Legacy: The Greatest Hits Collection

Music review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Legacy: The Greatest Hits Collection Music Poster Image
Strong anthology of all-time top-selling R&B group.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Some of the more sexualized lyrics may be a bit much, but even while letting his imagination run wild, guest artist LL Cool J respects the boundaries ("I don't want to violate your relationship"). The values running through these songs are positive -- enduring love and friendship, family bonds, and loyalty, even when it's difficult.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The singers generally display good values, especially with regard to those they hold dear, enshrining Mama in their hearts, always being there for lovers who abandon them, and looking forward to the day when they'll be reunited with departed loved ones.


While most of the tracks here are perfectly clean, a couple -- "Hey Lover" and "I'll Make Love to You" -- are sultry and explicit enough to warrant a parental advisory. In the former (despite the track being billed as "radio edit"), LL Cool J's fantasies run wild looking at the woman of his dreams -- "He can't stop me from having daydreams / tonguing you down with huh vanilla ice cream / kissing on your thighs in the moonlight / searching your body with my tongue girl all night" -- and move on to love, marriage, clothes falling on the floor, and nights of wild bliss. In the latter, the Boyz sing of the bedroom delights in store, e.g.: "Girl relax, let's go slow / I ain't got nowhere to go / I'm just gonna concentrate on you / Girl are you ready? / It's gonna be a long night / Throw your clothes on the floor / I'm gonna take my clothes off too / I made plans to be with you / Girl whatever you ask me you know I can do."


LL Cool J lets out a "God damn!" of admiration of a woman's legs in "Hey Lover."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In "Hey Lover," LL Cool J tells the woman he's trying to win from her current man that the guy "drinks too much and smokes too many blunts."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Legacy is a collection of hits -- nearly every one a blockbuster -- by the fabulously successful R&B outfit Boyz II Men. The album is a mixed bag, from forays into old-school nostalgia ("In the Still of the Night") and sweet odes to Mama to steamily romantic bedroom ballads and catchy dance tracks. Also included: the Boyz' joint outing with Mariah Carey on "One Sweet Day," a poignant song about departed loved ones looking down from heaven that went on to be performed at Princess Diana's memorial.

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What's the story?

Though Boyz II Men initially called their style "hip-hop doo-wop," Philadelphia's Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary were also strongly influenced by classic R&B of the '60s and '70s. From their debut dance single "Motownphilly" in 1991, their vocal stylings, emotional appeal, and sheer versatility racked up one hit after another, making them the most commercially successful R&B act in history according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Along the way they collaborated with a raft of the era's superstars, and two examples -- "One Sweet Day" with Mariah Carey and "Hey Lover" with LL Cool J -- are on LEGACY: THE GREATEST HITS COLLECTION.

Is it any good?

The quality of all the songs on Legacy is consistently high, but every track may not be to every listener's taste, simply because there's so much stylistic variation. Some find the lead vocalist rapping over lush background harmonies; others are classic doo-wop or old-school R&B. "A Song for Mama" would gladden any mom's heart, whereas "Hey Lover" and "I'll Make Love to You" are probably the kind of song you don't take home to mother. Born of the AIDS epidemic, "One Sweet Day" found its way to Princess Diana's memorial and has been striking a chord with the bereaved ever since.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about "One Sweet Day" -- do you think it captures the feelings you have when a loved one dies?

  • "Motownphilly" is Boyz II Men's song about itself. Can you make up some rhymes yourself telling about something cool you've worked on with your friends?

  • There are many different musical styles in this collection -- which do you like best?

Music details

  • Artist: Boyz II Men
  • Release date: July 4, 2005
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Umvd
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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