Lord, I see what you’ve done for other people, specifically Lil Nas X, and I want that for me.

The Nicki-Minaj-stan-turned-superstar is living proof that our fortunes can change drastically at any given moment. We stan and we are inspired.

This past Friday, he released the much-anticipated video for his viral hit, “Old Town Road,” and it lived up to expectations.

Dubbed a “movie,” the video starts off on Old Town Road in 1889, where some white people who aren’t welcoming to “outsiders” try shooting our favorite nigga; this is an obvious allegory for the situation where Lil Nas X was yanked off the country music charts, and for that alone, the video is a winner. Running for cover, Lil Nas X hops into a well that turns out to be a time-traveling tunnel. He ends up in 2019, and Old Town Road is now a lot blacker, friendlier and cooler.

With the release of this video, “Old Town Road” will probably spend at least another two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, where it has ruled for six weeks thus far. Not bad for a debut.

In addition to featured singer and former one-hit-wonder Billy Ray Cyrus, the video includes appearances from Chris Rock, HaHa Davis, Vince Staples and Diplo.  Check it out below.

Ralph Tresvant turns 51 today, which also happens to be Janet Jackson’s birthday. If this blog wasn’t already overrun with Janet posts, she’d be this week’s TBT pick, but I think this is a great opportunity to talk about the very first baby-making jam I ever loved.

“Sensitivity” is the debut single from Ralph Tresvant’s self-titled debut solo album. It was released in 1990, and at the time, all of the members of New Edition had gone on to pursue separate projects. Bobby Brown was a few years into a wildly successful solo career (after being kicked out of the group); Johnny Gill, who replaced Bobby, was back to making music solo; and Bel Biv Devoe, featuring the remaining three members of the group, was riding high on the success of “Poison.”

Ralph was the last to show what he was working, but when he finally did, it was magical. “Sensitivity” is a silky mid-tempo with a melody that no warm-blooded mammal can deny. It is cupcakin’ music at its very best and exemplifies so much of what is missing in R&B today. It is also an amazing reminder that Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (who wrote and produced the song) are actual geniuses that don’t get nearly enough recognition.

“Sensitivity” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Ralph Tresvant’s biggest hit as a solo act. Click play.

Today is Billy Joel’s 70th birthday, and it also happens to be a Thursday, so there is no better opportunity to post the one and only Billy Joel song I know — thanks in large part to Irish boy band, Westlife. For someone with such an impressive discovery, I think it’s interesting that more of his music never made it onto my radar. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve always thought his live cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” (a song I love) was amazing and possibly better than the original.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. “Uptown Girl” is a doo-wop song — hence why I love it so much — about a beautiful, classy, “uptown” girl who happens to be the object of a “backstreet” guy’s affection. Christie Brinkley, who would marry Billy Joel a few years later, plays the title character in the music video and is widely thought to be the inspiration of the song. However, according to Joel, the song was inspired by a number of different women and was initially titled “Uptown Girls.”

(Sidebar: That link includes an interesting anecdote about Elle Macpherson — who dated Billy Joel before Brinkley — and a then-unknown Whitney Houston, who was new to the modeling game and just a few years away from pop superstardom.)

“Uptown Girl” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and not that I would know, but I imagine it is one of Billy Joel’s signature hits. Get into it.

PS: I don’t know what to make of the fact that the only black people in this video are the driver (who’s mean-mugging the whole time) and the two teenage boys randomly break-dancing in the workshop. I am just going to chalk it all up to the fact that this video was released in 1983.

The fact that Chris Brown is only just turning 30 puts into perspective just how young he was when he first hit the scene. Since the age of 16, Breezy has given us jam after jam, and after 14 years in the game, I think it is fair to say that he has established himself as one of the greats.

Despite his greatness, however, I can’t help but think about what Chris Brown’s career would be without all of the controversy. His public image never fully recovered from the infamous domestic violence incident involving Rihanna, and since then, it has been one issue after the other. There was the alleged abuse of ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran, who eventually filed a restraining order against him — one that is active as of today. There was the altercation with a fan; the wrecking of the Good Morning America dressing room; the stint in jail.

Unfortunately, controversy has become a core part of the Chris Brown brand, and for many fans, his checkered past will always be a cloud over his great body of work. Yes, this post is a celebration of Chris Brown, but it would be impossible to have an honest discussion about his career without mentioning his multiple misdeeds.

As he grows older, I hope he does more to redeem himself, and the first step to doing so is not committing new offenses.

In celebration of his 30 years of life, her are my three favorite Chris Brown songs.

“Young Love” (Live at Sessions@AOL)

“Fine China”

“Run It!” (featuring Juelz Santana)

On today — yes, ON today — we’re going gospel. Well…gospel-lite.

“Count on Me” is a duet between Whitney Houston’s and gospel legend CeCe Winans, and while the song is certainly inspirational, it isn’t explicitly religious. However, anything with a Winans on it has to be classified as gospel. It’s the law.

Taken from the iconic Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, “Count on Me” is a song about friendship, faith and love, and Whitney and CeCe sang the hell out of it. It holds the distinction of being one of only a handful of songs written by Whitney — Babyface, who wrote all but one song on the soundtrack, and Whitney’s brother, Michael, are also credited as songwriters.

“Count on Me” peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains CeCe Winans’ highest-charting single.

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) took place last night in Las Vegas, and overall, I was entertained. There weren’t any moments that blew my mind, but there also weren’t a ton of in-program bathroom breaks, if you know what I mean.

Kelly Clarkson returned to host and her intro medley was [fire emoji]. Drake won 12 awards (including Top Artist), bringing his career total to 27 and making him the most decorated artist in BBMA history. He was also one trophy shy of the record for the most wins in one night, which is also held by Drake.

Cardi B, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande and the Carters were among the night’s winners. The BBMAs are generally predictable, so there were very few surprises. The one award that I could have never predicted was Top New Artist, which went to Juice WRLD. I was so sure Ella Mai had that one. For a full list of winners, click here.

Taylor Swift opened the show with a Great Value Beychella performance, dubbed “Mayochella” by Black Twitter. She was dragged for a solid 16 hours on Twitter and I almost started feeling bad for her, then I remembered that she’s the custodian of numerous awards that she doesn’t deserve (including two Grammys for Album of the Year).

Ariana Grande gave us a forgettable performance of “7 Rings” while Halsey gave us a particularly interpretive performance of “Without Me.” Mariah Carey, who received the Icon Award, performed a medley of her greatest hits, and while the singing wasn’t that great, it was nice to see the audience rooting for her. Taylor Swift was in full lamb mode.

It was a lackluster year for performances, but if I had to pick a winner, it’d be Khalid’s performance — and this is entirely based on the fact that I love “Talk.”

On the 17th anniversary of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ passing, it’s only right that we take a look back at one of TLC’s signature hits, “Waterfalls,” which also has one of Left Eye’s best verses. The song was the third single from the group’s blockbuster album, CrazySexyCool, and spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Written by Marqueze Etheridge, Organized Noize and Left Eye, “Waterfalls” is one of the finest examples of socially conscious popular music. Its lyrics are primarily about risky behaviors that people engage in — the waterfalls, so to speak — and how they can lead to their untimely demise. The song is notable for touching on the subject of HIV/AIDS, which was claiming lives at an all-time high around the time the song was released.

“Waterfalls” was nominated for two Grammys in 1996, including Record of the Year, and its iconic music video won the group four moonmen at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. TLC’s Video of the Year win was the first time a black act took home the big prize at the VMAs, which is weird when you consider that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was nominated for the award in 1984. The racism jumped out.

In any case, “Waterfalls” — the song and the video — have aged impeccably and I feel fortunate to have been alive when it was released.

Lil Dicky tapped a number of big names to make “Earth,” a song about the environmental crisis facing our planet. Though the subject matter is serious, the song is done in Lil Dicky’s comedic fashion, complete with a video that looks like a trailer for one of the Ice Age movies. The song was produced by Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat, and includes vocals from Ariana Grande, Halsey, Shawn Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin Hart, Lil Jon, Miley Cyrus, the Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber, Zac Brown, Brendon Urie, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, Sia, Charlie Puth, Rita Ora, Bad Bunny, PSY, John Legend, Tory Lanez, Katy Perry, Miguel, Kris Wu, Lil Yachty, Ed Sheeran, Joel Embiid and Meghan Trainor. Leonardo DiCaprio — Captain Planet himself — closes the song with a spoken cameo.

All proceeds from the song’s sales and streams will be donated to organizations dedicated to environmental causes. Watch the video below.

Lil Dicky also launched a website with information about climate change and what we can all do to perserve our environment. Check it out here.

When people think of the unsung heroes of Bad Boy Entertainment, many names come to mind — Craig Mack, the LOX, Lil’ Cease, the list goes on. The label was stacked with talent even on its secondary roster, and because of that, there are quite a few people who got lost in the mix.

One of such people is Black Rob, who dropped two albums while signed to the label. Most people remember him for his 2000 hit “Whoa!”; but for me, his signature song will always be “I Dare You” (featuring Joe Hooker), which came two years earlier. It wasn’t a hit (it didn’t even crack the Billboard Hot 100), but it is a song that stuck with me over the years. My younger self swore he was a gangsta when “I Dare You” came on, and 20 years later, the song has still has that effect.

After that lukewarm song he released just last week, Chris Brown is back to giving us chunes! Breezy tapped Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy for “Wobble Up,” the third single from his upcoming album, Indigo, and a song that is sure to be part of everyone’s summer playlist. The song was produced by J.R. Rotem and samples Magnolia Shorty’s “Monkey on the D$CK.” Listen below.