For a variety of reasons, the ’90s were some of the best years in the history of popular music. One of those reasons is that the decade gave us some amazing covers. Remakes were done with love and care, and quite often, they outshone the originals — “I Will Always Love You,” anyone?

“This Woman’s Work” is a song that was written, produced and originally performed by Kate Bush. Released in 1989, the song is a beautifully haunting tale the trials of childbirth, sung from the perspective of a man waiting outside of a hospital room while his wife is in the delivery room. Kate Bush wrote the song specifically for a scene in the move She’s Having a Baby.

Maxwell covered the song in 1997 for his MTV Unplugged set. His version since been added to the canon of baby-making jams, which is interesting when you consider what the lyrics are about, and also a true testament to the fact that Maxwell can make anything sound romantic.

A studio version of the song was recorded for Maxwell’s third studio album, Now, and released as a single in 2002. However, the Unplugged version is the clear winner.

In honor of this classic cover and in celebration of Maxwell’s 46th birthday (which is today), join me in revisiting this classic.

Young Thug came summer-ready on “The London,” which is your standard thot anthem. The track features J. Cole and Travis Scott is full of caption-ready quotables —- expect to see LaFlame’s “6’1” but the money 9’2”” line all over Instagram in the coming months.

“The London” is the lead single from Young Thug’s upcoming album, GØŁDMØÜFDÖG. Click play.

DJ Khaled’s Father of Asahd dropped this past Friday, and its release has been accompanied by a flurry of music videos — six in total. “Wish Wish,” featuring Cardi B and 21 Savage, is latest of the six.

The song has Cardi B rapping about about her haters (per usual) over a nondescript Tay Keith beat. And then there’s 21 Savage. Check it out below.

Chris Brown just dropped the video for “Wobble Up,” which features Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy. There’s a lot of dancing (as expected) and a lot of colors.

The video is pretty much perfect aside from an appearance by problematic-ass Dan Rue. There’s also a somewhat out-of-place appearance by Tyga, but that’s neither here nor there. Oh, and G-Eazy looks like the senior vice president at an insurance brokerage firm in this video. But other than that, there’s nothing else to critique. Click play.

Lord, I see what you’ve done for other people, specifically Lil Nas X, and I want that for me.

The Nicki-Minaj-stan-turned-superstar is living proof that our fortunes can change drastically at any given moment. We stan and we are inspired.

This past Friday, he released the much-anticipated video for his viral hit, “Old Town Road,” and it lived up to expectations.

Dubbed a “movie,” the video starts off on Old Town Road in 1889, where some white people who aren’t welcoming to “outsiders” try shooting our favorite nigga; this is an obvious allegory for the situation where Lil Nas X was yanked off the country music charts, and for that alone, the video is a winner. Running for cover, Lil Nas X hops into a well that turns out to be a time-traveling tunnel. He ends up in 2019, and Old Town Road is now a lot blacker, friendlier and cooler.

With the release of this video, “Old Town Road” will probably spend at least another two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, where it has ruled for six weeks thus far. Not bad for a debut.

In addition to featured singer and former one-hit-wonder Billy Ray Cyrus, the video includes appearances from Chris Rock, HaHa Davis, Vince Staples and Diplo.  Check it out below.

Ralph Tresvant turns 51 today, which also happens to be Janet Jackson’s birthday. If this blog wasn’t already overrun with Janet posts, she’d be this week’s TBT pick, but I think this is a great opportunity to talk about the very first baby-making jam I ever loved.

“Sensitivity” is the debut single from Ralph Tresvant’s self-titled debut solo album. It was released in 1990, and at the time, all of the members of New Edition had gone on to pursue separate projects. Bobby Brown was a few years into a wildly successful solo career (after being kicked out of the group); Johnny Gill, who replaced Bobby, was back to making music solo; and Bel Biv Devoe, featuring the remaining three members of the group, was riding high on the success of “Poison.”

Ralph was the last to show what he was working, but when he finally did, it was magical. “Sensitivity” is a silky mid-tempo with a melody that no warm-blooded mammal can deny. It is cupcakin’ music at its very best and exemplifies so much of what is missing in R&B today. It is also an amazing reminder that Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (who wrote and produced the song) are actual geniuses that don’t get nearly enough recognition.

“Sensitivity” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Ralph Tresvant’s biggest hit as a solo act. Click play.

Today is Billy Joel’s 70th birthday, and it also happens to be a Thursday, so there is no better opportunity to post the one and only Billy Joel song I know — thanks in large part to Irish boy band, Westlife. For someone with such an impressive discovery, I think it’s interesting that more of his music never made it onto my radar. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve always thought his live cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” (a song I love) was amazing and possibly better than the original.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. “Uptown Girl” is a doo-wop song — hence why I love it so much — about a beautiful, classy, “uptown” girl who happens to be the object of a “backstreet” guy’s affection. Christie Brinkley, who would marry Billy Joel a few years later, plays the title character in the music video and is widely thought to be the inspiration of the song. However, according to Joel, the song was inspired by a number of different women and was initially titled “Uptown Girls.”

(Sidebar: That link includes an interesting anecdote about Elle Macpherson — who dated Billy Joel before Brinkley — and a then-unknown Whitney Houston, who was new to the modeling game and just a few years away from pop superstardom.)

“Uptown Girl” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and not that I would know, but I imagine it is one of Billy Joel’s signature hits. Get into it.



PS: I don’t know what to make of the fact that the only black people in this video are the driver (who’s mean-mugging the whole time) and the two teenage boys randomly break-dancing in the workshop. I am just going to chalk it all up to the fact that this video was released in 1983.

The fact that Chris Brown is only just turning 30 puts into perspective just how young he was when he first hit the scene. Since the age of 16, Breezy has given us jam after jam, and after 14 years in the game, I think it is fair to say that he has established himself as one of the greats.

Despite his greatness, however, I can’t help but think about what Chris Brown’s career would be without all of the controversy. His public image never fully recovered from the infamous domestic violence incident involving Rihanna, and since then, it has been one issue after the other. There was the alleged abuse of ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran, who eventually filed a restraining order against him — one that is active as of today. There was the altercation with a fan; the wrecking of the Good Morning America dressing room; the stint in jail.

Unfortunately, controversy has become a core part of the Chris Brown brand, and for many fans, his checkered past will always be a cloud over his great body of work. Yes, this post is a celebration of Chris Brown, but it would be impossible to have an honest discussion about his career without mentioning his multiple misdeeds.

As he grows older, I hope he does more to redeem himself, and the first step to doing so is not committing new offenses.

In celebration of his 30 years of life, her are my three favorite Chris Brown songs.

“Young Love” (Live at Sessions@AOL)


“Fine China”


“Run It!” (featuring Juelz Santana)

On today — yes, ON today — we’re going gospel. Well…gospel-lite.

“Count on Me” is a duet between Whitney Houston’s and gospel legend CeCe Winans, and while the song is certainly inspirational, it isn’t explicitly religious. However, anything with a Winans on it has to be classified as gospel. It’s the law.

Taken from the iconic Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, “Count on Me” is a song about friendship, faith and love, and Whitney and CeCe sang the hell out of it. It holds the distinction of being one of only a handful of songs written by Whitney — Babyface, who wrote all but one song on the soundtrack, and Whitney’s brother, Michael, are also credited as songwriters.

“Count on Me” peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains CeCe Winans’ highest-charting single.