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U.S. 12-inch vinyl single
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album Cooleyhighharmony
ReleasedApril 30, 1991
RecordedFall 1990
GenreNew jack swing
Songwriter(s)Dallas Austin, Michael Bivins, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman
Producer(s)Dallas Austin
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"

"Motownphilly" is Boyz II Men's 1991 debut single for their debut album Cooleyhighharmony. The single was a success, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Michael Bivins, who co-wrote the song, provides a guest rap during the bridge.

The video for the song was filmed in various locations in Philadelphia, the group's home city in December 1990. Two new jack swing groups, Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv DeVoe (of which Bivins was a member), are mentioned in the first verse: "Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD, the East Coast Family." Both groups appear briefly in the video, as does Sudden Impact, a short-lived, all-white R&B group organized by Bivins. Questlove of The Roots also makes a brief appearance in the video.

The song title etymology involves a combination of two of the group's main musical influences: 1960s Motown and 1970s Philly soul.

The song was featured during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, as the convention took place in Philadelphia, the city that the song is named for. The song was featured in the 1991 Full House episode "Gotta Dance".[1] It was also featured in a 2013 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "The Gang Gets Quarantined",[2] in which the main characters repeatedly rehearse an a cappella version of the song in order to try to win a spot opening for Boyz II Men in concert while an influenza epidemic is sweeping the city of Philadelphia. Kids Incorporated covered "Mowtownphilly" in 1992 in the Season 8 episode "The Commercial".[3] The song made an appearance twice on the show Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Season 1 episode, Pilot, and Season 4 episode, Talent Show. It is also a featured song in video game radio station CSR on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004). The song was sampled by contemporary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest for their penultimate album The Love Movement on the track "Give Me". The track was covered by The Trammps for their "Disco Inferno" compilation.

Track listing[edit]

US Vinyl, 12" [1]

  • A1 Motownphilly [12" Version] 4:47
  • A2 Motownphilly [LP Version] 3:52
  • B Motownphilly [Instrumental] 5:50

US Maxi-CD [2]

  • 1 Motownphilly [12" Version Edit] 4:47
  • 2 Motownphilly [LP Version] 3:52
  • 3 Motownphilly [Quiet Storm] 4:06
  • 4 Motownphilly [12" A] 5:50
  • 5 Motownphilly [12" Dub] 4:08

UK Vinyl, 7 [3]

  • A Motownphilly [7" Radio Version] 3:50
  • B Motownphilly [Philly Instrumental] 3:50

UK Vinyl, 12" [4]

  • A Motownphilly [12" Extended Club Mix] 5:35
  • B1 Motownphilly [7" Radio Version] 3:50
  • B2 Motownphilly [Philly Instrumental] 3:50
  • B3 Motownphilly [Dub Mix] 4:08

Germany Maxi-CD [5]

  • 1 Motownphilly [12" Version] 5:50
  • 2 Motownphilly [7" Main] 3:20
  • 3 Motownphilly [12" Dub] 4:09
  • 4 Motownphilly [Quiet Storm] 4:06


See also[edit]

Let's Stay Together by Guy


  1. ^ Full House Motown Philly
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kids Incorporated - Motownphilly (1992)
  4. ^ "Top 60 Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 26 December 1992. p. 24. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Boyz II Men Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "Boyz II Men Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (December 21, 1991). "1991 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 103 (51): YE-14.
  8. ^ "The Year in Music: 1991 – Top R&B Singles" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 103 no. 51. December 21, 1991. p. YE-18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 24, 2020 – via American Radio History.

External links[edit]