Poison (Bell Biv DeVoe song)

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Single by Bell Biv DeVoe
from the album Poison
Released December 28, 1989
Recorded 1989
Genre New jack swing, hip hop soul
Length 4:21
Label MCA Records
Writer(s) Elliot Straite
Producer(s) Elliot Straite
Certification Platinum
Bell Biv DeVoe singles chronology
"Do Me!"

"Poison" is a single by the New Edition spinoff group, Bell Biv DeVoe. This song—in the style of new jack swing, a late-80s hybrid of R&B and hip hop—was the group's most successful, and sings of the dangers of falling in love. "Poison" was the first single taken from Bell Biv DeVoe's debut album of the same name.

On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, "Poison" rose from number fifty-two to number thirty-eight in the week of April 14, 1990, and eventually peaked at number three for four consecutive weeks, beginning on June 9, 1990. The single also peaked at number one on the Hot Black Singles chart for two weeks.[1] "Poison" became one of the most successful singles of 1990 (see 1990 in music), and was a staple on MTV and mainstream radio in the summer, spending ten weeks in the Top 10. The single peaked at number seven on the dance charts.[2] "Poison" was certified platinum by the RIAA on June 1, 1990 for sales of over one million copies.

It has been used in film (Pootie Tang, Honey 2, Pineapple Express, Think Like A Man Too, Pitch Perfect 2), television (A Different World, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Scrubs, Glee, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, Hindsight), and video games (2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, on new jack swing radio station CSR 103.9, 2009's DJ Hero, 2010's Dance Central). It is also referenced in the Madvillain song, "Fancy Clown" and the Donald D. track, "She Gets Buck Wild". "Poison" was named #60 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s as well as #1 on VH1's 40 Greatest R&B Songs of the 90s.

The song was used in a New York Knicks intermission video, where the players awkwardly attempt to sing along with the song. It was also covered by Dev in her mixtape Dev Is Hot: The Mixtape. The song was also used a sample for Missy Elliott protégée Sharaya J's "Snatch Yo Wigs" (2013).[3]

Music video[edit]

The official music video for the song was directed by Lionel C. Martin.[4]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
UK Singles Chart 19
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance/Maxi Singles 7
End of year chart (1990) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 4


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 52. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 32. 
  3. ^ "SHARAYA J - SMASH UP THE PLACE". YouTube.com. September 11, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ ""Poison (Remix)" by Bell Biv Devoe | Music Video | VH1.com". VH1. Viacom International. October 15, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]