Since starting these posts on Black Music Month, I have been thinking about some of the greatest artists who have ever done this music thang. But I got to thinking, some of my favorite songs were from people I never heard from again. These are folks commonly referred to as One Hit Wonders.
Usually, nobody knows where these One Hit Wonders came from and often don't care because they don't stick around long enough for us to get to know them. I'm not going to bore you with a litany of folks who came and went just as quickly. I, instead, want to hit you in the face with some songs that I'm sure you haven't thought about in years.
Let's begin, shall we?
First of all, I'm sure you've connected the title to the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (D.R.S.) song, "Gangsta Lean" from 1994. This is the only slow song I remember the drug dealers in my town blasting on their sound systems while they rode through the neighborhoods real slow-like.
Ya'll know what I mean, usually the drug dealers have the nicest cars, with rims and tinted windows and the loudest sound systems. Usually, to be seen, these folks blast the hottest song on the radio. Well, that particular year, "Gangsta Lean" was that one. Plus, it seems to be one of the only songs where a thug can be sensitive, pissed off and religious at the same time.
What about H-Town? Ya'll remember them? I know they had two hits with "Knockin' Boots" and "Emotions" but they still fit into the category. That had to come out around '93. I remember because they made it into a Christmas song, "Knockin' Boots for Christmas." That had to be a Luke Campbell idea, right?
Ya'll know he had to come back with an R&B version of the 2 Live Crew or were they supposed to be a fine version of Jodeci? Either way, they only had two decent songs. I used to watch the video just to see those twins. Umph, umph, umph. They don't make 'em that look like that in the music business anymore do they?
What the freak ever happened to Domino? Ya'll know the dude who looked like Harpo from "The Color Purple." I can't be the only one who remembers him. He came out in probably '94 or '95 with that whinny song, "Ghetto Jam" that Halle Berry was singing the Hell out of in "Losing Isaiah" when she got arrested in that store when she was high on crack.
That should have been her Oscar winning moment, not that "MAKE ME FEEL GOOD!" madness in Monster's Ball. It should have been "GHET-TO JAMMMMMMMMMMMMM!" Wouldn't that have been the junk?
And what about MoKenStef? Ya'll remember "He's Mine." Why in the world were these chicks singing a song gloating to some chick that even though her man cheated he goes home to her? I'm sorry, but I can't co-sign on that. And what was up with the words to that song? "He's mine, you mata had him once but I got him all the time."
Yea, you got a cheatin' dude all the time! And shoot, I'm with the comedienne Debra Terry, "Everybody knows that a 'mata goes on a sandwich."
How about J.J. Fad? I haven't heard anything from them since "Supersonic." It was the bomb though. That's another song that my sister and I used to tear up. I didn't know many of the words so I got to be that chick at the end that said, "summa lumma lumma lumma summa lumma lumma lumma, yea that's it!" *teheehee*
And, The System's "Don't Disturb This Groove." I was little, but I used to love that song. "Hang a sign up on the do-aaaa, that says, don't disturb this groove ..." That song actually came in handy a little later in life. >-)
Another one is "Me & Mrs. Jones." A lot of people don't realize that nobody heard of Billy Paul before or after that song. Shoot, you know I was feelin' it because, well, I am Mrs. Jones - well, Miss Jones anyway. When I first opened up my MySpace account, that was the song playing on my profile.
Another one of my favorite songs is "Cool Like Dat" by Digable Planets. I hadn't thought about that song in years until the other day when I was watching House Party 3 and the former member, Half Pint, said, "Uncle Vester's cool like dat!" Ya'll can't tell me that song wasn't the bomb. The video was crap-tackular but the song was bumping.
Another song my little cousin brought up to me tonight was "Tender Kisses" by Tracie Spencer. I'm sure I would have come up with it some time this week, especially seeing as how Family Matters just became a part of the Nick @ Nite line up. The episode where Eddie and his friends snuck into her hotel room and Travis from "227" was her manager. The only other song I remember from her is "Love Makes Things Happen" with Babyface and that is my joint - still.
And I can not talk about one-hit wonders without talking about Subway, not the sandwich chain, the group. You remember they had that song "This Lil' Game We Play" with 702 when they had four members. That song used to be the jump off! Still, my favorite song by Subway was "Fire."
And last, but not least, the modern Jackson 5, Soul For Real. Was "Candy Rain" not the -ish? I was in the seventh grade when this song came out and my friends and I used to walk up and down the hall of the "seventh-grade building" of my middle school singing this song. We even tried to do that retarded looking dance.
What are some of your favorite one-hit wonders?