The 62nd Grammy Awards went down last night in Los Angeles, and for a number of reasons, it was a sad show.

First of all, Oscar winner and basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash just hours prior, so there was a heaviness in the Staples Center that was could be felt through the screen. There were numerous tributes to the former Laker, including a touching performance of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by the show’s host, Alicia Keys, who was joined by Boyz II Men (who covered the song in 1991).

As if the news of Kobe’s death wasn’t enough, the Grammys gave us reasons to be sad throughout the night. Billie Eilish was the night’s big winner, taking home five awards, including the Big Four, making her the first artist to sweep the general categories since 1981. And at just 18 years old, she’s the youngest artist to win the Album of the Year award.

Billie’s older brother, Finneas, also won five awards, all related to his work with on his sister’s album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The only consolation is that Lizzo took home three tropies. For a full list of winners, click here.

Another reason to be sad? The performances were abysmal for the most part. The singing Alicia Keys did here and there as the host was better than most of the performances.

Thanks in large part to the weak competition, the performance of the night was undoubtedly the Prince tribute, which was delivered by Usher, Sheila E. and a dancing FKA Twigs. Usher wouldn’t have been my first pick for a Prince tribute, but he showed us that legends rise to every occasion. Also, FKA Twigs showed us that there is an actual performer underneath all of the avant-garde posturing.

If you’re anything like me, the 62nd Grammy Awards left you wanting. For better performances. For a better selection of winners. For the almost four hours wasted watching the show.

Every now and then, we have to dig deep for the TBT post. Megahits are nice, but as a true connoisseur of the arts, it is my duty to highlight those album cuts that may not be known to the casual fan.

Brandy’s self-titled debut LP, which turned 25 this past September, is a timeless body of work that only gets better with time. You might be familiar with its hit singles like “Brokenhearted” and “I Wanna Be Down,” but contained within that LP are some non-single tracks that are just as good if not better than the hits.

“Sunny Day” is a cheerful and age-appropriate song about a teenage girl longing for her boyfriend. It is one of two songs on the album where Brandy is credited as a songwriter, and you can hear her innocence in the songs lyrics and melody.

Solange once said that anyone writing about R&B should be familiar with “deep Brandy album cuts”, and I couldn’t agree more. Take this TBT post as a demonstration of my credentials. Enjoy.

If all you know about the Birds of Prey soundtrack is “Diamonds,” there’s a chance that you haven’t bothered to listen to anything else from that project. However, Doja Cat offers a bit of redemption with “Boss B*tch,” a catchy two-minute banger that blends EDM and hip-hop in a way that would remind of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album.

The video that accompanies the song shows Doja doing her best Harley Quinn, which isn’t a drastic deviation from her regular look. Check it out below.

The year was 2000 and a 22-year-old Usher was ready to follow up his breakthrough album, My Way (1997), with what he had hoped would be another commercial success. The album, which would have been his third, was supposed to be called All About U, and it’s lead single was a song called “Pop Ya Collar,” which was written by Usher, Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs and Kandi Burruss.

Unfortunately, “Pop Ya Collar” was leaked on Napster months ahead of its scheduled release, as were at least two other tracks that were supposed to be on All About U. As a result of this, the album was shelved so Ursh could record brand new material, and said shelving meant that “Pop Ya Collar” was essentially abandoned soon after its release. Depending on who you ask, “Pop Ya Collar” was also abandoned because the song wasn’t rising on the charts as quickly as the record label had hoped, peaking at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Whatever the case may be, “Pop Ya Collar” is considered one of Usher’s best around these parts. It is very Year 2000 in sound and content, but it slaps just as hard 19 years later because Usher was singing his ass off and good melodies age beautifully.

Calling it a classic would be flagrant lie, but it is a true gem that deserved better. Check it out below.

The hands of time never stop turning, and eventually, most things are forgotten. Many of the hit songs that seem ubiquitous today will be mere footnotes in a few years — significant only to the people who loved them at the time of their initial release. Every now and then, however, an artist strikes gold with a hit that outlives its chart reign.

On January 13, 1990, MC Hammer struck gold with “U Can’t Touch This,” the lead single from his sophomore album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em.

“U Can’t Touch This,” which samples Rick James’ “Super Freak,” wasn’t rap’s first crossover hit. However, almost all of the rap songs that had achieved crossover success at that point were either not purely rap songs or were performed partially or entirely by white artists.

“U Can’t Touch This” was rap through and through, and one might argue that it reached a new frontier of popularity for the genre. The song was literally everywhere, and with a chorus that simple says, “You can’t touch this,” everybody could sing along.

And the music video. My oh my.

The harem pants. The fade/ponytail combo. The dance moves.

The video was clearly before the days where rappers worried about being “too pop” or “too commercial,” and the absence of that burden is what makes it so special. MC Hammer was being himself, and the genre would benefit from that kind of sincerity in 2020.

“U Can’t Touch This” propelled its parent album to over 18 million units in global sales, with over 10 million sold in the US alone — making it the first rap album to be certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song won Grammys for Best Rap Solo Performance and Best R&B Song — the latter being a clear indicator of how clueless the industry was about rap. “U Can’t Touch This” also became the first rap song to be nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys.

Thirty years later, the song is still a constant — in TV shows, in movies, in commercials. And yes, in parodies too. But whatever the case may be, the song’s legacy remains untouched.

Future just dropped “Life Is Good” (featuring Drake), which is basically two songs in one. The first part is Drake blessing us with Instagram caption after Instagram caption. And the second part is basically standard Future — if you’re a fan, you’ll like it.

The video shows Champagne Papi and Future Hendrix working regular jobs and includes appearances by Lil Yachty and 21 Savage. Check it out below.

Megan Thee Stallion and Normani linked up for “Diamonds,” the first single from the Birds of Prey soundtrack.

I like both Megan and Normani a lot, but unfortunately, I find myself in the familiar position of forcing myself to like their music. “Diamonds” sounds like the kind of song that ends up on the cutting room floor. It is just…terrible.

The only redeeming thing about “Diamonds” is its video, which shows Meg and Normani wrecking shit in ways that would make Harley Quinn. Its almost good enough to make you ignore the song.

In the summer of 2003, after leading the charts for eight weeks with “Crazy in Love,” Beyoncé followed up with a single that proved that its predecessor was not a fluke.

“Baby Boy” (featuring Sean Paul) was a perfect mix of R&B, dancehall and Middle Eastern sounds, and in many ways, serves as a microcosm of what was going on in popular music at the time. Contemporary R&B was dominating the charts and Beyoncé was its new queen; dancehall was red hot and Sean Paul was its undisputed king; and Indian/Middle Eastern instrumentation could be heard throughout hip-hop and R&B.

Co-produced by Beyoncé and Scott Storch, “Baby Boy” is now among Bey’s signature chunes. The song was written by Bey, Storch, Sean Paul, Robert Waller and Shawn Carter. Yes, Shawn Carter as in Beyoncé‘s now-husband, Jay-Z. They were dating at the time, so he must have been in the studio during the Dangerously in Love sessions because he’s credited on two other songs on which he’s not featured. A songwriting king.

“Baby Boy” became Bey’s second No. 1 as a solo artist, ruling the charts for nine weeks – a week longer than the reign of “Crazy in Love.”

It’s always a good day when an artist releases a video for the best song on their album. Today is one of those days because Summer Walker just put out a video for “Come Thru” (featuring Usher).

Sampling a song as beloved as Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna…” is generally a risky move, but Summer Walker succeeds in borrowing just enough to evoke nostalgia while giving us a fresh new jam. And tapping Usher for the assist was good insurance for keeping his fans at bay.

There’s always fear that a good song will get a bad video, but Summer Walker made us proud. The “Come Thru” video has all the mood lighting, under-boob cleavage, and slow motion shots required for that particular song. And we get the classic Usher choreo and a cameo from JD. No complaints here.

Justin Bieber just dropped the video for “Yummy,” his new single that is catchy enough to keep you coming back but far from his best work. Justin rap-sings over a trap-lite beat that sounds like something you’ve heard before.

With pink hair and a pink outfit, Justin goes full hipster in this video, which is set in a restaurant. Because yummy.

This is not a video that most people would want to watch a second time. Check it out below.