On the final Thursday of Women’s History Month, we take a look back at Lauryn Hill’s solo debut single, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” We’ve already discussed the legacy of its parent album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but “Doo Wop” deserves its own entry.

Released as the album’s lead single in the summer of ’98, “Doo Wop” would go on to become the first song by a female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100. And more than two decades later, we can still count the number of female rappers who have accomplished this on one hand.

“Doo Wop” samples the 5th Dimension’s “Together Let’s Find Love,” and because it is as much R&B as it is rap, it won Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance — an award that no longer exists because the Recording Academy didn’t like Beyoncé’s accumulation of awards — and Best R&B song.

Today in 2004, Usher released what would become his most commercially successful album: Confessions. Fresh off a breakup with Chilli (after which he publicly confessed to cheating), Usher bamboozled us all into thinking he was releasing a full album’s worth of autobiographical material, but in reality, the album was a brilliant mixture of slow jams and club bangers that were largely unrelated to what was going on in his personal life. And even the few tracks that appear to mirror his personal life were actually based on Usher’s friends relationships.

Sonically, Confessions generally picks up right where Usher left off on 8701, with Jermaine Dupri and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis returning to handle a lot of the production. The key difference between both albums is that Confessions has more production from “trendy” producers of the time (including Rich Harrison, Just Blaze, and Dre & Vidal).

Confessions produced four No.1 hits (“Yeah!” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Burn,” “Confessions Part II” and “My Boo” featuring Alicia Keys) and one top 10 (“Caught Up”). The album had one of the highest first week sales of all time (with almost 1.1 million copies sold in the US alone) and has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide. Billboard Magazine ranks it as the 16th best-charting album of all time on the Billboard 200.

Picking a favorite from this album was no easy feat, but at this very moment, I’m rolling with “Bad Girl.” Below is his iconic performance of that with Beyoncé during The Truth Tour.

The year was 1969. The Supremes — now known as “Diana Ross & the Supremes” — had been dominating the charts for five years and Miss Ross was preparing for a solo career. One of the songs she recorded was a cover of “Someday We’ll Be Together,” which was originally released in 1961 by doo-wop duo Johnny & Jackey. The song was supposed to be Diana’s solo debut single, but upon hearing the recording, Motown head Berry Gordy changed plans and had it released as the Supremes’ final song.

(Note: The was a reincarnation of the group in the ’70s, but the ’60s Supremes is the only one we acknowledge.)

The song, which doesn’t feature vocals from the other members of the group, ended up being the Supremes’ 12th and final No. 1 hit. This was a record for a female act until 1998, when Mariah Carey achieved a 13th No. 1 — Mariah still holds the record with a total of 18 leaders. Diana Ross, who went on to have six No. 1s as a solo artist, also has a loose claim to 18 No. 1s.

If there ever was an artist whose image completely undermined her music, it is Teyana Taylor. Every time I hear one of her songs, I find myself feeling surprised — at how good it is, but also that she sings (and beautifully, I might add). For some reason, I keep thinking she’s a rapper even though I’ve heard many of her songs.

“Issues/Hold On” is the second single from Teyana’s 2018 album, KTSE, and it’s a soulful ballad about the ups and downs of a relationship. Its video is set in the ’70s and features A$AP Rocky, who plays Teyana’s flirtatious husband. Lori Harvey plays a potential “other woman,” which is quite fitting given her growing reputation as a man-eater.

Tyler the Creator also makes an appearance in the video. Check it out below.

As it turns out, the long-rumored “A No No” remix featuring Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott and Cardi B was just that: a rumor. Instead, we have one with Stefflon Don, which I didn’t see coming at all; kudos to whoever had the idea. That being said, it is disappointing to say the least — not just because we didn’t get the supercollabo of our dreams, but because Steff’s verse is pretty uninspired.

Besides the Stefflon Don verse, the song is exactly same (which is why that verse needed to impress). Listen below.

In August of 1961, the Marvelettes released their debut single, “Please Mr. Postman.” The group had auditioned for Motown Records (then called Tamla) with this song just four months prior — the original lead singer of the group, Georgia Dobbins, got the song from a friend and reworked it for the audition. Dobbins ended up leaving the group after the audition, and in the months between the audition and the single release, she was replaced and the song was reworked yet again by songwriters Brian Holland and Robert Bateman — together known as “Brianbert.”

“Please Mr. Postman” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and holds the distinction of being the very first Motown song to achieve that feat. The song has been covered numerous times in the almost six decades since its release and was also a No. 1 hit for the Carpenters in 1975.


PS: The Supremes, who had a rivalry with the Marvelettes, are in the audience during this performance, and the shady cameraman keeps pans to each Supreme’s face.

There’s nothing like a music video that perfectly matches the song it was made for. “Talk” is an understated chune, and its video gives us just enough choreography without overdoing it. And while the video is pretty colorful (and I mean that literally), it is balanced by the bare backdrop and minimal use of props. Khalid (or whoever came up with the treatment) got it just right.

Produced by Disclosure, “Talk” is the lead single from Khalid’s second studio album, Free Spirit, which drops on April 5. Watch the video below.

The video for “A No No” just dropped, and it’s exactly the kind of video an aging pop star would make. And I say that with love.

Set in a subway car, the video features Mariah Carey dressed in a gown while a whole bunch of cool city kids in street wear do a whole bunch of popping and locking. Mariah, of course, is sitting/standing and lip-synching badly the whole time. This video could have been so much more. Check it out below.

Mustard and Migos joined forced for “Pure Water,” which is a certified chune. Mustard gets credit as an artist (despite providing no vocals), which indicates that the song is for Mustard’s next album.

The video features a paintball fight, a fire truck, and lots of plastic jumpsuits. Check it out below.