Get Into This NOSTALGIA, Honey!
Let's really discuss the era of greatness!
There is nothing that makes me feel the way music makes me feel. Music is the gateway to my heart. Growing up in the Bronx from the late 90s into the early 2000s played a huge role in my musical knowledge. Every time I reminisce on my childhood, the music holds the centerpiece of my attention. I remember days when I would come home from school and my two older brothers and I had no responsibilities whatsoever. We would watch music videos all afternoon from Ashanti to TLC to Mariah Carey and Puff Daddy. When I started singing, I was around six years old and I sang Usher's Let It Burn to my mom and she smiled so hard! R&B music has been mighty tasteful to me from such an early age. Throughout my life I've always been drawn to learning more about it, especially because it is such an essential fragment of black culture. Simply growing up and hearing songs on the radio about love and relationships created an open door for me to do my research as a child. With that being said, I started singing The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and all the other phenomenal Motown acts at only eleven years old. I fell in love with the 60s and there was nothing that I wanted more than a time traveling machine. Yes, I was aware that this was a very crucial and uncertain era for people of color, but the music alone made me want to take a trip back in time. Although I have a ton of love for the 60s, I also began dabbling into the 80s/90s. What y'all know about New Jack Swing? There is something about the roughness and sensuality of the way the instruments were incorporated into the music made by Bobby Brown, Babyface, New Edition, Guy and so many more! We call that "babymaking music." I'm always told that I have an old soul, and it shows in my music choice whenever I get a hold of the aux, but it's definitely prevalent in my fashion choice too. This era makes me realize that it's so much deeper than the music. The entertainment, the fashion, and music made it worthwhile. Remember oversized hoop earrings, high waist jeans and baggy windbreakers before we starting recycling those very same pieces today? Remember films like Love Jones and Sister Act 2? Even shows like Living Single and A Different World!
Hip-Hop and R&B birthed so many well-known musical acts today, and it's all thanks to this era. Therefore, if I could listen to music from a specific time I would say 1987 to 1997. There's even something about those men of Jodeci that make me never want to settle for less in a guy these days! These songs were written with nothing but heart and romance. You can pause from reading right here and go listen to their song "My Heart Belongs To You." Nowadays, I find that a lot of my friends and I share the same ideas about music missing the idea of love these days. To put it simply, the heart of it doesn't hit the same anymore. I won't lie, I've accepted that there are new artists on the block! I've tapped in to Drake, Summer Walker, Pop Smoke, and Chris Brown, but there's something about when Biggie, 2PAC, and En Vogue were around! This era was the foundation for a pivotal R&B sound. Hence why there are so many artists using samples from the famous songs of this era! (By the way, Drake's "How Bout Now" sampled Jodeci's "My Heart Belongs To You") I might be old school, but music with meaning and depth grasps my soul. The iconic Lauryn Hill released her only solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, and guess who's still touring today with hits from that album? Yeah, she is. Can you say longevity?
I like to think about the kind of music I'll be blasting on Saturday mornings for my future child to be alarmed by as they remember that it's chore day. I want them to have a childhood similar to mine, especially musically. I want to hear them sing Aaliyah's "Rock The Boat," and rap to Slick Rick as we vacuum the living room together. I want to slow dance with my future husband to "Piece Of My Love" by Guy and "Forever My Lady" by Jodeci right before we do the "running man" and the "rodger rabbit" to Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison." I am so emotionally attached to the hits of this era that I'll never get enough of it. Every time I attend an event and the DJ plays the throwbacks, I yawn while everyone else gets so hype due to not hearing them in a while. Then there's me in the corner, calm and composed because I played my throwback playlist on the way to the event!
I love old school music so much that I even wrote a spoken word piece about it. Get into it! (Some of it):
Man, I miss that old music...
that soul music.
Type of stuff that will make a dude look me in my eyes and say, “Say baby can I be your slave? I’ve got to admit girl. You’re the sh*t girl, and I’m diggin you like a grave.”
The type of stuff that will make me tell my man I need some TLC, but instead of giving me back rubs, he plays me No Scrubs.
On God, if I meet that kind of dude, he would get the "red light special" every night...
just for being the Blues in my left thigh, clearly trying to become the Funk in my right.
I don’t wanna hear stuff I cant feel. Nothing silly.
I want that music that makes every holiday feel like Billie.
I’ll keep it a milli...
I almost got wrapped up in the likes of my generation, but...
my soul? My soul is so old that I can’t bear but to hear some stuff that was around before my parents were kids.
Type of stuff that 10 years from now will have me look at my children and say, “Man, you don’t know nothing 'bout this!”
Trust me, there is so much more that I can say, but for now...If I stop in a record store, please point me in the direction of the 80s/90s R&B section! I need the hits that will make me want to throw a house party for my boyz n the hood because the artists of this era really did the history of music some poetic justice!