Most TBT selections are inspired by it being the artist’s birthday or just sheer love for the song. Every now and then, however, a selection is made as a matter of duty.
Earlier today on Twitter, a (presumed) Zoomer tweeted (with apparent surprise) that “that ‘Milkshake’ song” was sung by a Black woman.” As someone who was almost an adult when “that ‘Milkshake’ song” song dropped, I was taken aback. How was this not common knowledge? And how has “Milkshake” become one of those ever-present-yet-old songs that people know by heart and yet couldn’t pull its performer out of a lineup? What kind of dream is this?
The milkshake song was sung by a black woman??????????????????
— Izz. (@izzakko) September 30, 2021
Released on August 25, 2003, “Milkshake” turned 18 years old a month ago. In other words, babies born at that time can now vote. It has been that long, so yes, I can imagine anyone under the age of 23 knowing the song and not the singer. Once upon a time, I couldn’t identify a single member of Journey, but best believe I knew all the words to “Open Arms.” It really do be like dat.
Anyway, back to “Milkshake.”
Written and produced by the Neptunes, the song was the lead single from Kelis’ third album, Tasty. The song was released at the height of Neptunes fever, and while it did have all the markings of a Williams/Hugo production, it was decidedly different from much of their other creations. The song would go on to become a global hit and Kelis’ biggest single by far, peaking at No. 3 in the US, No. 2 in the UK and Australia, and No. 1 in Ireland.
You know a song has taken on a life of its own when people know it by heart and yet can’t name its singer. We’re here to fix that. Click play.