So after finishing up my ridiculous moments in new jack swing post however many years ago, I seem to have become sensitive to all ridiculous moments in music. I noticed very recently that my subconscious has been compiling a working list of ridiculous moments in R&B, all of R&B, not just the 90s, so I sat down intending to do a quick purging. Turns out this quick purging is too long for just one post, so I think it’s gonna be a 3-parter as of now. So! Without further achoo and in no particular order, let’s get part one started right!
1. Chante Moore clearly hates her friends. Ladies, close your eyes and imagine this. Well, read this first, and then close your eyes cause it’d be kind of hard to do the other way around. Okay. It’s a Friday night. You and some of your girlfriends gather together to have a glass of wine or 4 and do some therapeutic venting about your man problems. Love is a battlefield, and sometimes even the mightiest of warriors get weary, and tonight, all you wanna do is find some strength in your girls and forget that men even exist for awhile.
Then the one heffa in the room with a man stands up and yells, ‘LATER FOR YOU LONELY BITCHES, I GOTTA GO HOME AND WATCH LEROY GET BUTT NEKKID AND COOK ME SOME BREAKFAST. BYE!’ That’s pretty much what ‘Chante’s got a Man’ amounts to for me. Like serious, she’s just like ‘yeah, it sucks that you don’t have a man. Your man is cheatin’ on you, girl. Mmph, what a pity. Welp! My life is awesome! Sorry your man blacked your eye last week! My man’s on the phone gotta go bye!’ she hid a positive ‘you deserve better than this’ message in there, sure but you literally have to look for it between her sounding not too sorry about one of her girlfriends gettin’ beat up by her man and singing out a laundry list of the good shit her man does for her. Fuck that, if I was her friends, id lock her in a bathroom and snatch her bald, see how her man likes that. Watch the video here. I’m not putting it up myself out of respect for Chante’s manless battered abused friends (Brokey cares if don’t nobody else care).
2. Lenny Williams watches TV forever. Literally. This is arguably one of my most favorite ridiculous moments in all of music history, not just R&B. Y’all all know the classic Lenny Williams song ‘Because I Love You,’ right? ‘Girl you know I I I I love yooooou! OOH OH OH OH OH OH OH ooooh oh ooooh oh oh oh oh oh oh’ etc etc. Right? Right. Everybody knows that song. The odd staccato repetition thing is enough to make this ridiculous but the real gem lies within the spoken breakdown towards the end of the song. Our lovesick narrator walks us through his night of failed attempts trying to get in touch with the woman he loves. He calls her on the phone and he just can’t get her to answer. He goes to her house, saw her car parked in the drive way, knocked on the door and still his knocks went unanswered. Dejected, he goes home and watches TV until television goes off. Really, that’s what he says. Until television GOES OFF?? Holy shit! It NEVER goes off! Even when television programming stops, it’s still on. Something is on. Paid programs, that video of the American flag, somethin’. Even if the program stops, the TV displays static, if nothing else. Until TV goes off. That’s a long ass time. I am willing to bet that right now, ladies and gentlemen, right very now, Lenny Williams is sitting in front of his TV butt nekkid in a bathrobe watchin’ a Snuggie commercial. Or static. Poor guy. Listen here.
3. Ashanti & J. Lo attempt to ruin my musical memory. Let me set a scene for you. It’s a Saturday afternoon. I’m in my apartment. It’s a beautiful late spring day, warm out, windows are open. I’m dancin’ around while cleaning my place and listening to the radio (I actually don’t have a radio, but this is all for effect. Follow me). I hear the beat to Baggie’s ‘One More Chance’ playing and I do the mandatory ‘woooooooo!’ to signify that this is my jam, and then I do the customary 90s bad boy hands in the air head bob, known also as the gallop that Pam did into Martin’s apartment when Biggie was there. I fix my mouth and get my F-sound ready to say ‘first things first,’ but instead what comes out is: ‘…fuck, is that Ashanti?’ Rage ensues.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there was a good solid period of like a year and a half when this happened way too often, and the perpetrators were *always* Ashanti and Jennifer Lopez. I would sincerely get irate. since I don’t have a radio, I’d usually hear my favorite beats come on, get excited, hear those two broads attempting to carry a tune in bucket, and then say ‘See?? This is why I don’t have a radio!!’ As a matter of principle, I refuse to link any of those songs here, but the perpetrators are: by Ashanti, ‘Unfoolish’ (Biggie; wtf kinda word is ‘unfoolish’ anyway?!) and ‘Baby’ (Scarface’s ‘Mary Jane‘ ); and by J. Lo the list is way longer: ‘Ain’t It Funny’ (Craig Mack), ‘I’m Gonna Be Alright’ (Luniz), ‘Jenny from the Block’ (The Beatnuts). I can’t remember the others. They made my life hard for a good little while though. Jerks.
4. H-Town’s crazy dancing is making my penis soft. (c) Dave Chapelle. Y’all remember H-Town, right? Remember their song ‘they like it slow?’ Remember the ridiculous dance that they did through the entire video while wearing unnecessarily leather outfits? No? Here’s a memory jogger. It starts at about 1:13 and last for the entire damn video.
…motherfucker, why?? (c) Steve Harvey
5. Glenn Lewis really needs some help. Ah, Glenn Lewis. It makes me so sad that you’re probably doing gigs at Mall of America or somewhere similar right now. O, S-Curled wonder with a voice reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and a face reminiscent of a soft woodland creature, what happened?! You were so awesome! I liked Glenn because Glenn could pretty much sing anything and make it sound like a love song, and he usually had really beautiful instrumentals to sing over. His song ‘Take Me‘ is no different. The first couple of minutes, it sounds like a bittersweet story of a lost woman who doesn’t want to be alone and has an extreme case of escapism, asking a man she just met to take her anywhere. But then… things get weird. Kind of like ‘Superheroes‘ by Esthero.. You’re groovin’ to it, thinkin’ about how sexy it is (and it is sexy), then you notice that she’s also singing about being old and used and shit. In ‘Take Me,’ there comes a point where you begin to pick up on alarming portions of the lyrics. Like, say, when Glenn starts repeating: take me any/where but here/she’s crazy/she’s crazy.
…WOAH!! How did we get here, Glenn Lewis??! Just a few seconds ago, you had the cape on ready to save this poor child. That shit went awry fast.
6. James Brown really, really likes drugs. I think this video pretty much speaks for itself.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s another great moment featuring James Brown later on in the series. Stay tuned!
7. K-Ci also really likes drugs a lot too as well. Sometimes I can’t believe this guy was a sex symbol. To keep it all the way real, I couldn’t even believe this guy was a sex symbol even when he was a sex symbol. He was the hot shit when he was in Jodeci though, right? Not much to look at in the least (Devante Swing was more my speed. It was during my S-Curl phase, gimmie a break). But at least back then, he had whole ‘I’m on crack but I don’t readily look like it’ thing goin’ on. These days? Ha! Fucking forget it. K-Ci looks like his address is Third Crack House on the Left and his phone number is 555-I-Can’t-Pay-This-Damn-Bill-Cause-I-Smoke-Up-All-My-Money. Not only is he lookin’ mad Tyrone Biggums-ish, but he’s acting like he sold his last bits of common sense for an 8-ball. I keep seeing these crazy videos of him riding into his concerts on his bodyguard’s shoulders and just being all around weird. Oh how the mighty have become gross.
(vid via mediatakeout)
8. Bobby Brown + Whitney Houston + reality show = delicious failure. Oh man. This is one of the greatest guilty pleasures of my life. Bobby and Whitney’s reality show ‘Being Bobby Brown‘ shouldn’t be funny, when you think about it, especially in light of Whitney’s recent stints in rehab and their divorce. This show pretty much captured the life and times of a couple in love in the throes of addiction. Or two addicts in the throes of love, whichever you prefer. It was like a season long episode of A&E’s ‘Intervention,’ only without the actual intervention. But man alive… this was some GOOD TV.
This show puts my soul and spirit in a difficult position. Like, I know crack is wrong, but as far as my personal entertainment is concerned, it worked for them the way it did for Mary J. Blige. Mary did some of her best work when she was strung out! That’s terrible to say, but TRUE! I got some gems from her dark days, and similarly, the White Girl worked hard with Bobby and Whitney to give me some of the most golden TV moments ever. We got to hear one talk about digging a ‘doody bubble’ out of the other’s butt. We saw a drunk Bobby Brown walking around a hotel room with his Timberland somehow stuck to his foot while Bobby beseeches it to leave him in peace, saying: ‘Stop followin’ me, shoe. Stop followin’ me, shoe!’ We got to see Bobbi Christina in her weird awkward funny lookin’ stage. Awesome. Now unfortunately, there aren’t any really good clips of the show on the youtubes, but here’s a few:
Also, here’s a 3 minute compilation of other random moments, but the quality is really bad. Watch at your own risk.
9. Gerald Levert may have an obsessive compulsion. Remember LSG? The group that Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, and Johnny Gill formed? Wasn’t that a dumbass idea from jump? Stupidity aside, the group did pretty well. Their song ‘My Body’ was probably their biggest hit, and it even spent some time at number one when it was released in 1997. Other than its overwhelming suckiness, the thing that sticks out in this song for me is the annoying repetition! They say the word ‘body’ 105 times in this song. I COUNTED. I’d say u could make a drinking game of it and do a shot each time they say it, but I can’t have the deaths of your livers on my conscience like that. It’s bizarre though. Were they just lazy? Or unimaginative? Or could a certain someone in the group just not help himself??
A year later, Gerald released ‘Thinkin’ About It,’ a fairly mediocre song where he does a lot of needless repeating of the phrase ‘thinkin’ about it,’ namely in the chorus and especially at the end. I can connect the dots people!! Gerald Levert was a secret Rainman!!
10. Alexander O’Neal’s ‘come hither’ fail. And now, today’s crowning glory. Let me be the first to say that O’Neal’s ‘If You Were Here Tonight’ is a truly, truly beautiful song. He had a lot of talent and potential. Shame he got hooked on that White Girl and snorted it all away. Anyway, this song is awesome, but the video? Not so much. To be fair, let’s put it into context; it was made in 1985, and all videos were corny and cheesy then. Ridiculous fashion, crappy sets. That’s not his fault. What is his fault though, those terrible, TERRIBLE sexy faces he’s making all up in the camera! Why didn’t the director pick up on that? I’d point you to a particular point in the video, but really, just pick a spot. You’ll see it in due time. As a bonus bit of ridiculousness, though, head to the 3:17 minute mark. You should see him tossing and turning in the bed, unable to sleep because his boo isn’t there. Keep watching and wait for him to start awake, singing, then attempt to be both sexy and confused at the same time. Then come back and explain to me why the fuck he felt it necessary to act up like that. Thanks.