Doing something a tiny bit different this week for the “Where You At Wednesday.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still have my copy of “Jock Jams” from back in the day. A compilation put out in part by ESPN in 1995 which consisted of songs and samples that get heavy play at sporting events, on highlight reels, etc. You know the type of songs. These songs are also great for getting you hype prior to playing in a game or match, keep you hype during a run (so I’ve heard…myself I’ve only gone for a run once in the last 8 months…it was last night…and it wasn’t pretty folks), or are enjoyable at any party once you’ve had a couple drinks. They are also great for dumb dancing (more on that later), so obviously I’m a fan.
For this week’s Where You At Wednesday, I have placed the videos for many of these jams below, along with the traditional WU@W post of what happened to the artist who created the jam. But ladies and gents, here is the twist: This is a battle royale. I want to hear your opinion on what the best video is. It’s going to be a close race, I promise.
EMF – Unbelievable
So this was the only video I couldn’t embed in the site, so my bad for having to click the link, but it’s worth it. Hailing from the UK, EMF stood for Epsom Mad Funkers. EMF released 3 albums from 1991-1995 and had some commercial success with several other singles like “I Believe,” but nothing came close to the worldwide success of “Unbelievable.” They came back together for the Portsmouth Festival in London in 2008, but shortly afterward announced that due to personal issues there would be no more reunions. Most of the members don’t have their own wikipedia entries, but two of them do. Guitarist and Keyboardist Ian Dench became Vice President of A&R at Epic Records where he has actually written hit songs for Beyonce and Jordin Sparks. DJ Milf (a pioneer of that word before it’s time I’m guessing) currently lives in France and releases albums here and there.
Video comments: My main comments on this video are that if EMF was performing nearby today, not only would I go, but I would rock out like a mother to this song….followed by leaving the concert immediately after. Something tells me they are one of those bands that would play this close to last though to make you stay. But a whole crowd hype on this song would be awesome. The second point I would like to make here is that I could easily take bits and pieces of all of these dude’s outfits and make a pimp-ass-get-up that would stunt super hard one night. You know I love the early 90′s, so don’t tempt me…
2 Unlimited – Twilight Zone
This is one of those songs that you have heard 1 million times, but could never name the title or artist most likely. Formed in 1991, these cats sold over 20 million records, and over 50 million compilations worldwide. That is STAGGERING for a band you couldn’t name. They charted in numerous companies and released 19 singles over 13 years. A few of these were remixes though. In April of 2009, the 2 main members performed together for the first time in 13 years at the “I Love the 90′s” concert in Belgium (ed’s note: They had one of those? Where can I get tix?). They also announced plans for a new single under the name “Ray & Anita” in 2010. Be on the looks.
Video comments: That light skinned chick kinda looks like Michael Jackson. The water splashing on the wife beater dude reminds me of some kind of Janet Jackson video. However, this video is no Jackson family vid.
K7 – Come Baby Come
First off, I’ma throw this out there to some possible hating….The sample in this song of both the horn-line and the chick singing is ILLMATIC. Someone legit needs to flip that shit and re-work it. You could do damage with a club banger on that. Anyhow, K7 was the frontman for a Latin freestyle hip hop group called TKA. This cat is even STILL signed to Tommy Boy Records, and has been since 1986. That’s longer than some of you peeps been breathin! He has only released one solo physical album, in 1993, which featured this song and 2 other singles (one being “Hi-De-Ho” from the Soundtrack of “The Mask”). K7 still tours and performs though, and in 2009 released “The King’s Agenda” which you can cop on iTunes if you are so inclined.
Video comments: Extra points for K7 rolling in the drop top with a whole gang of peeps. That’s how you gotta do it. What fun is being famous if you don’t bring your boys with you? Hell, what fun is being “famous” if you don’t bring your boys with you? Haha. I could do without the bedroom scenes though. I know my man Bibbles is feelin the JORTS that are steady rocked in this video. Also extra points for some sweet 90′s dance moves here. Oh and one last thing…am I the only one who misses the polyester/nylon track suits? Say I won’t bring those back this summer.
Black Box – Strike It Up
Black Box went with what used to be a classic formula: Get a black woman that can belt the high notes in the chorus, and combine her super-singing powers with a deep voiced dude that talks some nonsense. Seemed to work for tons of dance songs back in the day. Black Box was active from 1989-1998. The best part of Black Box is that the girl in the video is singer/model Catherine Quinol….and by singer I mean lip synching. They literally had this girl join the band so she could lip sync the lyrics provided by other singers, haha. Black Box even had some other hits like “Everybody Everybody” and “Right On Time,” which was the UK’s best selling single in 1989. No word on what they are up to now.
Video comments: Extra-super-special-90′s-bonus-points for using an entirely different singer in their videos. Who is that white guy on guitar in the background? These outfits are horrendous, even for the 90′s. But you can’t deny the blacked-out-background-dancers dumb dance routine.
Snap! – The Power
This might be one of the sickest break-beats of all time. Whoever chopped that up- kudos to you, though you probably got the stack$ to prove that you already know that. Snap! was formed in 1989 by 2 German producers. The lineup has changed tons of times over the years. They list only 3 current members, and 6 past members. Their first album “World Power” is one of the most successful dance CDs of all time, 7 million copies worldwide. “The Power” was their first single and a huge hit. It combines a famous drum loop sample, rap lyrics from Chill Rob G, and the “I’ve Got the Power” which is sampled from Jocelyn Brown. So basically they took 3 separate songs and mixed them into one. They were often known to sample deeply from hip hop, even using samples from Eric B. & Rakim in some songs. First worldwide mash-up hit? Who knows. They’ve released 3 albums and 3 compilations, and even released the new single “Jumping” in 2009.
Video comments: The speech at the beginning creeps me out. The dances in this video are amazing. That doubles for the rappers drippin’ curl/boxtop fade combo he’s got going there. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE peep the dance that drops at the 55 second mark. Hands in the pockets? Really? What’s that, the “Diggin for Change?” Whatever homeboy calls it, I’m digging it. Going to add that to the dumb dancing repertoire for sure.
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam
Another classic that you have heard a gabillion times. I recently even purchased an extra copy on my phone of this jam because I was out with friends The Killas and JBC and wanted to rock out to it immediately for some reason. Technotronic was a Belgian studio-music project. They also list 3 current members and 8 former members. Sorry, but I don’t have time to dig through all those. This song was originally supposed to be an instrumental (produced by Ya Kid A) and originally included samples of Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” stand up. The song became an unexpected international SMASH, and thus Technotronic was born. Technotronic has sold 14 million records worldwide, and released numerous singles in the 90′s, but none came close to the above.
Video comments: Love the dances, and the background images remind me of a cross between “Saved By The Bell” and “The Fresh Prince,” so you know I’m digging that. Also, quite easy to sing along too, as there aren’t many words.
So there you have it folks. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to peep those 6 videos above and let us know which one you think is the illest. First off, I know you are thinking stuff like “Well damn, where is C+C Music Factory, because I love ‘Everybody Dance Now’?” The answer to that question is simple: You gotta leave something for volume 2!
WHICH VIDEO IS THE SICKEST?
The Monster’s Vote: Man oh man, this was a close one. If I absolutely had to rank them, in order of personal favorite to least favorite, I think it would look like this:
5. 2 Unlimited
6. Black Box
Let’s see yours.