YouKnowIGotSoul Presents: Top 10 Best R&B Songs Produced by The Underdogs

The Underdogs

When it comes to producing R&B hits, there aren’t many producers who are as solid as The Underdogs. From their ability to write terrific lyrics to their incredible musical ability and great sense of melody, it’s no surprise why Harvey Mason and Damon Thomas (along with the rest of The Underdogs camp which includes Tank, Eric Dawkins, Antonio Dixon and Steven Russell) are some of the most acclaimed producers in the music industry. With many hits songs spanning many albums through the years, coming up with a top 10 list of their best songs wasn’t an easy task. Here’s what we came up with.

Also check out all of our Producer Top 10 Series

10. Monica “My Everything” (2006)

I’ve always felt like Monica is at her best when she’s allowed to fully sing without any crazy distractions in the beat. This track showcases Monica’s wonderful voice.

9. Tank “Heartbreaker” (2007)

On an album full of great songs, this was definitely one of the standouts on “Sex, Love & Pain”.

8. Ruben Studdard “Sorry 2004” (2004)

After winning American Idol, Ruben released this song and proved to the world that he wasn’t a fluke.

7. JoJo “Never Say Goodbye” (2004)

Though The Underdogs also produced “Baby It’s You” which had huge success on the charts, it was this song that really had me sold on JoJo as a young artist. The way she sings on this song is incredible especially at the end of the bridge.

6. Chris Brown “Take You Down” (2007)

Honestly, it was neck and neck between this song and “Young Love”. I had to go with this song though because it’s probably Chris’ best song vocally.

5. Avant “4 Minutes” (2006)

It may (though it shouldn’t) surprise people to know that Keri Hilson had a big hand in writing this jam.

4. Tyrese “How You Gonna Act Like That” (2002)

“We had worked with Tyrese on his subsequent album and we had a good feel for Tyrese. For him, his songs have to have the right attitude, they have to say the write things, and a lot of times he’s speaking to girls. We have a pretty good handle on how to write for Tyrese, so that was just some personal experience some of us were going through, I don’t remember exactly who, but the concept came about of a girl mistreating a guy, and this is the guy’s response. That’s how that song came together; it was a concept first, which a lot of times doesn’t happen, and then we worked backwards from there. We came up with the track and Eric Dawkins was really involved in the writing of that and then we played it for Tyrese and he loved it. I thought he delivered that one impeccably.” – Harvey Mason in an interview we did with him.

3. Houston “Ain’t Nothing Wrong” (2004)

It’s sort of a shame people will likely remember Houston because of his eye incident rather than this great record written by Babyface.

2. Marques Houston “Naked” (2005)

“I think that was the third song we did for Marques’ record, we had done two already, and we really wanted to push him vocally, we didn’t think he had been showcasing what he could do singing wise in some of his past records. We had the idea of kinda taking him into a falsetto direction and showcasing that part of his voice. From there, we knew the general idea of the key, we came up with the track, I don’t remember whose concept it was, but we thought the “Naked” concept was original and a little bit racy and provocative enough for Marques to be able to pull it off. So we finished the lyrics, Marques loved it and delivered great vocals. For us on that one, it was all about trying to get great vocals; we had written the song specifically to showcase what we could do vocally and I think we pulled it off because I think that was one of the best songs he’s ever had.” – Harvey Mason in an interview we did with him.

1. Omarion “O” (2005)

I’m not going to lie. I had a hard time picking which Omarion song I wanted on this list because my favorite Omarion track by The Underdogs is actually “Midnight”. There is no denying how big of a record “O” is though. The bridge itself pretty much places this song at the top of the list and basically displays how talented The Underdogs are.


  • G says:

    This is a really good list and it actually says alot about The Underdogs. I think this list should have included 1 of 2 songs The Underdogs did with Craig David for his 2005 album “The Story Goes…”.

    Craig David – Take ‘Em Off
    Craig David – My Love Don’t Stop

    I personally think this list should be modified with the inclusion of My Love Don’t Stop somewhere in top 5.

    • Buddha says:

      It’s been a minute since I listened to those Craig David joints. I’ll give them a listen and see if I can revise my list.

      • G says:

        So… Have you listened back to them? What is the verdict? Do you think either 1 of them should have been included on the list?

        • Buddha says:

          Yeah, I listened to them. I don’t know if I would put them in my top 10, but they are good songs.

          • G says:

            Fair enough, everyone has thier own opinion… As I said, I personally would have My Love Don’t Stop somewhere in the top 5 of a rejigged top 10.

            I would say though, you need to listen to a song more than once to gain a real appreciation for the song (even if it is an old song you have not heard in a long time).

  • Ian says:

    Mario “Could U Be”, “What Your Name Is”
    Fantasia “This Is Me”
    B2K “Gots 2 Be”

    This list is truly quality because it’s variety and standards. I am so proud that Chris Brown “Young Love” was up for the running but good choice for “Take You Down” vocally he is his strongest I totally agree. This list is complete just for having JoJo “Never Say Goodbye” on here automatically. This is excellent

    • Buddha says:

      Appreciate it. “Could U Be” was really close to making the list for me. I had to pretty much flip a coin between that song and the Monica one.

  • SteH90 says:

    OMG G! Your post about those two fantastic Underdogs/Craig David songs is almost exactly what I would type! My Love Don’t Stop is a gorgeous record and should’ve been massive for Craig. As a Brit it was great to see one if our own work with the Underdogs and I’m happy to see 3 more of my faves on here – How You Gonna Act, Take You Down and Never Say Goodbye. I may be wrong here but didn’t the Underdogs do a sing with another Brit, Jay Sean, called Caught. It never made any of his CD’s but was a typically melodic Underdogs mid-tempo ballad. Finally, the list should’ve included the brilliant Up To You from Chris Brown’s FAME!

  • SteH90 says:

    Forgot to add that it seems JoJo’s Never Say Goodbye is a before-now-secret love of R&B ballad fans. Maybe a good Top 10 idea is ‘Songs You Secretly Love But Fear Telling Anyone Else About’!

  • sevin2 says:

    ok who ever made this listen is tippin lol
    10 how could u-Mario
    9-beautiful u R-Javier
    8-cant stop now-babyface
    7-marques houston miss being your man
    6-What if-Ruben Studdard
    5-Never Say goodbye-Jojo
    4-how you gonna act like that-tyrese
    3Breakin the law-N2U
    2-ooh that ass=S5
    1-My Heart-Tank

  • RL says:

    What about Good Man??? LOL