In September of 1997, British R&B group Eternal released “Angel of Mine” as the lead single from their greatest hits album.

If you’re aware of this song’s existence, I tip my hat to you. To everyone else: Suprise!

What you’ve only ever known as one of Monica’s biggest hits is, in fact, a cover —- and a cover of a song that was barely a year old at the time. The good news is that Monica did the song justice.

Written by Travon Potts and Rhett Lawrence, “Angel of Mine” is what the hipsters would refer to as “schmaltzy.” However, we love schmaltzy around these parts.

“Angel of Mine” would go on to become Eternal’s 12th top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at No. 4.

If you’re wondering why the first podcast post is for Episode 21, I have an answer: I fucked up. But the good news you can listen to all 20 prior episodes on Apple Podcast, Spotify or YouTube.

On this episode, lifestyle blogger Ogechi stops by to discuss the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman; the Verzuz battle between Brandy and Monica; Adele’s bantu knots; and so much more. Check it out below.

Justin Bieber stands in for fellow Canadian, Drake, in the “Popstar” video.

Before I go any further, let’s just say that a video should’ve been made for “Greece” instead, but it is what is.

The video — which already has four million YouTube views in 12 hours — shows Bieber doing a variety of pop-star-ish shit, only to wake up from a dream (and to his reality as a married man).

As far as post-pandemic videos go, this “Popstar” seems to be the most reckless one yet. Zero masks, zero social distancing, and hella people in an indoor space. It should’ve come with a “don’t try this at home” warning.

Unless you reside underneath a rock, you must be aware that Brandy and Monica gave music fans a treat by putting their differences aside to do “battle” on Verzuz. The R&B icons’ Verzuz show became the most watched one yet, with over six million viewers across Instagram Live and Apple Music. The power that that has.

Depending on who you ask, either singer “won” the contest, but real ones know that the real winners were the fans. It was a glorious trip down memory lane. However, I am left wanting. I am left wanting because Brandy Norwood had the audacity to not include “U Don’t Know Me (Like U Used To)” in her list of songs.

Released as Never Say Never‘s fifth single in the US, “U Don’t Know Me” never had much of a chance to be a ginormous hit. However, it is def more easily recognizable than at least four of the songs B-Rocka played.

Co-produced by Brandy and Darkchild, “U Don’t Know Me” is one of those songs that felt incredibly futuristic at the time of its release, but looking back, is so ’98. That being said, that beat knocks as hard today as it did back then. If you’re not familiar, thank me later.

In 1998, Mase assembled a group called Harlem World, which was also the same name of his debut album released the year prior. The group included his sister, Baby Stase, and five others: Loon, Meeno, Cardan, Huddy and Blinky Blink.

Given that Mase was signed to Baby Boy Records at the time, it’s easy to assume that Harlem World was too. But in actuality, they were signed to Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings. Perhaps Puffy passed on the group? Who knows.

In the first quarter of 1999, Harlem World released the first single from what would be the group’s first and last album, The Movement. The song, “I Really Like It,” features Mase and Kelly Price, and samples two ’80s classics: New Edition’s “Popcorn Love” and DeBarge’s “I Like It.”

(Fun fact: A then-unknown Kanye West produced three tracks on The Movement.)

“I Really Like It” wasn’t a major hit, but I will say this, it was in heavy rotation in my house at the time, and till this day, lifts my spirit instantly. The video, which included cameos from the Mowry twins and Paula Jai Parker, is also a favorite.

At the time, I remember thinking Harlem World was the next big thing (because I was a stan off this one song), but before the year was over, the group would disband. With the exception of Loon, none of the group’s members would be heard from again.

This song has been on the docket since the inception of this website, but for whatever reason, it hadn’t been posted already. With today being Mase’s 45th birthday, I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity. Click play.

Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z joined forces for “Entrepreneur,” a bouncy yet soulful ode to entrepreneurship — black entrepreneurship.

The video, which features neither Pharrell nor Hov, highlights a range of black people doing big things — from Tyler the Creator to Issa Rae to even Nicholas Johnson, Princeton University’s first black valedictorian. Click play.

Every now and then, a random and relatively obscure song from 20 years ago will come to mind — and stay there for days and even weeks.

Currently, that song for me is Will Smith’s “Who Am I” (featuring Tatyana Ali & MC Lyte). It was an album cut from the Fresh Prince’s second album as a solo act, Willennium.

Co-written and co-produced by Darkchild, the track is so very ’99. And lyrically, it is neither Will Smith nor MC Lyte’s best work. But that hook? I just can’t quit it.

Funny enough, other than the “wanna know, baby, who am I?” part of the chorus, I never really knew what Tatyana Ali saying, but even after two decades, the melody stayed with me. And that, ladies and gentelmen, is why I will always insist that the melody matters more than anything else.

Now that I actually know what the lyrics to the chorus are, I love it even. Because I am, in fact, fully educated and not the one to play with.

Drake is back, and at this point, it’s not even fair because he is running laps around the rap game.

The Toronto native dropped “Laugh Now Cry Later” (featuring Lil Durk) a few hours ago and announced that a new album, titled Certified Lover Boy, is on its way. Based on that album title, my guess is that Drizzy will be giving us all of the things his haters hate him for — with intention. And we love to see it.

“Laugh Now Cry Later” is perhaps the slowest of Drake’s lead singles, but all the key elements are there: A melody that draws you in; a beat that makes you nod your head; and lyrics that stick.

Unsurprisingly, Drake spends most of the song talking about his favorite topic: His haters. It is not uncommon for rappers to rap about their detractors, but with Drake, the lyrics hit different because of the irrational disdain he has had to deal with for much of his career.

The most noteworthy line on “Cry Later” is perhaps the one where Lil Durk takes an apparent dig at 6ix9ine, saying that “we don’t listen to rats.” The video shows Drake playing different sports and includes cameos from Odell Beckham Jr., Kevin Durant and Marshawn Lynch, among others.

With a debut single like “Grind with Me,” it was always hard to take Pretty Ricky seriously. There was something about them that always struck me as particularly corny.

And of course, there were those stripper videos Spectacular used to post on social media. Shaking my head.

Even today, just the thought of the group makes me snicker. However, as clownish as they might have been, I have never questioned the quality of “Your Body,” the group’s second single from their debut album, Bluestars.

Produced by Jim Jonsin and written by the late Static Major, the song was in keeping with the freaky theme of its predecessor, but surpasses it in terms of melody and catchiness. Calling it a classic might be a stretch, but “Your Body” is quite unique in the sense that it sounds very much like a throwaway 2005 radio hit and yet feels somewhat timeless.