From July 13th to July 14th of 1977, the City of New York was in complete darkness. The chaos began at 8:37 p.m., when the first streak of lightning tripped two Hudson River circuit breakers. After a slew of similar lightning strikes, electricity overloads and circuit trips, the entire Con Edison power system was shut down in an hour. Although efforts were made throughout the night, power wasn’t fully restored for almost 24 hours.

The outage, along with the severe economic downturn of the late 70’s, as well as the intense heat wave scorching the heads of New York City citizens created a volatile environment. 31 neighborhoods were looted, 1,160 stores were destroyed from rioting and theft, 1,037 fires were responded, 550 police officers were injured and 4,500 citizens were arrested; the city resembled a battlefield.

With the chaos of the power outage now 35 years behind us, The Source thought it would be appropriate to compile a list of the highest charting R&B/hip-hop tracks from July of each year.

2012- “Mercy,” Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz.
2011- “Motivation,” Kelly Rowland feat. Lil’ Wayne.
2010- “Un-Thinkable,” Alicia Keys
2009- “Best I Ever Had,” Drake
2008- “Heaven Sent,” Keyshia Cole
2007- “When I See U,” Fantasia
2006- “It’s Goin Down,” Yung Joc
2005- “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
2004- “Confessions Part II.,” Usher
2003- “So Gone,” Monica
2002- “Hot In Herre,” Nelly
2001- “U Remind Me,” Usher
2000- “Separated,” Avant
1999- “Bills, Bills, Bills,” Destiny’s Child
1998- “The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy
1997- “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy
1996- “How Do You Want It,” 2pac and KC and JoJo
1995- “Once More Chance/Stay With Me,” The Notorious B.I.G.
1994- “Any Time, Any Place,” Janet Jackson
1993- “Weak,” SWV
1992- “Tennessee,” Arrested Development
1991- “Exclusivity,” Damian Dame
1990- “You Can’t Deny It,” Lisa Stansfield
1989- “Keep On Movin,” Soul II Soul
1988- “Paradise,” Sade
1987- “I Feel Good All Over,” Stephanie Mills
1986- “Who’s Johnny,” El DeBarge
1985- “Hangin’ On A String,” Loose Ends
1984- “When Doves Cry,” Prince and the Revolution
1983- “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” Michael Jackson
1982- “Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson
1981- “Super Freak,” Rick James
1980- “Cupid/I’ve Loved You A Long Time,” The Spinners
1979- “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” Prince
1978- “Mary Jane,” Rick James
1977- “Sir Duke,” Stevie Wonder

Turn your lights off, cool down, and bump the tunes of the last 35 years. Enjoy!