Ranking the Best 112 Albums

Sigh, nobody wins when the family feuds.

The story of 112 should be of great times and even greater music. Q, Mike, Slim and Daron dominated the late 90s, becoming one of the most heralded R&B acts of the era while cementing Bad Boy Records as the preeminent hitmaker of its time. I’ve talked MANY times in the past about their first three albums and how I’d put that trio of back-to-back LPs up against any other R&B act in history.

That’s why I hate that their current story is checkered with infighting over naming rights. Can’t we all get along and make hit songs?

Trust me, these brothers know how to crank out hits.

Let’s revisit the glory days of one of modern R&B’s most successful groups, ranking their discography from bottom to top. By now y’all know the rules –  quality, album consistency, and impact on the genre are how rankings are determined. And this list will skip the group’s many side and solo projects. We’re just talking about classic 112. I miss those days.

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6. Hot & Wet (2003)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: Whew lawd. After an incredible trio of albums, 112 decided to move on from Bad Boy Records to Def Jam. While initially it was reported that the move was amicable, it didn’t take long before politics came into play. Hot & Wet was caught in the crossfire, an unfocused collection of tracks that wound up being the group’s first misfire.

Forgotten favorites: “Knock U Down,” “Right Here For U,” “Everyday”

q mike slim daron

5. Q, Mike, Slim, Daron (2017)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: 112’s sixth and most recent release came after a layoff that lasted more than a decade. So instead of a dusty, nostalgic reunion tour, Q, Mike, Slim, Daron aimed to evolve the group’s sound for a new generation. The results are mixed – there are more than a few solid album cuts but the lack of standout hits hold it back. This one is serviceable but a little forgettable.

Forgotten favorites: “Without You,” “Both of Us,” “Dangerous Games”

pleasure and pain

4. Pleasure & Pain (2005)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: After the disappointment that was Hot & Wet, the guys regrouped with Pleasure & Pain, an album much more worthy of 112’s legacy. All the classic 112 staples are back – the kinky bedroom tracks, the big ballads and the bouncy club numbers. The album itself is unnecessarily lengthy; give this one a trim and you’ve really got a winner. However, what’s here is pretty noteworthy and a little underrated in its own right.

Forgotten favorites: “Why Can’t We Get Along,” “My Mistakes,” “Last to Know”

part 3

3. Part III (2001)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Nearly 20 years later and I still marvel at the ability of 112 to release three back-to-back albums of such stellar quality. While this is the lesser of their famed trio it’s still miles ahead of many releases in its era, effortlessly combining soulful ballads and hip-hop flavored tracks. 112 rode an incredible hot streak during Bad Boy’s heyday. And nah, I still don’t like “Peaches and Cream,” sorry, y’all.

Forgotten favorites: “Sweet Love,” “Don’t Hate Me,” “Do What You Gotta Do”

112

2. 112 (1996)

Soul In Stereo rating: 5 stars out of 5

Edd said: 112’s debut is just as refreshing today as it was when it landed way back in 1996. Sure, it’s a bit ballad-heavy for some tastes but when the ballads are THIS good, it’s easy to overlook that nitpick. Many of the songs here went on to define 112’s career and cemented Bad Boy’s foothold in the realm of R&B. From front to back, this one set the standard for R&B for the next five years.

Forgotten favorites: “Can I Touch You,” “Pleasure and Pain,” “Just a Little While”

room 112

1. Room 112 (1998)

Soul In Stereo rating: 5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Yep, 112 went two for two. From soul-bearing slow jams to cocky bedroom burners, Room 112 is the quintessential 112 album. While the group’s debut was heavy on ballads, their sophomore set is a much more diverse offering, highlighting their vocals while still embracing uptempo hip-hop. It’s 112 at their best and one of Bad Boy’s most memorable collections.

Forgotten favorites: “Crazy Over You,” “The Only One,” “For Awhile”

How would you rank 112’s discography? Let us know below.

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1 Comments

  1. 112 🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤 (stole my heart first time hearing it…those harmonies!!)

    Room 112 for 🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤(omg, the interludes!)

    Part III 🎤🎤🎤🎤 (1st saw them live around this time, touring with Janet 😍)

    Pleasure & Pain 🎤🎤🎤🎤(solid ballads, which I looove)

    Q, Mike, Slim, Daron 🎤🎤🎤🎤(would’ve ranked #4 if it wasn’t so “trendy”…however, I LOVE THIS ALBUM! And listen to it daily! I adore “Wanna Be”, it’s gotta be in my top 3 fave 112 joints and I need to hear it live someday. And how genius is that “Cupid” sample on “Without You” 😩. The missteps for me are the JE feature 🤢, some unnecessary autotune, and the lack of soul on the intro…we LIVE for 112’s intros/interludes! This one, although really good, just wasn’t up to standard…but I must reiterate that I LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!)

    Hot & Wet 🎤🎤🎤🎤 (solid album, just a wee less cohesive than I’d hoped…def has some bangers!)

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