I’ve always believed that the ’90s was the golden era of movie soundtracks. So many of the decade’s biggest hits were from soundtracks, and so many of the songs that have stuck with me the longest were from movie soundtracks.

A fine example of this is SWV’s “Can We,” which was on 1997’s Booty Call soundtrack. The track features a then up-and-coming Missy Elliott, who was still months away from releasing her debut single. The song was also written and produced by Missy (along with Timbaland).

The song peaked at No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 despite topping the airplay chart due to limited availability at retail — the record label only shipped a limited number of vinyls and did not issue a CD release. Basically, that’s the equivalent of a song being released today and only being available as a CD. These labels don’t wanna win.

Chart stats aside, the song is a veritable jam among all those in the know. Click play and get your life.

Making an engaging music video can be difficult even when you include every bell and whistle imaginable. This task becomes even greater when you have zero props, zero special effects and a plain white background; however, when you’re as beautiful as Ciara, anything is possible.

CiCi serves lewk after lewk in the video for “Greatest Love,” and the song isn’t half-bad either.
Check it out below.

Normani just dropped the “Waves” video and it is generally what you would’ve expected it to be — shockingly, there is no wave shot, but everything else is pretty predictable. Lots and lots of galactic imagery.

My feelings about this song haven’t changed in the three months since its release, and I pray to the heavens that Normani has better in store for us. Watch the video below.

The 61st Grammy Awards went down last night, and overall, it was missing a bit of star power. Sure, Michelle Obama made an exciting cameo, but a lot of music’s biggest stars declined invitations to perform — most notably Ariana Grande, who got into somewhat of a public spat with Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich.

This year, the Grammys appeared to be going the progressive route. Cardi B made history as the first woman to win the Best Rap Album award, while Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” became the first rap song to win for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. I have written at length about how I feel about that song and video, so I’ma chill on today. I wouldn’t have given Childish Gambino those awards, but its the Grammys and I’m used to being disappointed. Besides, there was an even bigger travesty — more on that later.

H.E.R. won for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance, while Drake won for Best Rap Song; his acceptance speech was one of the highlights of the ceremony. Ariana Grande won her first Grammy and Lady Gaga took home three trophies.

The big winner of the night, however, was Kacey Musgraves, who not only won four awards — more than anyone else — but won the night’s big prize: Album of the Year. That’s right. The Recording Academy buttered us up all night just so they could play the same old tricks. I have to laugh.

Cardi B’s live rendition of “Money” was by far the performance of the night.



Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day’s joint Aretha Franklin tribute gets an honorable mention. And while it wasn’t officially a performance, Alicia Keys’ double-piano medley also gets a mention because it was simply amazing.



For a full list of this year’s Grammy winners, click here.

Brandy Norwood turns 40 today, which is an insane reality for anyone who remembers when she first made her debut as a teenager. It has been a whole 25 years.

At this point, Brandy has dedicated more than half of her life to entertaining us, and I am truly grateful. As a kid who grew up in the ’90s with three older sisters, Brandy was always in heavy rotation, and as a result, so many of my childhood memories are attached to Brandy songs. And what beautiful songs they were.

As I normally do with these milestone birthdays, I have selected a song for each decade. Picking four Brandy songs wasn’t easy, and there were at least 12 songs in the running, but these were the winners on this particular day. Happy birthday, Brandy!


“Sittin’ up in My Room”


“Brokenhearted” (featuring Wanya Morris)


“Best Friend”


“I Wanna Be Down”

The “Going Bad” video dropped earlier this week, and it is perhaps the most star-studded video we’ve seen in a minute. The video doesn’t have much of a plot — it’s mainly just a mob walking through a building. This mob, led by Drake and Meek Mill, also includes T.I., Swizz Beatz, Mustard, PnB Rock, Nipsey Hussle, J. Prince, Jas Prince, Shy Glizzy and the Dreamchasers. Check the video out below.

It’s the first Throwback Thursday of Black History Month and the 2019 Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, so it’s only right that I pull out one of the greatest performances in the history of the award show.

On February 8, 2004 — almost exactly 15 years ago — Prince and Beyoncé opened the Grammy Awards with one of the most iconic live performances I have ever seen. They performed a medley of “Purple Rain,” “Baby I’m a Star” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” with a sprinkling of “Crazy in Love.” Beyoncé had just released her solo debut album eight months prior, so she was still establishing herself as a solo act and the one-of-a-kind performer we now know her to be. The fact that Prince agreed to perform with Bey is as big as a co-sign as any young artist can get, and she definitely rose to the occasion.

Prince and Beyoncé’s chemistry was so palpable that you almost wish they took the show on the road. Fifteen years later, I still think of it often and go back to watch it every now and then. Enjoy this piece of history.

Today in 1999, TLC released “No Scrubs,” the lead single from their third studio album, FanMail. It was the group’s return to the game after a four-year break that included a bankruptcy filing. Their previous album, 1994’s CrazySexyCool, was the group’s biggest commercial success, but due to mismanagement and greed on the part of their label, TLC ended up in debt despite having just sold over 20 million albums.

Four years is a long time in the music business and not everybody can afford to take that long of a break, but as we all found out, TLC ain’t everybody. “No Scrubs” was one of the biggest hits of 1999. The song became the group’s third No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and achieved 140 million impressions at radio, which was a record at the time.

Beyond the numbers, “No Scrubs” was a cultural moment. Women everywhere had a new go-to insult for men they considered to be lame, and lame niggas everywhere had their panties in a bunch. If you doubt that song’s impact, you need look no further than Sporty Thievz’s “No Pigeons,” which was a response to “No Scrubs” — not many songs inspire that much effort, and even fewer songs inspire response tracks that are hits in their own right.

“No Scrubs” was written by Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle — the latter two are members of XScpae and intended to release the song as a duo (called KaT) following XScape’s disbandment in the ’90s. When they got the call that TLC wanted the song, they gave it up — a decision that both Kandi and Tiny are now glad they made. The song went on to win Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song (a songwriter’s award) and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, earning the duo their first and only Grammy win. Not to mention, they’ve probably made millions of dollars from that one song.

Today marks 15 years since the infamous halftime show performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII. The performance — which featured Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson — was actually a good one, but unfortunately, it will always be remembered for its final milliseconds, where Justin Timberlake ripped off a part of Janet Jackson’s bustier, revealing her bare right breast. And thus Nipplegate was born.

At the time, it was described as a “wardrobe malfunction” — a term that has since taken on a life of its own. All these years later, I still don’t know if I believe it was unintentional (even though this clip does support Janet’s story), but I do know that people overreacted to the sight of a black woman’s breast. CBS — the network that aired the Super Bowl that year — received over 500,000 complaints and the NFL had to refund the $10 million it was paid by the sponsors of the halftime show.

As a way of making peace with America, the NFL went the “safe” route in the subsequent halftime shows. For the next six years after Nipplegate, the performers were all old and male, and with the exception of Prince, white. They were also all rock acts, and generally speaking, their performances were boring as fuck. Prince did okay, but the rest? Trash.

The performance would also change television at large. Congress passed legislation that increased FCC fines for indecency, which led to many networks implementing delays in their live broadcasts.

The most lasting impact, however, was the effect it had on Janet Jackson’s career, and this wasn’t because the music-buying audience suddenly abandoned her; it was because Les Moonves, the then-CEO of Viacom (which owned CBS at the time), made it his business to destroy Janet Jackson. He ordered that she be blacklisted from all Viacom properties across TV, radio and even publishing — it cannot be overstated how damaging this could be to any entertainer’s career. Just pure evil.

Justin Timberlake didn’t help matters by being disloyal. His public apology following Nipplegate essentially put all the blame on Janet Jackson, which is typical. Also, it’s worth noting that a lot of his initial statements following Nipplegate have been scrubbed from the internet, including an interview right after the performance, where he says, “We love giving you something to talk about” (paraphrasing). I remember this clip vividly because it was just hours after the performance and before shit had really hit the fan.

That year, Janet Jackson was disinvited from the Grammys while Justin got to attend and perform TWICE. He has gone from success to success in the years since, while Janet Jackson’s career was effectively put to an end. I am still bitter about it and I will never forgive all those responsible for bringing her down.

I take solace in the fact that Les Moonves went down in flames last year, losing his job as the CEO of CBS following accusations of sexual misconduct. Also, on the day of last year’s Super Bowl (where Justin got halftime show duties), the internet decided to have Janet Jackson Appreciation Day. We will never fully get justice, but in order to make sure this doesn’t happen again, we will always remember.