“I DIDN’T KNOW YOU LISTEN TO THAT?!”
I get this a lot. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I’ve gotten it from maybe a handful of people throughout my life who, shockingly, just never knew my obsession with late 80s and 90s r&b. That’s almost blasphemous to me. Almost.
I get it. You don’t know me. You think I grew up fainting over the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. (To be completely honest, I had Britney’s first and second albums. To hell with BSB though… I was an ‘NSYNC fan.) Well, here’s a rhythmic slap on the hip. My favorite girl group growing up was SWV. I have fond memories cheering for Boyz II Men during the Grammy’s. And Hi-Five? Pffft. I most definitely would have been a groupie back then if I even knew what it meant.
Like many people I’ve grown close to over the years, 90s r&b was a huge part of my childhood. And yes, the music videos were tacky, colorful, and oh-so dramatic. But you know what? Vocals were soulful and almost every group could sing acapella. AH-KAH-PEL-LAH. You youngins know what that is right? (Oh, I’m just pulling on your oversized gold chains!!!)
So I present to you a new series of posts, “Getting 90s R&Busy,” where I shall pick a random 90s r&b video (maybe late 80s) and give a little spiel about why it’s so flipping fantastic. (Woah never used “flipping” before. Odd…) Seriously. I love to write. I love musical breakdowns with sexy, baritone voices talking about heartbreak, and “Girl why’d you have to leave ME?!” Why not right? Let’s get sexy, I mean started…
En Vogue – Hold On
Okay, so they look like they’re singing on the surface of the moon. So what? That intro of En Vogue singing “Who’s Lovin’ You” by The Miracles (also made famous by #duh Jackson 5)? Come on now. That completely makes up for their lunar, first women on the moon, type atmosphere.
“Hold On” was En Vogue’s first single off their debut album “Born to Sing.” With their 60s girl group appeal (matching dresses, choreography, and all), their “Supreme-esque” style won me over at an early age. In 1990, I was about 3. What did I know about “holding on”? Everything. Held on to my mom’s ear. Held on to my 5-pound Baby-Feel-So-Real doll. (Don’t ask.) Held on to my pack of Koala Yummies, that no one, NO ONE was about to touch. So oldies, your argument against me is invalid. On to the next.
Although they might be known for this little video gem right chea, I still think it’s important to bring it back to a time where green screens were over abused and you could find Djimon Hounsou playing a trumpet. One of my favorite songs with a strong message, the girls let you know: if you love something, “You gotsta hold on.” Especially if it’s a pack of Koala Yummies. (Do they even sell those anymore?)