conya Doss 9.Morning After- Eric Roberson 10. Honey Mollasses- Jill Scott

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        crispusattucks 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

        Spotify playlist with almost all the songs above and a few songs mentioned from the comments



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        hannah_london 5 years ago

        What about D'angelo's "Africa"

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        Cut-Try's 5 years ago

        Yoh man just feel good music.You must pick the right categori for those artisits which they fall in

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        Devon 5 years ago

        Jesse Boykins III-Amorous could easily be on the list as well, great list nonetheless.

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        jjdancer59 5 years ago

        Wow! I really wanted to join "City Shakes"...but 'PayPal' got issues! I loved those artists names listed too! If you find a way for me to get around paypal,,holla @ me!

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        justin 5 years ago

        dont leave out: governor/andre 3000/goapele/india aire/and mos def

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        Michael Muhammad 6 years ago

        Luvin' this...any1plz tellme THE BILAL N CHEROKEE trak they did 2gether sum yrs bak..VERY FONKY!!!

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        Drew 6 years ago

        Fantastic list. Mine is damn near identical. Here's my two cents to add to the list...

        1. "Ain't Leaving Without You" Jaheim

        2. "Can't Hardly Wait" (explicit version) N'dambi

        3. "Bad Habits" Maxwell

        4. "So Beautiful" and "Yes" Musiq Soulchild (well really anything by him...lol)

        5. Any song by Mint Condition

        6. "Off My Mind" Zhane

        7. "Full Of Smoke" Christion

        8. "Baby Stop By" and "Spend The Night" Rahsaan Patterson

        9. "Sometimes" and "Soul Sista" Bilal

        10. "Smooth" D'Angelo (who am I kidding...all his stuff too)

        11. All of Jill Scott (don't mess...)

        12."Woman" Raheem Devaughn

        13. "Body Rock" Dwele (this is my Jimmy Jam Jam!!!)

        14. "Say Yes" Floetry

        15. "Sensuality" and "Make a Baby" Vikter Duplaix

        16. "Forever More" Anthony David & Algebra

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        souljah94 6 years ago

        How the hell is Adelle considered a soul singer!?

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        Joeyclubbin 6 years ago

        Just needs a little Peven Everett -Feeling Who You Are

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        Alex Stassi 6 years ago

        I agree this must have been a hard list to compile but D'angelo's "Lady" should be on there and way up the list... Jill Scott's "gettin in the way" should be on that list and why is there no inclusion of British Nu Soul artists Omar & Lynden David Hall?

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        dale 6 years ago

        reggie watts- Movin on

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        Belist√≥-Sphepho 6 years ago

        N'Dambi - Eva's song/Daydreamer

        Erykah Badu - Orange Moon

        Davina - After the rain/Cryin' blues

        Rachel Farrel - Do you remember

        Dwele - I understand

        N'Dambi - L.I.E

        Me'shell Ndegeocello - Love you down

        Omar feat. Erykah Badu - Be thankful

        Georgia Anne Muldrow - Simple Advice

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        Macharia 6 years ago

        Anthony Hamilton is definitely the King!Dwele - Find a way,Jill scott, Angie Stone and all the rest who make us wonna listen to Neo Soul

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        Ramz 6 years ago

        Good List, no Omar??

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        terry shiro 6 years ago

        I juz love john legend.

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        Michael 6 years ago

        Love the list. The top four gave you instant credibility with me as those four artists would have topped my list, as well. I may have switched out the Maxwell song with something else but I concur with the other three songs. Especially "The Otherside of the Game", which to me epitomizes the Neosoul essence.

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        MRodriguez1981 6 years ago

        Raheem Devaugh Guess Who Loves You More

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        MRodriguez 1981 6 years ago

        Rahsaan Patterson It's Alright Now

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        MRodriguez1981 6 years ago

        What about Take A Message by Remy Shand from 2001-02? I was shocked to find out that he was white. That song didn't really get airplay anywhere except for KJLH Los Angeles back in '02.

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        rincon islam itaquera 6 years ago

        zap mama bandy bandy

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        Terence Mazon 6 years ago

        This list is great but....... where's number 79?

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        LTee313 6 years ago

        I'm an 80's baby where is Loose Ends? Also Mary J , Alicia Keys, Dave Hollister and others alike should not be on this list. But good initiative I haven't seen anyone else attempt it

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        honey 6 years ago

        Hollywood is by Bilal. Does Robin Thicke count as neo soul?

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        davy 6 years ago

        there is no the late lynden david hall people,why?

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        Lorenzo 6 years ago

        How about "Tell me" by Groove Theory?

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        sizwe Magama 6 years ago

        I'm impress!!!!

      • MizzMoezzy profile image

        MizzMoezzy 6 years ago from Washington

        You always have amazing lists. You either have people on the list that I love or people I have not heard of then look up and end up loving.

        If I could give an award for great lists I would give you first place.

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        arlene 6 years ago

        ok ni love this website

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        EDDY 6 years ago

        Neo-Soul is the order of the day.

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        Spencer P 6 years ago

        Overall good list with one exception:

        Where isKindred: The Family Soul??

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        Brayoz blacha 6 years ago

        Great list but you should include aretha franklin the queen of all this like you included goapele i love that artist

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        mrs007 6 years ago

        I think the list is well done, and the topic is open to interpretation. He posted what his top 100 of all time were. We all have our own list, and inevitably it will vary from person to person. Mad respect on this list though. and, i do think some of you leaving comments may not truly know what neo-soul actually is...

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        j - R. O .C. 6 years ago

        Alicia keys, Mary j. Blige, Dave Holister, Andre 3000, Lyfe & Joss Stone are not Neo-soul Artists( true ones et that ). Let's not 4get the ones who started it: The king; Donny Hathaway, The queen; Minnie Rippleton, &, who helped alone the way; syreetha & Billy Preston. And in the 1980's; Loose Ends & there were others in the 80's who kept it going til the 90's came. So ppl, know ya history when it comes to neosoul & who started it or you'll lost in the movement.

      • profile image

        j - R. O .C. 6 years ago

        Alicia keys, Mary j. Blige, Dave Holister, Andre 3000, Lyfe & Joss Stone are not Neo-soul Artists( true ones et that ). Let's not 4get the ones who started it: The king; Donny Hathaway, The queen; Minnie Rippleton, &, who helped alone the way; syreetha & Billy Preston. And in the 1980's; Lose Ends & there were others in the 80's who kept it going til the 90's came. So ppl, know ya history when it comes to neosoul & who started it or you'll lost in the movement.

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        pete 6 years ago

        I love your list. But, I am disappointed that very few, if any, people have actually taken the time to correct something.

        This ''all time'' thing that is gripping our artistic society nowadays, is misleading. I think it would only be fair, if you could at least take note of the real roots of ''neo-soul''. That people like erykah badu, and maxwell, absolutely derived, then originalised their stuff from the likes of gil scott-heron and kate bush, should be something to take note of. If you listen to Kate Bush, you will get what maxwell has done, for instance. Erykah Badu's ''otherside of the game'' closely resembles Gil Scott-Heron's stuff done a few years before she did her 1997 album. In fact, Heron has a track called '' The otherside'' on his 1994 album.

        I love Erykah and Maxwell(I have just about all their cd albums. And some of the other artistes listed as well), but I have realised where they got their ideas and sound from. And its uncannily similar. same thing for D'Angelo.

        If you listen to Gil and other older artistes, you will realise that ''neo''-soul actually began ages ago. Neo-soul is just a marketing gimmick. and I was born in the 1970's, so the music of Gil and co. is not something I really grew up with. but, after you listen around, you will be able to link the dots a little.

        I love your list, but please pay some respect to those pioneers who ACTUALLY started the stuff. all these guys didn't start anything. They just revived it.

        Best of the 1990's+, yes. All time? No way.

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        Mellow-D 7 years ago

        I gree with several comments made, that India Arie should be on this list as Video & Get It Together are 2 of the most uplifting neo's I have ever heard, and I think Envogue's- Give It Up Turn It Loose (Ghetto remix) should be there also, and I think J.Dilla's-Look of Love should be there also if there is a clean version, but all in all i agree with another author whom said this is probably the most comprehensive neo R&B list I have seen, so all in all, much respect, as I even found a few, where I knew the artists but didn't know the tracks featured, or I found other tracks, so I salute you, nice job. 1 love neubian brother. Peace.

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        johnyrocket 7 years ago

        does anyone know the song where they sing a high pitch something something in hollywood

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        purity 7 years ago

        I'm exited about this compilation. Dangelo def deserves top spot. I would have included dangelo when we get by, maxwell bad habits and erykah next lifetime. But this is amazing

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        Justin 7 years ago

        I've come to love John Legend's 'I love you love' song. If 'a woman's work' by Maxwell was on the list I'd put it right next to it.

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        The one 7 years ago

        Maxwell - This Womans Work? I really think it should be a part of the list. Wayyyy up there. Almost every neo soul fan has loved that song at some point...

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        Freedom 7 years ago

        Great list! But as we all know we all differ somewhere abt some of the listings,Coz I was expecting to see Frank McComb - left alone, Hil st.Soul - Smile,Tweet - best friend.

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        burrells 7 years ago

        Good list. I think it slights some older artists like Incognito and Loose Ends. Couple of MJ cuts like Butterflies and Can't Help It are possibles as well.

      • ahostagesituation profile image

        SJ 7 years ago

        love amel larrieux! Great list, didn't think of adele as neo soul, but I definitely love that girl!

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        Luseso 7 years ago

        Add some NNeka and the list is perfect

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        AfrikanRoots 7 years ago

        I will also be doing a personal favorites top 100 list of neo soul songs within the next few days. I encourage you to take a look and give a reply when possible

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        7 years ago

        Miguel - Vixen

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        anomelodious 7 years ago

        google anomelodious or neo soul redux. playlists of neo soul, radio hits and otherwise.

        for the neo soul lover in you

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        bongani 7 years ago

        Love neo soul 2 much!

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        AngieWill 7 years ago

        Where is Eric Benet? And how on earth is Jill Scott second to Dangelo and what about Carl Thomas, Summer rain and Hey Now

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        J Money. 7 years ago

        India.Arie - The Truth

        Glenn Lewis - Storm

        Dwele - Open Your Eyes

        Slum Village - Count the Ways

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        Harmony 7 years ago

        Would you consider having:

        Why do I feel so sad- Alicia Keys

        If I 'aint got you- Alicia Keys

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        mario rodriguez 7 years ago

        too bad the 100 songs isn't on a c.d. i would buy it quickly

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        me 7 years ago

        Do you remember the song "Full of Smoke" by Christion?

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        Glenroy Elias 7 years ago

        Good list but Erykah badu should be #1 then Jill scott!!

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        freeeradical 7 years ago


        Alice Smith

        Brand New Heavies

        Davina So Good

        VV Brown and others

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        Towanda 7 years ago

        I love this list I love Urban Mystic "In the Morning" & "Best Part Of The Day"

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        Vice 7 years ago

        Note - India Arie is on the list - it's #8, "Brown Skin". This is probably the most comprehensive list I have ever come across - well done.

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        chadone 7 years ago

        Cool list, but I think Me'shell N'Degeocello's Outside Your Door should be included. She may actually even be the first neo-soul artist...

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        Pika 7 years ago

        Wonderful list =) **Nneka - The Uncomfortable Truth

      • waiting4zion profile image

        waiting4zion 7 years ago

        I second Ratana....india.arie surely does need a place on the list.

        But fantastic list nonetheless.

        Anyone heard Urban Mystic's newest song? In the Morning...it is amazing.

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        Ratana 7 years ago

        Lovin' the list! but im missing India Arie? she deserves a place on that list :)

        Love from Neo Soul head "Denmark"

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        JZA 7 years ago

        anybody have this list available to download as a torrent???

      • DJ Funktual profile image

        DJ Funktual 7 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

        Digable Planets is hip-hop. Anthony Hamilton's song is called "Comin' From Where I'm From". "Where I'm From" is the Digable Planets again.


        The single greatest Neo Soul song of all-time and you missed it? I'll give you a clue, it is widely regarded as the greatest SONG of the entire decade of the 2000s by multiple magazines.


        How in the hell can you miss that??????

        Cee Lo's new song F**k You is also amazing.

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        CNeo 7 years ago

        Good list overall. My biggest critique of this list is the Musiq Soulchild song you chose as #6. I think "Love" should be there. I liked "Mary Go Round," but it did not have the visibility or impact of "love" or even other songs he did like "just friends" "half crazy"...or even the rest of the songs on the list.

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        Tati 7 years ago

        soul sista - bilal is on there twice. #85 and #11 Must have really live that song.

        Very great list though

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 7 years ago from Japan

        Wicked list mate, don't forget N'Dambi, I'm sure that's in your comfort zone too.

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        Les - South africa 7 years ago

        Wow - Superfantastic Great list guys - Calvin Richardson feat. Angie Stone - More than a woman :-)

        But i cant complain on this 2 list (Top 100 and Possible 30 more). am smiling heh.

      • profile image

        Bobbi 7 years ago

        Also pls check out Lemar - Lullaby. /Good job!!d-_-b

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        Zul  7 years ago

        Also the UK diva Martine Girault - revival.

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        Ray 7 years ago

        You gotta include Omar- There's nothing like this!!!!!!

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        Da Man 8 years ago

        Every 10 years u change the name of our music stop it we make music not titles ok stop it by some one that don't like it ok by shade W.

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        slim calhoun 8 years ago

        great list, actually I thought loose ends was one of the first groups with this style of music.

      • profile image

        darren M aka Easy dee 8 years ago

        Awesm list,from every angle

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        Karen J/ aka DJ KJ 8 years ago

        Just wanted to say I host an internet radio that kicks all these jams on Sunday from 12-3pm. Join me and let me know what you think and what i may be missing.


        Soul Full Sundays


        W/DJ KJ

      • Living In Paris profile image

        Living In Paris 8 years ago

        A very ambitious list to take on. Well done. I like that you included neo soul-adjacent songs like "Umi Says."

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        -albz 8 years ago

        this is the bomb-diggity hahaha

      • KT4LIFE profile image

        KT4LIFE 8 years ago

        loving da list

      • profile image

        RAM6328 8 years ago

        After careful review, I see you had indeed included "Ledisi's Alright"...My bad. When you get around to doing "Part #2", I think you should include "In the morning" by her".

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        ram6328 8 years ago

        Great list, just a few mentions. 1#, Which I'm sure you're aware of, you listed "Soul Sista twice. And secondly no "Top Neo Soul List" is possible without "Ledisi".

        Here are some possible considerations:

        1: Ledisi "In the morning"

        2: Jill Scott "All I"

        3: Raheem Devaughn "Lay awhile"

        4: Slum Village "Call me"

        5: Foreign Exchange "Come around"

        6: Busta Rhymes Ft. Mary J Blige, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Common "Decisions"

        7: Ronnie Burrage "Em Village"

        8: Jazzy Jeff "For the love of da game"

        9: Evidence Ft. Will.I. Am "For whom the bells toll"

        10: Common Ft. Jill Scott "I am music"

        11: Norman Connors "I am your melody"

        12: J. Cole Ft. Lee Fields "Ladies"

        13: The Foreign Exchange "Leave it all behind"

        14: Raheem Devaughn Ft. Floetry "Marathon"

        15: DJ Spinna "Melody"

        16: Jazmine Sllivan Ft Floetry "Music"

        17: Jazzy Jeff Ft. Raheem Devaughn "My people"

        18: George Duke "No rhyme no reason"

        19: Duo Live Ft. Al B. Sure & Fabolous "Princess"

        20: B.O.B "Put me on"

        21: Surface "Quiet Storm"

        22: Me'shell NdegeOcello (love jones soundtrack) "Rush over"

        23: Jill Scott "slowly surely"

        24: Musiq "So beautiful"

        25: Red Cafe Ft. Anita Baker "So easy"

        26: Roy Ayers "Summer madness"

        27: Slum Village "Tainted"

        28: Jon B "They don't know"

        29: Devin the Dude Ft. Andre 3000, Snoop Dogg "What a job"

        30: Souls of Mischief "93' til infinity"

      • illminatus profile image

        illminatus 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

        Thanks.. I am true Neo Soul head so I take pride in that listing.