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.

Nicki Minaj just dropped a video for “Hard White,” proving that she still doesn’t know how to pick singles — “Coco Chanel” or “Majesty” would’ve been no-brainers for me, but it is what it is. The video has an occultic theme, with dancers appearing to be possessed while within a magic circle. Nicki can be seen in a royal-looking outfit — because, Queen — complete with a Medusa-like crown. Watch the video below.

After the release of “7 Rings” two weeks ago, Ariana Grande faced accusations of plagiarism from every direction — and they were all credible. “7 Rings” does, in fact, sound like Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag,” Princess Nokia’s “Mine,” and 2 Chainz’s “Spend It.”

One of my first observations about the “7 Rings” video is that the party house was strikingly similar to 2 Chainz’s trap house — it still isn’t clear if this was intentional, but I find it hard to imagine that it wasn’t. Fast forward to today and we now have 2 Chainz on the song’s remix.

Strategically speaking, it is a brilliant PR move that will quell a some of the accusations against Ariana — at least those coming from 2 Chainz fans. It would’ve been dope if Princess Nokia and Young Drako could hop on the track, but given the aggressive way that both artists called Ariana out, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

The “7 Rings” remix is as basic as they come. It’s just a 2 Chainz verse with some additional ad libs from Ariana. Check it out below.

Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up” is one of those songs that manages to be a baby-making slow jam and a club banger at the same damn time, and for that alone, it will go down in history.

Released in March 1991 and written by Elliot Straite, “I Wanna Sex You Up” gives us doo-wop-style vocals over a bouncy contemporary beat, and the result is pure musical magic. The song samples Betty Wright’s “Tonight is the Night” and Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” and includes soundbites from Doug E. Fresh’s “La Di Da Di.”

The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, and has aged beautifully in the 28 years since its release. The video has also aged well in an ironic oh-what-a-time kinda way. Check it out below.