"Just Kickin' It" is an urban ballad in which vocals are the focus, and the instrumental foundation is otherwise sparse. Jermaine Dupri, who according to Columbia Records executive Michael Mauldin, wanted Xscape to be "the ghetto En Vogue," originally wrote the song as a summary of what men wanted from women. The lyrics were considered controversial by some female fans who believed the song's message was sexist. Former group member LaTocha Scott, however, dismissed the critics. "I've heard some females say that the song is unreal and that they can tell it was written by a man, but I don't think it makes it sexist. Shoot, everybody knows a man wants a woman who can cook."
Released in August 1993, "Just Kickin' It" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 90 and reached the top 10 in four weeks. The song peaked at number two in October, behind "Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey and spent a total of 17 weeks in the top 40. The single reached number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart, where it spent four weeks at the top. The song also spent one week at number one on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. In November, the single was certified platinum in the United States; by the year's end, it had sold 900,000 copies. "Just Kickin' It" also peaked at number 22 in New Zealand and number 49 in the United Kingdom. The song earned the band a Soul Train Music Awards nomination in 1994, though they lost to H-Town's single "Knockin' Da Boots" in the Best R&B New Artist category.