AUX CHRONICLES VOL II: 90’S ONE HIT WONDERS

It has been a bit of a slow week hoops and tv wise. I have lost interest in the Eastern and Western Conference finals and apart from the new Damilola Taylor drama, there was nothing new to report on the TV front. I tell a lie. I watched the pilot for this show called African Time but it was just a 10 minute long pilot and there wasn’t much to say about it so I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time so I didn’t do a post on it.

All of this gave me the perfect opportunity to do a second instalment of my AUX chronicles. the first one got positive feedback so here we are again. The theme centres around one of my favourite genre’s – 90’s hip hop and R&B with a special focus on one hit wonders so it’s not like its my best songs from the 90’s. I guess the list is subjective because some of these artists might have had some other hits but if I didn’t hear it at an “oooh yay” party in the 90’s then it doesn’t count.

Here we go then:

Informer (Snow feat MC Shan): You might know the song as “infoma”. You know, the one that for sure in primary school, you thought was ifeoma. I remember this song from when I was in Primary 2. My friend and I set out to learn the lyrics (not the dancehall sounding part). The rap bit by MC Shan (sitting down cool with my dibby dibby girl. That’s probably the only part I got correct). I wish I remember the rubbish we used to say. I do recall that any time the song came on, he was always rapping too fast for me to catch up. Anytime the song came one at one of those parties, we used to, I’d go crazy!

Mambo Number 5 (Lou Bega): Not sure if this was R&B or Hip Hop but we’ll squeeze it in here. I don’t know why but I remember first hearing the song on Rock Down Africa (Some music show that came on on the weekends on Mnet back in the day.). I recall the video being in black and white and I actually didn’t like it a lot because I thought, who is this guy and why does he think he can have his way with all these different women? I remember feeling sorry for the women and for that reason alone, I didn’t like it. The song seemed to stay around forever and it eventually grew on me.

Shake Body (Trybes Men): I had to include at least one Nigerian Song. It was one of the first songs I heard from Nigerians that “Spit Bars”. I loved it and to a large extent, you can see how the Trybes Men style has influenced rappers since then. I guess the other question is whether you can call the Trybes Men a one hit wonder? They had that other song Plenty Nonesense but I don’t think that counts as a hit. “Oya” by the Trybe doesn’t count either because the Trybe was a larger collective of like 8 people. Although I loved Oya, I wouldn’t class it as a hit anyway. The verdict therefore is Trybes Men – One hit Wonder.

Return of the Mack (Mark Morrison) This song lingered on for aaaaages. I don’t remember when I first heard it but I remember that by the time I was 10 or 11, I knew the whole song from top to bottom and I didn’t even have the album or anything. I heard the song so much that at some point, I actually thought Mark Morrison was Nigerian. Lol. It’s a shame what happened to his career though. He went to prison and had some hardship and that torpedoed his career. I remember one time he performed at a club in Reading and he pulled up in a Range Rover and I remember wondering how he was able to afford that kind of car if he hadn’t been putting out any music. He did release a song called innocent man which featured DMX and I really like that song. Maybe he got the money for the Range from that song?

I Really Like it (Harlem World): I absolutely loved Mase when I was younger. I lapped up every little thing he released and so when he came up with his collective called Harlem World, I was all over that too. This song was a tune though “I like it, I really really like it”. Such a tune. (I remember the first time I saw the video, at the part Mase pulled up in the Motorcycle and was about to attempt the Daredevil jump, NEPA took light :(. NEPA really ruined a lot of things in my child hood. Let’s not talk about the time they took light when I was watching the Power Rangers movie). I thought Harlem World would kick on. We never heard from them anymore although I guess their success was affected by the fact that Mase became religious. The group really couldn’t have had any success without him.

Back to Life (Soul II Soul): This song actually came out in 1989 but we can squeeze it in because it was a hit for most of the 90’s (in Nigeria anyway). You know what this song reminds me of? Those “oooh yay” parties as I like to call them. They’d play this song not for you to dance to but when everyone is seated, before they start the dancing competition. This song reminds me of eating hot (and peppery) jollof rice, sipping hot coke (they never had fanta) and swinging my legs from a plastic chair because my legs were too short to touch the ground. I didn’t really care for it much back then but now, I thing its a fantastic song.

Here Comes the Hot Stepper (Ini Kamoze): “na na na na na na na na na na na na na na” Here Comes the hot stepper (murderer – I think that’s what he says). This was a tune as well. I’m not really sure when this song came in to my life but it’s another one of those I think I began to appreciate a but more when I got older. I don’t know who the hell Ini Kamoze is or what he has done since this song but I thank him for this tune.

Mr. Loverman (Shabba Ranks): Does Shabba count as a one hit wonder? I’m not sure how ting-a-ling did on the charts but for a fair few years, this guy influenced culture. Remember when we were young, they used to call long slits in skirts shabba? lol. How about the “flex” and “butterfly” dances? I remember seeing the video for this song for the first time when I was 7 or 8 and having lovestruck smileys in my eyes. I remember thinking it was x-rated. I also remember hearing a rumour some years after that Shabba had Aids and thinking back to the video, I wasn’t surprised. He got what he deserved for his antics, I imagined. Not sure what Mr Ranks has been up to since then or if he even had Aids ( I don’t think he did)

No Pigeons (Sporty Thievz): This song reminds me of the summer of 1998 when Sporty Thievz and TLC took over the air waves. They were at the right place at the right time and I thought they were going to push on from there but then I heard another song from them called Independent Men and I thought these fools cannot be serious. They’re the quintessential definition of a one – hit wonder. They rode the wave very well and they fell off.

Party ain’t a Party (Queen Pen Feat Lost Boyz): This song also reminds me of 1998. I think of it a little bit as a coming of age song. It’s one of the first songs I remember watching on Channel O. I remember Steve Harvey (I think it was him) coming in at the end (was he the cleaner, can’t remember now). Anyway, I think of it as a coming of age song because it’s one of the songs I remember from Secondary School parties where we could dance with girls and I used to count the number of girls I danced with. For some reason, this was always the song I replayed in my head when I was thinking about the party. Still brings a smile to my face to this day!

Lost Boyz: I hate to do this to the Lost Boyz because first of all, they had 2 good songs – Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz (Lil Kim Sampled this one in the Jump Of) and Me and My Crazy World and I like the Lost Boyz and Mr. Cheeks. It is also unfair to include them because I won’t pretend like I knew any of these songs before 2008. That’s when I started taking this 90’s music thing seriously so I couldn’t tell you how the songs made me feel in the 90’s. I wish they had more hit music though because I like the Chemistry they had.  Mr. Cheeks blew up, Freaky Tah got killed and I think that was the end of that.

That’s it for the list. I probably left a lot off the list. Let me know what you think I left off. I’m a barbie girl doesn’t count and if someone had more than one hit eg Coolio, they also don’t count, Songs released in 2000 don’t count either.

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