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My teenage-hood seems to be a complete experience for the one-hit wonder. You are inevitably going to see the title of a 90’s song on a late night c.d.-selling infomercial and audibly say “Yeeeeaaahhh!”. Your mind is instantly transported to being a freshman with no car so you hung out in the backyard of your friend’s house with the cool mom who let you blare the music. Who can EVER get over Vanilla Ice and his “Ice, Ice Baby”!!? We were all doing that dance in the backyard and dreaming of boys that were wearing his white-boy fade hair-cut.
So where is that dreamy Vanilla Ice now? (I sooooo badly want to answer that with something like “Has he melted into the sun-scorched desert of the past?”…but I’ll withhold). It’s that time. A breezy walk down Memory Lane. Oops…big mistake. A rehashing of “One Hit Wonders” isn’t usually considered breezy. Or is it? Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions.
My mind begins to concoct horrible stories of delirious rises to instant fame with a song teenagers make out to all summer and then, in an instant, hideous crash, the artist plummets into obscurity with a needle in their arm and a colon full of ding-dongs (please don’t push me for details on where I got the ding-dongs putrifying in the colon…too many Elvis stories of an overweight colon, I suppose). It got me curious. Where are the artists now from the 90’s that had one-hit wonders? Let’s see if my Stephen-King-esque predictions are correct.
1. “Epic” by Faith No More—Oh my golly gosh! Do you remember this band? This video being played incessantly on MTV (when it still played videos)! The fish flopping out of the fish bowl! The lead singer had that long hair he whip-lashed out of anger and angst of a one-hit wonder! Truly a catchy, great song that led them to perform at the 1990 MTV Music Awards and do SNL. Soooo…where are they now?
Faith No More released two more albums after the first album with “Epic”. They had reasonable success in other countries (such as Germany and Austrailia) despite replacing guitarists twice. The band cancelled their support tour for Aerosmith on April 20, 1998, stating that the members would be parting ways after 15 years. Each member has gone on to his own projects. No tragedy here…a band with 15 years under their belt is a band well-done!
2. “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie—ooooooh baby, you got what I neeeeeed! Classic, right? Still a jam on old-school hip-hop night at the club. And who could forget the unattractiveness yet odd charm Biz held upon us? We sang that song for ages it seemed. It was 1989 and we loved it. And the brother was beat-boxing? It was all fresh. But we didn’t hear much from him musically afterward. Soooo…where is he now?
The Biz had a hard time getting back in with the crowd after his second album got bad publicity for a song on the album that had an unauthorized sample. The other party won the suit and Biz’s reputation was a bit marred. He did appear on a few shows throughout the early 90’s, like “In Living Color”. But his charm won out…throughout the past 10 years, Biz has appeared on artist’s songs (like the Rolling Stones), played an alien parody of himself in Men In Black II, Nick Cannon’s Wild N’Out season 1 and 3, and numerous other T.V. appearances. He proves ugly and beatboxing can last you a while in Hollywood. Get it Biz!!
3. “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite, Crazy fun, 60’s amped music! We needed this in the 90’s! It was funkily different. And the lead singer, Lady Miss Kier, was rivoting with her beehive hair and loud make-up. This song STILL never gets old!
The group continued to have success—not in mainstream radio—scoring 6 number one hits on U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. After the release of their 3rd album, member Towa Tei exited the group and was replaced rapidly. The band was able to tour up to a year after the replacement and have all gone on to successful DJ club careers. “Groove in the Heart” was even licensed for use in a Sega game (a.k.a. still making mula). So far, it 3/3…all successful stories so far.
4. “Knockin’ Boots” by Candyman—“Ooh boy, I love you so, never, ever, ever gonna let you go once I get my hands on you!” (background vocal in sexy male voice “Giiirl, I know”). I was totally jammin’ to this. Yep, bought the tape and played it on my bright yellow walkman.
Candyman got his start with Tone Loc (I had the raddest t-shirt with huge red letters on the back saying “Wild Thing”. Wow…good job, parents). After his initial success, he never could connect with the audience again. His most recent attempt to reconnect was the album “Knockin’ Boots 2001…A Sex Odyssey”. It was a complete flop. His remake was slightly embarrassing. This is the closest we have come to a needle in the arm and the ding-dong thing. Candyman is still an artist and hangin’ in there…not too tragic.
5. “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice—I’m not going to be ashamed to admit that Vanilla Ice was rockin’ my world (to redeem myself, I WAS listening to N.W.A and Easy E, too!). This song was the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts. This video rocked our world too. Sooo…where is Robert Van Winke now?
Right before releasing his first album, Vanilla Ice signed with SBK Records. Someone was obviously not helping him guide his choices—his new label made him adopt more of a commercial appeal and even printed fabricated biographical information without his knowledge. This began a downward spiral—a suicide attempt followed. Yet, this prompted him to get back to his passion of music, how he wanted (a more rock sound). He has a sincere underground following and even began hosting a show on the DIY network. Ice is still cool, baby.
P.S. Vanilla Ice is from south Dallas and is friends with a guy I know. The dude wanted to hook me up…he got his phone out and wanted to call Vanilla Ice!! Ummm…just couldn’t do that one. True story!!
I was wrong. I admit it. These people survived and didn’t have melt-downs after fading from the limelight. One-hit wonders aren’t truly one time…the wonders continued—just not with us all in their “biz”.
Okay, okay…how many weddings have you been to and “the” song comes on and there is not a flinch in the building (or garden, church, yacht…wherever your financial situation allowed your post-nuptial dance)?
What makes a great wedding song? I will admit, begrudgingly, that there is a hint of comfort in hearing “At Last” by Etta James AGAIN. Or, oh, how about whenever everyone begins to hum along with “Ribbon in the Sky”? That’s ALWAYS a classic moment…that occurs EVERY wedding.
Alright, I guess by now you are sensing my undertone of sarcasm (so thankful for the very intuitive readers of sosoactive). Since this is wedding season—I think—it got me wondering if there were any songs from this past decade that could pass the ever-stringent test of bridezillas (and some groomzillas) everywhere? Are we on a perpetual cycle of clinging just to the “classic” wedding songs?
I began to research and to be honest, I didn’t like what I saw. Such clichés! (I promise I usually have a much happier disposition than this). I got “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal and “My Boo” by Alicia Keys and Usher. Granted, awesome songs but still a little predictable. Thus, drum roll please, I have compiled 5 wedding songs from the 2000’s that I think could satisfy the fine line of stepping out of the box with more recent songs and still engaging your wedding guests to gently hum along and let out an audible “awwww” when the song comes on.
1. “Smack That” by Akon featuring Eminem. Perfect to exemplify true and edifying love. Ok, hopefully you let out loud an audible “WTH!?”. That was a test to see if you were paying attention. On to the real number 1…
1. “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones—If we thought only Marvin Gaye and Etta James could take us to that place, enter Norah Jones. Her whimsical, effortless song of love truly makes you want to go away with your newlywed and never come back! This is a must!
2. “You’re the One” by Dondria—This might not strike an immediate cord. But if you play this song, you will immediately recognize it. What a better time to utter to your mate that they are “the one” than the day you are announcing that in front of friends, families, and maybe strangers (depending on who your mom insisted on coming from her work).
3. “Amazed” by Lonestar—yep, nothing like a song with a slight country twang to express deep, committed love. I love this song…it so smooth and heartfelt. Whether you or your guests are country songs, this is a great tune to get out of your comfort song and sing along at the same time.
4. “Make Me Better” by Fabolous—yes, I’m doing it..I’m suggesting that (gasp, swallow, breathe) that a hip-hop song COULD be a wedding song. This is one of my favorite songs and I’ve always thought it would be perfect for a wedding. What is usually said at the toast? That the bride makes the groom better or vice versa.
5. “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” by Alicia Keys—okay, I’m presently playing this on repeat on my itunes, bawling my eyes out, and reaching for some chocolate. Enough said. This is THE song for a wedding!! This song is equal to “At Last”! It’s what it’s all about! Now pass me a tissue and I’ll stop yelling/sobbing at you.
These songs prove that true, love-you-forever, let’s-get-married song-writing is occurring in past decade. Take a chance with one of these songs, just like your taking a chance on love.
Working out. Yikes. Those two words either evoke excitement or dread. I contend that the majority feel dread. But you know what makes working out less dreadful? MUSIC! This is why you see ipods attached to the majority of ears as you enter your gym. I love seeing the heads bob to the beat. It begs the question why is music so essential to working out? I believe for one major reason: pure and utter ‘Motivation.’
Everyone works out for different reasons—high blood pressure, alleviating stress, and just plain old “trying to get fine”—but we all need motivation to keep after it day after day. That’s why music is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Once you turn music on, it inspires and pulls things out of you that you knew were there but didn’t have the motivation to do or be.
Here is a list of the top ten Hip-Hop Workout Songs you need on your ipod today! If you are like me, you will be bobbing your head, singing with the music, and thrashing that gym like never before if you have these songs on your playlist. Or better said by Eminem in ‘Drop the World’ :“I’m a man of my word, so your fuck** heads better nod!”
1. Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G—When this beat comes on in the club, people scream and start jamming. Why does it have to be different in the gym? This beat will come on and you will be murdering that stair stepper.
2. Boom Boom Pow by the Black-Eyed Peas—You can’t truly have an intense, all-heart workout without the Black-Eyed Peas. They are famous for their energy-infused beats and lyrics. Give your boom some pow with this song!
3. Touch the Sky by Kanye West—A lot of people, like me, work out because it does something spiritual for them and strengthens not only their body but their soul, spirit and mind. Touch the Sky will make you want to give it your all—not only in your workout but when you walk out of the gym.
4. Give Me Everything by Pitbull, featuring Ne-Yo—Pitbull is an expert at making you want to move your body and Ne-Yo’s crooning voice elevates this song to another level. The positivity of this song is contagious.
5. Drop the World by Lil Wayne and Eminem—Ok, ok, enough with the positive, Mr. Rogers, happy shit. This song makes you want to scream “F*** You!” as you are getting your aggression out at the gym (please don’t hold me responsible if you do and management promptly kicks you out).
6. No Lie by 2 Chainz by Drake—The beat just makes you want to go harder and go stronger. 2 Chainz has that gritty sound that leaves you wanting more.
7. Let the Beat Build by Lil Wayne—“And that’s how you let the beat build, biiiiiiiiiitch”. Enough said.
8. Gotta Have It by Kanye West and Jay-Z—Turn your head-phones up…louder. What ya’ need? What ya’ need? You need this song on your playlist NOW.
9. Jesus Walks Remix by Common and Kanye West—If there is anything inspirational, it is this song. With God all things are possible.
10. Abitionz Az A Rida by 2Pac—I should be banished to music hell if I didn’t include 2Pac on this list. He is so smooth, so eloquent, so damn cool. He’s a must in the gym.
Now nod your heads and start your lunges!!!