Y’all, Brandy is aging like a fine wine, do you hear me? I mean, realtalk: I thought her features were a little bit….off. Back in the day anyway. But she is absolutely stunning in this video. Monica ain’t no slouch either, still lookin like 14-years-old-“just one a dem days.” And they sound so good, not competing for the spotlight, just doing their thing and complementing each other…Brandy’s lower register versus Monica’s gospel ad libs. I’m so feeling this.
I’ll just ignore the fact that this song was written, composed, arranged, and produced by Robert ChildPee Kelly, and focus on the fact that this song made my imaginary junior high vagina moist. A few years later, I was in the drive-thru at Hardee’s when I rolled up to collect my order and the window girl squealed “oooooo you look JUST LIKE MASWELL! Oletha come here! Don’t he look JUST LIKE MASWELL?!”
And to this day, I’m still trying to get my afro to look just like Maxwell’s. So far….#fail.
Let’s appreciate the Sane Jackson. Also known as The Jackson Who Can’t Dance and The Jackson Who Still Has The Most Of Her Original Nose.
I would clown on that 1980s figure skating outfit she’s rocking, but I deadass saw some chick in Washington Heights a few weeks ago wearing an electric blue version of this that I’m almost positive she bought from Rainbow.
Early last week I worked a fashion tradeshow and the DJ played this song. Obviously I stopped everything I was doing to get my jam on, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Can we appreciate how Missy changed the game please? She really made no mistakes.
Jill Scott “He Loves Me” (Live at the 7th Annual Lady of Soul Awards)
I just had fucking CHURCH to this! Why didn’t I know this live performance existed? When I tell you Ms. Scott ate this up? I mean, she ATE THIS.
Brian is just so oblivious to all things Black People Music; I was gonna take it upon myself to post some good R&B everyday this month. I’m mad I started with this though, because Jill just gave me fever.
Let me go listen again.
(Oh, then I stumbled on this Deep House remix of the original. It is definitely tasty.)
Divas have a reputation of being a little snooty, not really wanting to share the spotlight or work with anyone else. When they do decide to record a duet, the result is usually pretty amazing, but they’re so few and far between. You could almost fit every duet recorded by Janet, Mariah, Beyonce, and Madonna onto one album.
Not Whitney. Before she was made it big, she seemingly spent all her time recording duets with Jermaine Jackson, and over the course of her career, she released duets fairly regularly. Whitney wasn’t just the best singer of our time because she had a great voice—she had great ears too. You can’t add vocal flourishes without being able the hear the chords, and you can’t sing a great duet without being able to hear your partner.
So, let’s countdown Whitney Houston’s greatest duets!
** “Impossible/It’s Possible” with Brandy
I’m gonna drop this in as an honorable mention because that whole Cinderella experience was huge. Brandy was working with her idol, Whitney was executive producing, ABC got it’s highest movie ratings of all time, and it was a multi-ethnic cast retelling classic Disney.
10. “Something in Common” with Bobby Brown
If I didn’t have such conflicting emotions about their relationship, I’d actually rate this song higher. It’s actually a pretty good production from LA Reid and Whitney & Bobby sound good together on a record.
9. ”We Didn’t Know” with Stevie Wonder
This mid-tempo jam is everything I love about the early 90s: casio keyboard, epic 5-minute length, major/minor keychanges, and Whitney Houston.
8. “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” with Aretha Franklin
This sassy duet with the Queen of Soul in the late 80s didn’t burn up the charts like Whitney’s earlier releases, but it’s a welcome, upbeat addition to both of their catalogs.
The really unfamous third of Dirty Money (Diddy being famous and Dawn being moderately famous) released a mixtape. It is SUPER extra-medium. So bored with this. Except this song. I’m usually not on board when a song slips into a new character halfway through the track—one half is always better than the other. But the beginning of this song is a banger and then Kalenna just smooVes it out a little for the last half. More stuff like this please, Ms. Harper, and less of that Everything Else You Made.
(Well, “Pain & Alcohol” is also good. But you really can’t hate a song built on lyrics like Cause I’m feelin like a white girl / on cocaine / Took three Vicodin / I feel strange / Pushin one hundred hittin curves in the rain /shouldn’t drive drunk with love on the brain )