Section 1: The Ass End
Everyone talks about the golden era of rap and asks the question “where did all the good rap go?” Up until I started this series I thought that was a bullshit question as every decade from the ‘80s forward had some really great rap hits and some really crappy ones. But then I start posting here and listening to a track like “Stay Real,” a song I haven’t heard in ten years and I get it. There are great rap tunes today but the sheer level of shit that makes it to the top of the chart is amazing. Meanwhile, the ‘90s had so many classic rap tracks, both major and minor hits, that I see why people look back on this era so fondly. And it had no Pitbull.
“Do Your Thing” 1998, #50 (19 weeks) (download)
If only these boys from Detroit knew that soon 8 Mile would be such a huge hit, they could have moved and been way ahead of the game.
SF Spanish Fly
“Crimson and Clover” 1995, #89 (6 weeks) (download)
“Crimson and Clover” is truly a great song but even so, damn, people really eat up covers of the tune. While this is one of the more unique versions of it, I see no reason why this should have gotten anywhere near the charts.
SGH with Mocca Soul
“Losing You” 1992, #99 (2 weeks) (download)
Although I’m positive I’ve never heard this track before, I kind of like it. It fit right in with 1992, so I’m surprised it only made it to #99. SGH (Soul Goes House) was a project of producer Ron St. Louis.
The lack of creativity in their writing crew probably hurt these ladies in the end. “Tell Me” has a wholesale sample of “Who Do You Love” by Bernard Wright and “Serenade” uses Spandau Ballet’s “True” in full. While they certainly weren’t the only ones to do this, few sound as awkward as these do to my ears.
Shaggy hit #1 twice in 2000 but for the amount of time I heard him on the radio, I would have thought he was the biggest artist in the world between ’98 and ’01.
“Oh Carolina” and “Piece Of My Heart” aren’t his best work at all but “Luv Me, Luv Me” is surprising to see here. The version that hit in 1998 was with Janet Jackson from the How Stella Got Her Groove Back soundtrack and that alone would have made me think this would have been huge. When Shaggy wanted to put it on his Hot Shot album in 2000, Virgin denied him and he rerecorded it with Samantha Cole singing instead. I’ve heard this track, 12,000 times over the years but the two versions are so similar that I’m unsure which one. He released the Cole version in 2001 but that didn’t chart for some reason.
And if you couldn’t tell, no matter how unauthentic he was, or how cheesy some of his tunes came out to be, I kind of liked his hits.
I had an R&B period. Yep, there was a period where I ate up stuff like All-4-One and Shai. And I believe I owe that to Boyz II Men breaking so big. I mean, Shai is nothing but a poor man’s B2M but shit, I must have spun that debut Shai CD until it wouldn’t play anymore. That phase couldn’t have lasted more than 2-3 years for me though as I never bothered to pick up anything else from these guys.
(I don’t seem to own this version of “Yours” which is an A Capella remix of “Baby I’m Yours” so instead, watch it on Youtube.)
“I Don’t Care” 1992, #55 (12 weeks) (download)
There’s just no way I could do justice to the beloved Shakespears Sister, the duo of Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit. By the time the ‘80s past, I had developed my irrational dislike of female fronted bands and thus I never listened to them. It wasn’t until about 2005 or 2006 that I actually listened to Hormonally Yours and realized what a gem of a record it really is.
“You Can’t Get Away” 1990, #82 (5 weeks) (download)
“You Can’t Get Away” was the follow up single to her 15 minutes of fame tune, “I Want You” which peaked at #40 in late ’89.
“It’s For You” 1993, #57 (11 weeks) (download)
I’ve always thought of Shanice as an ‘80s artist but in reality most of her career and her hits were in the ‘90s. In the early ‘90s she was featured on a lot of soundtracks like Boomerang, 90210 and the Robert Townsend gem, The Meteor Man, from which “It’s For You” came.
So I didn’t listen to Shakespears Sister but I did to SHeDAISY. Why? I was 23, single and living on my own. The video to “Little Good-Byes” came out and I wanted to be the bacon in that club sandwich. I mean, seriously, what other reason could I come up with other than lusting over three hot young sisters?
“It’s Your Love” 1998, #67 (15 weeks) (download)
I think I was contractually obligated by my love of the Philadelphia 76ers to hate this trio of New York Knicks dancers. Now that basketball doesn’t matter one bit in Philly, I can at least go back and say that this remake of the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill duet is damn good.