Seventh Grade Slow Jam



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Tevin Campbell was the R&B singer all the girls had a crush on, so in 7th grade I had to resent him. Removed from those tough days, I can fully appreciate the deep sentimentality of this track.

This is such a classic slow-burn love jam. The bonus of watching the video is seeing what Michael Jackson’s Bad outfit would look like in suit form. 

TLC got a little soft for my taste towards the end of their career, but in their early days they did an incredible job of blending witty, aggressive lyrics with some fantastic style that truly epitomized the 90s Dowatchalike fashion ethos.

While the begging referenced in this song may have a very particular goal, I think it’s a sentiment that can be applied to a plethora of situations. When you really want something, sometimes it’s best to let pride take a back seat and lay it all out there. Hopefully the potential grantor of your wish will appreciate how important it is to you, and reward your honesty.

This song got monstrous airplay when I was in 6th grade, but we didn’t have cable at the time, so I missed out on seeing the video for quite awhile. There could be something even better, but I have a strong feeling that this represents the best collection of music video outfits ever. The vinyl alone is stunning, but the girl’s slightly metallic shirt and Heavy D’s plush red suit are also incredible entries in the annals of 90s fashion.

Perhaps the best part of this song though is the incredible lengths he’s gone to to ask the simple question, “So, am I gonna get some tonight?” 

Sometimes you listen to a 30 year old song and the rhythm track is so good that you get a little depressed thinking that maybe there’s no point in listening to any new music, because there is just no way it can live up to what you’re hearing. 

Then you pull up the video, and instead of being depressed, you’re totally put into a great mood, and you want to go outside and skip rope and dance in the street.

To put it another way, this video is pretty much Sesame Street, if they replaced all the muppets with Funk musicians. 

In honor of Portland, Oregon, where I just enjoyed a hell of an awesome week, here’s Portland’s finest R&B act of the 80s.

I like how this video features odd props and sets, more reminiscent of a New Wave or Rock video, with the earnest singing to the camera style of early R&B.

Silhouetted dancers, slinky dresses and burlesque costumes have kind of become clichéd in diva music videos, but back in ‘92 they were pretty fresh and no one combined them all better than En Vogue in this video. 

Like the Pointer Sisters before them, En Vogue showed that Oakland girls groups were sexy, classy, cool and above all damn talented.

Every time you hear Loverboy or they pop into your head, you should immediately think of this song instead and just keep incanting “Saturday, Saturday” under your breath until the pain goes away.

Unfortunately, I think the video uses a mix of the song that is not quite as good as the album version, so you probably should just go ahead and do yourself a favor by tracking down a copy of De La Soul Is Dead, which is sadly only (legally) available on physical media.

There, your weekend is now 100% awesomer.

This might be the best song from 1996. It’s a blast to dance to, but the video is extra amazing because it looks more like a scene from Bob Seger’s Turn the Page than it does an R&B sex jam. 

Enjoy!

Before Babyface turned R&B lovemaking music into an anodyne, cookie-cutter melatonin alternative, there were all kinds of super sex seduction groups. Among the best of these early-90s after-hours jams is Silk’s Freak Me, a track co-written and produced by the king of seductive jams, Keith Sweat.

In addition to being an awesome song, Freak Me has an awesome video, featuring all sorts of rad Video Toaster effects and a quintet of outfits that vie for the most patterns in one video.