Jennifer Lopez's 'On the 6' at 20: All the Tracks Ranked
Before she had rocks worth singing about, Jennifer Lopez was an up-and-coming star from the Bronx who made the jump from TV to movies with her highly successful portrayal of Latin pop icon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in 1997's Selena. But her debut album, On the 6, propelled her into the stratosphere. The lead single, "If You Had My Love," raced to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the album itself hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200, eventually selling 1.9 million units in 1999, per Nielsen Music; she also topped the Hot Latin Songs chart with "No Me Ames" (with Marc Anthony) and went top 10 on the Hot 100 with "Waiting for Tonight."
On the 6 turns 20 today (June 1), and to celebrate this milestone in J.Lo's career, we ranked every track on the album to determine which ones have best stood the test of time.
14. "Talk About Us"
While charming upon first listen, "Talk About Us" is a familiar R&B track that ends up being easily overshadowed by On the 6's wide variety of offerings, from similar pop ballads to its smash-hit singles. J.Lo's interpretation of "Dreaming of You" in the Selena biopic might have inspired songs like "Talk About Us," but the album's glut of emotional ballads prevents almost all of them from substantially standing out.
13. "Promise Me You'll Try"
In the late '90s, pop ballads pleading for requited love like Britney Spears' "E-Mail My Heart" were often how artists chose to convey deeper emotion, usually at the song's musical expense. "Promise Me You'll Try" falls victim to this formula: while endearing, this longing plea to a new lover feels especially dated after two decades.
12. "Could This Be Love"
Much of On the 6's filler content comes in the form of slow, emotional love letters to people past and present. "Could This Be Love," while admirable for its balance of R&B ballad elements and Latin musical accents, gets lost in On the 6's eclectic tracklist.
11. "Should've Never"
On the sentimental "Should've Never," J.Lo channels the emotion of R&B divas like Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige to deliver a heartfelt tale of love and loss. Accompanying guitar and castanets—along with a whispered Spanish interlude—give the song a Latin twist that J.Lo has become known for bringing to her music, regardless of genre.
10. "Too Late"
Similar to "Should've Never," "Too Late" tells a story of regret and moving on, albeit with a more empowering attitude and traditional R&B sound that characterized the genre at the turn of the millennium. In an album filled with stronger offerings, "Too Late" fades into the background as one of On the 6's more generic-sounding tracks.
9. "It's Not That Serious"
With upbeat piano and guitar accompanying her voice, J.Lo is unapologetically Puerto Rican on this filler track that successfully combines sounds of merengue, R&B and pop into one song. It may not be the most memorable track on the album, but "It's Not That Serious" undoubtedly brought a sound to mainstream music that many young listeners in Middle America had likely never heard.
8. "No Me Ames" (with Marc Anthony) – Ballad Version
Years before getting married and eventually having twins together, J.Lo teamed up with future husband Marc Anthony on "No Me Ames," a Spanish cover of the 1992 Italian song "Non Amarmi." The album includes a ballad version meant to mirror the sound and emotion of the original, as well as a tropical remix best suited for the dance floor. Both J.Lo and Marc Anthony's talents are on full display in the ballad version, showing that they both can deliver raw emotion with sweeping vocals just as easily as they can get the crowd moving on a salsa track.
7. "Feelin' So Good" (feat. Fat Joe & Big Pun)
In one of On the 6's more traditional hip-hop outings, J.Lo links up with Fat Joe and Big Pun to sing about what has her "Feelin' So Good." The song was co-written and produced (and later remixed) by Sean "Puffy" Combs, and functions as a satisfying foray into hip-hop for J.Lo at this early point in her career. With Big Pun's death just two weeks after the song's release as a single, "Feelin' So Good" became his last verse released before his passing.
6. "Open Off My Love"
J.Lo has commendably never been one to downplay her Latinidad, and always makes sure to display it in nearly everything she does. The playfully sassy "Open Off My Love" is an upbeat salsa-infused track that melds the demanding attitude of '90s R&B with the seductive energy that Latin pop stars are expected to exude.
5. "Una Noche Más"
American artists with Latin heritage are almost always scrutinized by their respective communities for either being "not American enough" or "not Puerto Rican/Mexican/fill-in-the-blank enough." Selena herself faced this criticism: despite having music in Spanish, she actually could barely speak the language, and sometimes drew fire from Mexicans and Mexican-Americans alike. Rather than stop with two versions of "No Me Ames," J.Lo knew she had to give her Latin fans something more. What better way to do that than to create a Spanish version of one of On the 6's most successful tracks?
4. "If You Had My Love"
"If You Had My Love" was released as On the 6's lead single in May 1999, quickly going No. 1 on the Hot 100, showing right off the bat that J.Lo was more than just a pretty actress and killer dancer. With melodramatic accents of violin and guitar, the track sounds as late-'90s R&B as one could possibly get, invoking the spirit of Brandy & Monica's "The Boy Is Mine" (which, not coincidentally, was another hit from "Love" co-writer and producer Rodney Jerkins). But as far as nostalgia goes, this is one smash hit that sounds just as fresh with every passing year.
3. "No Me Ames" (with Marc Anthony) – Tropical Remix
While J.Lo and Marc Anthony could move listeners to tears with the ballad version of "No Me Ames," the "Tropical Remix" of the song effortlessly combines the energy of the original with elements of salsa and bolero to create one of On the 6's standout Latin tracks. Despite the song's tender lyrical content, both J.Lo and Marc Anthony show how easily they can get people moving by injecting all the fun and flavor that they're known for into the music.
2. "Let's Get Loud"
Few artists have been able to emulate the salsa-pop style that the prolific Cuban singer Gloria Estefan pioneered in the 1980s. With "Let's Get Loud"—co-written by Estefan herself—J.Lo showed back then, just as she does now, that she's never one to tone down her Latin identity, and is always ready to turn the party. Two decades later, the celebratory dance track still gets as many people on their feet now as it did then.
1. "Waiting For Tonight"
As the Latin pop movement gained momentum at the turn of the century, Latino American artists were expected to strike a balance in their music between quintessential Latin flavor and familiar American feel. Despite being one of On the 6's more mainstream-leaning pop tracks, "Waiting For Tonight" has stood the test of time because of its masterful blend of irresistible dance beats with just the right amount of guitar to give it a distinctly Latin feel. When she hit those "whoa-OH-oh"s on the chorus, it was clear she was a singer to be reckoned with, her ability to jump effortlessly between genres serving as the mark of a star on the rise.