A Weekend To Mahself

My line of work usually has me working on weekends, but since I’m off on Saturdays at the spa I work at, which will also be closed this Easter Sunday, I get to have the one thing those Monday-to-Friday work slaves have been enjoying for years: a weekend off!! It’s an extended weekend for me, as I usually start my work week on Tuesday, so you know I’ll be making the most of this precious time off.

In honor of this no-work weekend, here are some of my favorite weekend-themed songs (with a dance twist)!

And, of course, this classic of all classics!

Happy Mimi Day

Who cares about tonight’s Oscars (it’s still a thing?!) when a far more important and actual relevant event is occurring today: the born day of My Butterfly Rainbow Hello Kitty Queen, Mariah Carey!

This time, let’s flip the script and spotlight my favorite remixes of hers…

Only a true music legend can remix a ballad to a hip-hop jam flawlessly, get the artist whose song inspired your remix in your video, pioneer the trend of pop star/rapper collabs (and still do it better than those a generation younger than you), and look stun in a tube top and miniskirt and fighting your evil twin in white goopy stuff.

Celebrate, Mimi, celebrate!

Listening To… (3/12)

…these 90s R&B/Rap songs that are oddly on repeat for me today. 

Side note: because I’m an out-of-touch old, apparently Tevin’s “Can We Talk” is now some social media challenge among the youths. Here’s a challenge I’d like to see from the youths: make a song without autotune, pedestrian tacky lyrics, and a rap or dance beat mixed in. 

Gotta love it when you watch old school vids and parts of it gets blurred out and you’re wondering what they’re actually censoring. That’s just melons in that fruit stand, not a bunch of titties out. (Uh, wait.) 

I discovered this song 21 years after its original release (thank the 90s R&B music channels on Comcast for that). Also, Craig Mack (RIP) should’ve been more major than what he got from the rap game. 

Yet another song I discovered years after its release. The vocals on this track! The 90s were the last great decade for, among many, many other things, male R&B groups. And when I play this and the “Vibin'” song, I’m reminded of my spring trip in LA back in 2016. The weather was exquisite, I went to DragCon and met some amazing queens, and my Penguins knocked out the Caps in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs! (I’ll save the rest for a future Travel Slut Diaries post.)

Bad Girl Weekend

After seeing the eyesore that is an unnecessary big-ass display of Carolina Herrera’s “Good Girl” perfume at Macy’s, two things. 1) When is there gonna be a “Bad Girl” perfume? I can never own something with a name that you say to either your female pet, or submissive in a BDSM scene, or if you’re an ignorant choad being condescending to a woman. And 2) here are some weekend tunes for the bad girl in me, courtesy of three of my music queens, two of which recently celebrated a birthday. (Fittingly that they’re Scorpios!)

I love me some Peaches! There’s more to her than that one song you heard in Lost In Translation. I’ve seen her live three times and she was electric in her performances. 

If you don’t know who Kathleen Hanna (lead singer of Bikini Kill) is, then you don’t know Riot Grrl rock! Kinda sad that she and Courtney Love didn’t get along during grunge rock’s heyday, because their duet that only exists in an alternative universe would’ve been one for the ages. 

Finally, yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Lil Kim’s “Hard Core” album. The whole album is forever fire, and, besides “No Time”, here are my most-played tracks from it.

Wild opinion: this song does more for feminism than some of the so-called feminist anthems out there. You don’t get more girl power than a woman wanting her share, even if it’s in the bedroom. 

That last track, by the way, inspired me to write a poem involving all my Hollywood crushes. No joke! 

And in the words of the Queen Bee herself, “Beside every man is a Bad Girl”! So take that, Carolina. 

 

Hump Day Par-tay

For those who don’t know, I LIVE for super-long 90s dance megamixes. And I gotta thank those YouTube users who have uploaded vintage BBC Essential Mixes, for without them, I wouldn’t have discovered this powerhouse mix, played 25 years ago on this date by DJ Carl Cox. (The date listed in the video is notated the UK way.) I actually first heard of this mix eight years ago, and every time I play it, I turn into a one-woman rave–minus the glow sticks, pacifiers, and ecstasy pills because I have none of those things. 

Besides, when cheaters lose on the championship level, it’s always a good day to party!

 

New Jack Swingin’

Continuing with my 1991-themed Throwback Thursdays for this month, here are some of my favorite R&B songs that were released 30 years ago, at the height of the New Jack Swing era! Gotta dance away all my nerves of the upcoming Game 5 between the Giants and Bums, y’know. (I gotta do a LOT of dancing then.)

That New Jack City soundtrack (which gave us the first two songs) remains legendary.

You gotta wonder how many babies were made to this song. Also, thanks to CB4, I sometimes think of big-ass biscuits when this song plays.

I’ve seen conflicting release dates of this eternal jam, but the consensus seems to be at 1991, so it counts! And Rest In Power, Heavy D.

Since it’s also the birthday of Superwoman herself Karyn White…

*sighs* What I would give to go back to the days when women in R&B didn’t look so plastic and ratchet and sang with their real voices without any autotune. No, I would not sacrifice a Giants win tonight for that.

Listening To… (8/11)

Because I need some music while I work on creating an eBook, I shall play the finest Garbage for my ears!

I don’t know how I got the urge to listen to the bewitching voice of Shirley Manson after going without it for so long (how dare I!), but I’m riding the wave. Twenty-five years after these songs came out and they remain refreshing as rain after a drought. And if “Stupid Girls” spoke out against the try-hard bimbos of the 90s, the message can very much apply to the try-hards of social media and wannabe-A-listers from reality shows these days. The lyric “You pretend you’re anything just to be adored…” alone is enough to make the tragic eyebrows of a TikTok “influencer” fall off.

Also, Shirley’s red hair during that era is current redhead goals for me.

Summer of ’96 – My Soundtrack

Ah, the Summer of 1996. The Chicago Bulls returned to NBA glory by winning their 4th championship after going 72-10 in the regular season. Independence Day was blowing up box-office records. And pre-teen me may have set a personal record by watching way too much MTV and eating too much Doritos in one day. Hey, that was when MTV was still great and not the waste of try-hard bungwipe that it is today, and Doritos was one of my favorite food groups as a kid. But talk about a time for music–for pop and R&B in particular. Who knew that the songs I overplayed on my cassette player that summer of ’96 would define what could arguably be the last golden era of pop and R&B?

I used to watch a lot of MTV Jams back then, and I don’t recall one day when this video did not air. That’s how hot this track was.

By the way, I recently discovered another song with the same sample LL used for the “Loungin'” remix. Though it ended up flopping (it supposedly had the misfortune to be released right after LL’s song), it’s certainly not a flop in my house! I actually like that version too.

Look, kids–that’s how hot women in music werked it in the 90s. No overinflated keesters, trout pouts, clown makeup, and basic twerking. (I am aware of the many wigs Toni went through in this video, by the way.) Just pure sensuality in a saucy song that is sadly absent in music these days.

SWV may have been my girl group that summer. This slow jam and “You’re The One” were played often.

Confession: I used to do some singing as a kid. Nothing professional–just choirs and some musical numbers in school plays. Whenever this got played, I belted it out like I was trying to get five stars on Star Search. I can’t sing for shit these days, so I’m kind of amazed over how I was able to sing this (or any song) then.

Also, I’m aware that this song came out in 1995, but I bought the single in ’96, so its placement on this list counts.

The Waiting To Exhale soundtrack remains legendary to this day. You couldn’t call yourself a R&B fiend then and not own that soundtrack. I was such a Brandy fan, and the song is not just a memorable bop, but homegirl had style in that video!

Also, and I’m gonna say it, but I’m glad I had artists like Brandy and Monica around at an age when I was discovering music on my own. They were teen sensations, but they weren’t being presented as jailbait or overly sexual like what would become of some young female pop acts years later. I remember reading about Brandy and Monica in Word Up and Seventeen, and they were just straight-up classy and age-appropriate. No fakeness, no ratchet shit, no problem!

This, along with LL’s “Loungin'”, was THE summer jam of ’96. There were many days I would sing this to my posters of 3T and Immature in my bedroom in hopes that they’d become my boo. And it worked…in my dreams. (Yes, I had a crush on those guys, and, yes yes, I am of that generation that had posters on my bedroom wall. God, I’m really showing my age here.)

Pre-teen me thought this was another innocent, fun dance song. Hearing those lyrics as a sort-of-a grown-up nowadays…oh, honey.

R&B and rap weren’t the only genres I got down to that summer. And you could not escape a Top 40 station without this song playing.

I took a road trip to Seattle with my old folks that summer, and I remember wearing out the cassette player of my old man’s truck from playing this jam (and the other songs above) a lot during the road trip. How that tape survived that two week trip, I don’t know.

*sighs* I miss ya, George.

There are more songs to this soundtrack but aren’t posted. Basically, any hot R&B/rap/pop/dance song from 1995 and the first eight months of 1996 was part of my summer soundtrack. Oh, and there was that one Latin dance song from that year that spawned some dance craze that I’d post here, but, eh, I’d rather not.