EPIPHANY

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Old School

We are approaching the 20th Anniversary of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing movie release.  According to Essence Magazine, this movie put Brooklyn on the map.  Not sure about that, but flashing back to the summer of 1989 made me nostalgic. In an effort to ride that nostalgia wave, this past Saturday I went to an “Old School” party.  I learned several things at this event, the first being:  Old School is definitely a relative term.  What is Old School to a recent college graduate is definitely not that same as what someone that matriculated in the mid-90’s would consider Old School.  I also learned that the older men are, the less intimidated they are by height!  Another fun fact: the older you are, the more inclined you might be to pull out outfits from your Old School era.  Yes Epiphanyblog I saw a sequined beret circa 1976 at that party.

It was a fun night though.  I enjoyed watching the songs that really got people on the floor.  Frankie Beverly & Maze (Before I Let Go), was a definite crowd favorite.  The Michael Jackson run was fabulous and this song in particular made everyone happy.

Old School music seems to bring out the lighter side in most people too.  In an effort to keep it light this week, I pulled out some of my favorite Old School videos for your viewing pleasure.

Madonna is timeless.  She still dances like a twenty year old and every time I hear this song I want to strike a pose.

When I was at the party on Saturday, a group of girls grown women actually reenacted the dance sequence to the below video.  Now I was/am a New Edition fan, but not sure if I would be doing the moves in a ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel.  Sidebar: YouTube would not allow me to post the original video, so I had to settle for this live version.  If you want to look up the old video for yourself, please take a look at Ralph Tresvant in the stirrups — LOL!

Since I am on the New Edition track, I figured I’d keep it going with this BBD video.  Imagine the humor/horror when two grown men had a “dance off” to this song on Saturday.  Normally you don’t see men dancing too much these days, but the Old School parties must stir something up inside them!

So back to the summer of 1989.  I had a bus pass, my own phone, and cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry were my only real responsibilities.  I had no concept of Corporate America Oppression, and no idea how much being a grown up would suck!  I was exempt from income taxes, and my summer job was FUN!

Old School is always COOL! I love it because it instantly transports me back to a time and place I almost forgot about.  Every now and then I do a blog like this and we share our stories and laugh about our bad hairstyles and acid washed jean suits. Even though we are all grown up with lives and families and jobs and tax obligations…we enjoy the trip down memory lane.  Tell me Epiphanyblog,  why do you love Old School?

JerzeeChick

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June 11, 2009 Posted by | Fun, Music, Old School | 4 Comments

Must See TV!

I don’t eat Turkey, so there was no tryptophan in my system this past weekend. By all accounts I should have been out and about catching the sales, but I was a bum.  I got hooked to a few marathons of my favorite old TV shows, and could not leave my house. I watched Good Times, Martin, Living Single, The Cosby Show, A Different World and The Jefferson’s.  Even with the over-acting, stereotypes, and lack of believable plots, I miss the simplicity of life before digital cable.  Don’t get me wrong, The Wire was fabulous and my love for Stinger Bell will live on in infamy, but life was good before I had fifty eleven HBO channels. 

I am living my Fantasy Football dreams right now (yes, the Obama Mama’s, French Kitty’s and Jerzee Chicks all made the play-off’s), but before there were stats updating in real time, we had real things to discuss on Monday morning! 

 

  1. Who’s better Hustle Man or Bruh Man?  I remember recapping the previous nights Martin episode back in the day and the question of Hustle Man or Bruh Man would often come up.  I loved the way Hustle Man always had something you needed in that shopping cart “Chief”, but Bruh Man and his four fingers to represent the fifth floor was classic.  Question, did he EVER use the door?  I only remember him coming and going through the fire escape.
  2. Is James gonna get some new corduroys?  Those poor tan corduroys that he wore in every episode were so worn out they looked like khaki’s.  And am I the only person that noticed Thelma wore the same robe throughout the shows entire five year run?  I know they were poor and all, but wasn’t a new housecoat in the budget at some point?!?!?!
  3. Who was the cuter child star, Rudy or Olivia?  When Olivia hit the scene people were falling all over her.  “Ooh Raven is so cute, oh Raven is so funny”.  Well it was Rudy Huxtable all day over here homie! 
  4. What goes on at the Help Center?  We have Desperate Housewives on Wysteria Lane, and the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo but Weezie Jefferson and Helen Willis originated the stay at home and spend your husband’s money all under the guise of community service trend! Talk about moving on up, Weezie went from being a maid to having a maid!
  5. Who’s lamer Kyle Barker or Ron Johnson?  I watched a Living Single thanksgiving episode and A Different World thanksgiving episode, and the lame factor for both of them was pretty much through the roof.  I guess Kyle and Max did have a little fire, so that might have redeemed him, but Ron….capital “L”!
  6. Did Wilona ever have overnight guests?  When James’ father came to town for Thanksgiving with Lena, and Florida was all up in arms about them sleeping in the same bed it made we wonder….did we ever see anyone doing the slow creep out of Wilona’s apartment at 5am?
  7. When did we stop beating our kids?  I know James Evans would beat somebody else’s child, so he had no problem beating JJ, Thelma, and Michael, but when did we decide beating our kids in real life was a bad idea? We never actually saw any of the Huxtable kids catch a beat down, but Clair had that “I will tear your behind up” look about her.
  8. What was the funniest In Living Color sketch?  I was a “Homie the Clown” fan, but I think Damon Wayans and David Allen Grier were hilarious with Men on Film.  Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather, definitely get two snaps up…with a twist!
  9. Who was the most memorable guest star on Living Single?  Nia Long broke Kyle’s heart.  Vivica Fox broke Heavy D’s heart.  Morris Chestnut was too cheap, but Chip Fields was priceless as Regine’s gaudy mother.  The rhinestone sweat suits and gold lamay hats definitely get my vote!
  10. Sheneneh, Jerome, or Mama Payne?  Ooh ooh.  Ooh ooh ooh.  Jerome’s in the house, I said Jerome’s in the hou-ooh-ouse so watch your mouth!

 TV has come a long way in the last decade or two, but I will always love the classics! I just wonder if our kids will one day be so excited to watch marathons of…whatever it is that’s passing for quality black programming these days. 

JerzeeChick

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Laughter, Old School, Television | 2 Comments

Where Have All The Good Ones Gone?

They really don’t make comedians like they used to!  I remember when Def Comedy Jam first premiered on HBO.  I used to tape episodes and watch them over and over again.  If you saw the Wednesday Wind-Up yesterday…..you know I’m a fan.  In honor of Bernie Mac (R.I.P.), and all those fabulous jokes that made me laugh until I cried…I’ve decided to make this weeks blog about our favorite stand up routines of all time!

I never saw Redd Foxx live, and I remember seeing bits and pieces of Richard Pryor Live on The Sunset Strip.  For me, the first stand up routine involved a dude in a leather suit.

I like to laugh, so the Def Comedy Jam phenomenon was right up my alley.  A lot of the guys from those first couple of seasons went on to have great careers.  A few slipped back into obscurity and a few became stars. As far as hosts go, Martin Lawrence was the best.  DL Hughley is alright, but often times I don’t crack a smile during his routines.  Now Marty-Mar on the other hand….YOU GO BOY!!!

I had never heard of Bernie Mac until I saw him on Def Jam, but I am a fan for life!  I know why he went last on the Kings of Comedy….I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to follow this:

Chris Rock was not one of the “Kings”, but IMO, he should have been.  He is definitely my favorite comedian of all time (BTW, Bernie Mac is my second favorite)!

Being able to make fun of the people in the audience is cool, but I like social commentary (as evidenced by the fact that I write a blog…. ) I think part of Chris’s appeal is he really says the stuff I’m thinking in the back of my mind:

And Michael Jackson…..who told him??????

Now, if you’ve ever been to a Philly Geek, Freaknik or Belmar you can probably relate to this:

I hope these little video’s have made your week!  It’s almost Friday, and if this was 1993 we’d be getting ready for a new episode of Def Jam anyway….so lets keep the comedy ball rolling.  What is everyone’s favorite stand up routine of all time……GO!

JerzeeChick

P.S.

Here’s one more for the road…..

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Laughter, Old School | 3 Comments

Too Many Oldies…

Calgon take me away from this mess that is the Democratic Primary. It has become painfully obvious that there is no end in sight and Hillary will do just about anything to win. Before I get hit with a barrage of “leave Hillary alone” comments let me be clear…..I am not beating up on her this time.  She can march around with Hillary in ’08 signs ’til November for all I care!  She can do the running man across the stage at the Democratic Convention and I wouldn’t bat an eye.  Initially I was annoyed because she wouldn’t bow out gracefully, but now I get it. Hillary Clinton has been listening to too many oldies but goodies! 

I know you have to remember that Woman to Woman song by Shirley Brown.  Not sure of the year, but she calls the lady that her man is sleeping with and more or less begs the woman to leave her man alone.  In true desperate form she goes on about how she buys all his clothes, his food, and pays for his car. Sidebar: if you are doing all of that and he still has the nerve to cheat I say get rid of him and throw all his crap in a dumpster!

Poor Shirley Brown! She feels that man is hers, ALL HERS, and will step to anyone that tries to take him: “Woman to woman can’t you see where I’m coming from. Woman to woman ain’t that the same thing you would’ve done.  Woman to woman, now should I just step aside and let her take what’s rightfully mine?”  Enter Hillary Clinton…..

The presidency is like her man y’all and she is not giving it up!  While it wouldn’t be me, I guess I can respect her hustle.  Like Shirley Brown she put all her eggs in that basket, and she is not going to just step aside and let Barbara (or in this case Barack Obama) glide in and take what she thinks is hers!

The rest of us non Hillary supporters are like two of the Jones Sisters (I Just Love the Man by the Jones Girls).  Brenda and Valerie tried to tell their sister to dump her man.  They thought he was no good, and the relationship was a hot mess.  Enter Hillary Clinton….oops I mean Shirley Jones.  She was not trying to hear that mess either!  She said: “I just love the man, and I don’t care what you say”.  She broke her sisters DOWN when she said “He’s my inspiration, and no one will ever understand our relation.”  That has to be some serious love when you are “inspired” by a no good man! 

Herein lies the obvious problem.  We (those of us that want Hillary out of the race) are like Valerie and Brenda.  We never took the time to understand why she didn’t just drop out, but I guess it’s like a woman holding on to a trifling man.  No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.  When Hillary was in the White House back in the nineties, I’m sure she was going THOUGH IT with Bill, and her shot at being top dog was all she had to hold on to.  So, much like Shirley Brown and Shirley Jones…..she is not giving up on that man that she thinks is hers!  Even when Brenda Jones threw Mama into the mix Shirley said: “…cause when I’m down he’s the one, that makes me feel way down deep inside.  He keeps me going.  He keeps me alive”.   

Having said all that, the fact of the matter is Hillary is here to stay.  She’ll continue to make silly statements (RFK assassination) and jockey for position (how exactly she can say she’s ahead in the popular vote is a little beyond me).  She’ll hold rally’s and use past electoral mishaps to her advantage (I hate it for the people in Michigan and Florida, but how can you in good conscious count the votes in a state where all the candidates names did not appear on the ballot).  Sadly, I don’t think the final primary next week is going to bring us any closer to this mess being over.  Even though we have super delegates, commentators and political elite coming out of the wood work telling her to quit, she and Bill are gonna ride this one until the wheels fall off.  Sweet Jesus be a Teddy Pendergrass song on Hillary’s I-pod!

In the mean time, my eyes have been opened to Hillary’s plight. Some people just can’t take a hint.  She’s not the first, and she won’t be the last so I’ll just sigh, shake my head, and wait for those Teddy Pendergrass lyrics to hit home for her.  “…told myself time and time again, this time I’m gonna win.  But another fight, things ain’t right, I’m losing again.  Takes a fool to lose twice and start all over again.  Think I’d better let it go.  Looks like another love T.K.O……”

JerzeeChick

 

P.S. For those that might be fans of The Jones Girls…..enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2008 Posted by | Old School, Opinion, Politics | 3 Comments

If I Could…..

I am sure many of you received the “close your eyes/you’ll like this” email this week. It’s a power point slide show filled with all the things we used to do. It talks about your mom yelling for you from the front porch and catching lightening bugs in the summer. It talked about the days of popsicles that had 2 sticks so you could break it in half and share with a friend. It mentioned Red Rover and Mother May I. There was even a little eeny-meeny-miny-mo! 

            If you’ve seen the email you can attest to how cute it is and I’m sure the nostalgic moment made your day. I pretty much smiled as I watched the slide show because it brought back so many good memories. In a world where gas is $3.55 a gallon, where tiny tears has no concept of “bowing out gracefully” and it took Star Jones how many years to see the light…..that little email slide show was right on time!

            I started thinking about those good old days and wondering what it would be like to go back. I wouldn’t want to alter anything just maybe spend a few days as my former self. So my question this week simple if you could re-live a period in your life, what would it be and why?

            I wouldn’t go back to elementary school. Don’t get me wrong playing hide and seek was fun but I’d rather go back to something a little more substantial.  Those transition periods in my life when I was moving from one thing to another for some reason hold particular significance to me. The summers of 1995 and 1996 were fun!  I was pretty much carefree. I could take I-95 to the turnpike whenever I needed to go home, and those were the summers of some of the best hip hop mix tapes ever created. (I still have my DJ Clue mix tapes somewhere around my house)!  *pauses to play the Get Money remix*

            If I knew then what I know now, I might have studied in college a little more, or maybe been a computer science major.  If I could go back, I wouldn’t have signed up for that first credit card freshman year!  The last thing I needed was ANOTHER squeegee bottle in my dorm room, and that first credit card was a slippery slope for me. Like most of us at that age, I had no concept of interest rates, credit reports, and late fees…..nor did I fathom how persistent those credit card people could be when you didn’t pay on time!

            If I went back even further, I might want to visit the summer of 91.  That was the break between high school and college when I was counting down the days until I left for school, but enjoying every minute of summer league basketball.  I am not sure where you all are originally from, but in my part of Jersey, summer league basketball was IT in the summer.  We had all the “all-stars” from Scott and Essex Catholic.  Those Seton Hall Prep boys could ball, and Orange High represented too.  Sometimes we would go down to the “hole” to watch the games, but most of my summer evenings were spent in parks or high schools in East Orange and Orange, watching the homies compete!  We’d watch several games, and then walk home (or jump on the New Jersey Transit bus).  Some nights I’d be lucky and get a ride home after a detour to Applegate Farms, but regardless, there was no better past time for us than watching summer league basketball games. 

            Will kids growing up now have those memories in seventeen years?  If the right club song came on right now I could do the “give it up” or “stolen car” all night, but will kids really be repping Soulja Boy in the year 2025?  How many of us are really going to want to lean with it and rock with it twenty years from now?  I know our parents probably said the same thing about hip hop back in the day as they did the “jerk” and “shot gun”, but I think we can all agree Slick Rick/Dougie Fresh/Boogie Down Productions/P.E./New Edition et al have stood the test of time!  Those artists created the soundtrack to our lives, and when we reminisce, often times it’s the music that makes us smile even bigger.  *pauses to do the wop*

            Okay Epiphany back to my original question….if you could go back in time where would you go and why?  I’d like to think I wouldn’t change anything, because ultimately all those experiences brought me to where I am today, but would you change your own history if you could?

JerzeeChick

 PS: Many apologies for missing the Wednesday Wind-UP this week.  The “NFL” drama kind of threw me off track.  At any rate, this song never released a video, but I thought it was worth a listen…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Life, Old School, Society, Wednesday Wind-UP | 7 Comments

The Writer’s Strike

The writers strike is killing me! So many of my favorite programs are on indefinite hiatus because of the strike, and I am BLUE! In all fairness I don’t know the ins and outs of why their striking, and I have to assume that they must have a good reason (after all who would not work and forgo a full salary for MONTHS without having a good reason) but I still hate it. I am glad shows like The Wire (God rest Stringer Bell), Nip/Tuck and Lost are going to be in first-run episodes for a while, but I’m still missing Cold Case, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not sure how many of you are TV fanatics like me, but this week I’ve decided to re-live some of my favorite TV moments from years gone by!

In the seventies, What’s Happening was a great show. If I were to watch a few episodes now, my stomach might turn, but back then….I loved me some Dwayne (hey hey hey). Did the gang from What’s Happening introduce us to “bootlegging”? I am not about to go down that road, but one of my favorite episodes, which I still quote to this day is the “no Roger, no Rerun, no rent”!

Good Times was another show I loved back in the day. I wanted the Evans’s to get out of the projects so bad. Poor James couldn’t keep a job, JJ was always finding stuff, and Thelma had a mean breakdown when it came time to dance. I am not even going to go down the Michael road, but I liked the episodes that involved Penny and her mother (that Chip Fields played a great abusive Mom and when she came back all fly in her fur jacket, you couldn’t tell her nothing). My favorite Good Times episode had to be when James said “The kitchen and the bedroom Florida, the kitchen and the bedroom”. It was so rude, but classic James. He was the classic manly man from the 70’s and he thought women belonged in the kitchen and the bedroom.

About nine years ago TV Land started showing the Jefferson’s. For like a week they played all these Jefferson’s marathons. I forgot how much I liked George Jefferson (and that theme song). Fish don’t fry in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill…..did y’all know Wilona from Good Times sang that theme song???? I can’t really pick a favorite Jefferson’s episode, but I know Florence was one of my favorite characters. (I gotta love any person that keeps her job, while doing no work)!

I am not going to front like I only watched black shows. I was a STAN for Family Ties, Dynasty, Dallas, Growing Pains, Golden Girls and Friends. I also used to watch The Simpson’s every Sunday night. I remember we had a dance called the Bart Simpson. It was voted “Best Dance” my senior year. It narrowly beat out a local favorite called “The All Beef”, but that’s another blog for another day.

Do you remember watching that first episode of The Cosby Show in 1984? Theo gave that speech about being a regular guy and Cliff promptly shut him down. Some of you might think the anniversary episodes were the best. I liked them; in fact I liked all the musically centered episodes (especially the Stevie Wonder episode). The Cosby Show put songs in my head that I probably never would have heard (I actually own a Big Maybelle CD). Having said that, my for real for real favorite episodes center around Theo. When he wanted that Gordon Gartrell shirt, and when he sang the blues to get Justine back are two of my all time favorites. Also in my top five would have to be the episode when Vanessa went to see the Wretched. I always thought Vanessa’s character was pretty lame, but every time I catch that episode on Nick at Night I have to watch it. Clair’s breaking on Vanessa is priceless. (Here we think you’re lying in the floor of some burning building dying of asphyxia and you’re down in Baltimore, having BIG FUN! Weren’t you, Vanessa? Isn’t that where you were? Didn’t you go down there to Baltimore to have big fun, Vanessa? Tell me, didn’t you go for the big fun?) That is my mother all day and all night…only thing missing is she would have had her hands around my neck!

As far as love stories on TV go, my all time favorite couple would have to be Whitley and Dwayne. When he busted up her wedding…..that has to be one of the most romantic things I’ve ever seen. (Whitley, I love you and if you’ll have me I want you to be my wife…I’m sorry Byron but I love her……Whitley will you have me to be your husband from this day forth to have and to hold for richer for poorer….Baby Please!) When she says yes, I smile every time as if I never saw the episode before. Who is our modern day Whitley and Dwayne? Martin and Gina were cool, I liked Sinclair and Overton (although I liked Kyle and Max more), but can a sista get a Whitley and Dwayne circa 2008????

I could go on for days about the TV shows I miss, but hopefully they will all live in infamy on Nick at Night, TV Land et al. While we are surviving this writers strike, I will have to fill the void with the classics. I’m sure I left a few of your favorite episodes out, but holler at me and let me know what you want to see, and I can tell you how to find it!

JerzeeChick

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Fun, Old School | 7 Comments

I Won’t Grow Up!

I have been at war with my jobs PC support department all year (granted we are only 9 days into the year but that is not the point)! As far as work is concerned, my January is not off to the stellar start I had hoped (but trust; I will be working the Corporate America Hustle ALL YEAR)!!!!!! I remember when the first couple of weeks of the New Year were about wearing all your new Christmas clothes and writing those reports about “How I Spent My Christmas Vacation”. Now January is about last year’s numbers and closing the books for the fourth quarter. Being a grown up is quite overrated!

 

In 1983 I got my first Cabbage Patch Kid. She came with a silly name….Suzanna something. My cousin and I decided that was not a suitable name for a black baby so we changed her name to Kristen (because apparently Kristen was much more ethnic). I had a little carrier for her and a diaper bag too. I remember being very disappointed because my mother wouldn’t let me buy a box of pampers with my Christmas money. Even though little Kristen wore the same pamper day after day, she was fly in her fake fur jacket with the matching hat. I waited with baited breath until the birth certificate with her new name came in the mail. Now all I wait for is my W2’s (btw, can someone tell me why it takes them until January 31st to mail out). No more fashion shows for the first two weeks of school. The highlight of January has become gathering receipts and getting all my deductions straight for the tax guy. Yes being a grown up is quite overrated *sighs*.

 

I got the aforementioned Cabbage Patch Kid before they reinvented them with the corn silk hair. Kristen had that knotted up yarn mess that had a permanent part and was bald underneath. Any girl knows that the best part of having a doll is being able to hook her hair up in the styles your mom won’t let you wear outside the house (you know fifty-eleven multi-color barrettes and too many parts). Kristen was forced to rock those same two ponytails everyday, but I kept her bows cute! In 1983 my mom footed the bill for my hair (I had a head full of thick hair, and sadly Jan could barely make a straight part). Now I spend too much money at the beauty shop because I lack the patience and proper styling tools to contend with my thick hair. When I compare my 1983 hair expenditures (which were nil because I only had to pilfer ribbons from my own barrette jar for Kristen’s hair), to 2008 (deep conditioners, trims, touch ups), again I say being a grown up is very overrated!

 

I remember back when people used to pass notes. If a boy liked you, he might send a note through your best friend asking you to go with him (I am not sure where we were “going” but I digress). Now you get the guy in the club that says “What ‘cho name is”, or in my case the guy in the frozen food aisle that doesn’t believe me when I say I’m a vegetarian because in his opinion “I don’t look like I ever smoked no crack”. Boys in high school had game, now the men you meet only know how to “play games”. We used to fall asleep on the phone talking to people that liked us, now we might get a text message or a forwarded email in the middle of the day. Being a grown up sucks sometimes!

 

Do you remember what it was like to go to bed at 2am and still get up in time for an 8 o’clock class? Nowadays, if I am up until 2am for any reason, rest assured I am calling in or working from home the next day. Better yet do you recall what it was like to EAT ANYTHING you wanted whenever you wanted and suffer no repercussions? Now we have lactose intolerance and acid reflux to contend with (not to mention the fear of a bulging gut). What about when Tylenol and hot tea cured everything? An occasional swig of Robitussin or Triaminic would keep you straight back in the day, but now we have God only knows what cluttering our medicine cabinets. I would gladly kiss the elliptical machine goodbye and go back to the days of gym class and cheerleading practice if I could.

 

What happened to us? All things considered, I think we were a much healthier generation than kids today. We actually danced at the parties *does whop and cabbage patch for emphasis*. Most of us walked or caught the city bus to school (which still required a little walking). We had to do stuff around the house (kitchen cleaning, yard work, and changing channels as needed). Our snack selection was limited (Bon Ton potato chips, crunchy cheese doodles, Drakes Cakes, Blow Pops and green apple Now-A-Later sticks). On paper it seems like we did everything right, yet here we are. Most of us would kill for the mind (and body mass index) of our youth. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept Kristen (because I’m sure she’s worth a fortune on EBay now), and I would have enjoyed being a kid for as long as I could! If I had to do it all again, I would take a page out of Peter Pan’s book:

I won’t grow up (I won’t grow up)

I don’t want to wear a tie (I don’t want to wear a tie)

Or a serious expression (or a serious expression)

In the middle of July (in the middle of July)

And if it means I must prepare

To shoulder burdens with a worried air

I won’t grow up, never grow up, not me!

JerzeeChick

January 10, 2008 Posted by | Fun, Life, Old School | 4 Comments

Play Another Slow Jam!

When was the last time you listened to a slow jam TAPE?  Better yet, when was the last time you made one?????  I was going through some stuff in my closet and found a bag full of old tapes.  In addition to the Salt-n-Pepa, Shabba Ranks, De La Soul, EPMD, Janet Jackson and Big Daddy Kane tapes there were a few “Slow Jam Volumes”.  (I know I am not the only person that used to make slow jam tapes).  In the current age of CD’s and I-Pods, there is really no need to have a real slow jam “game”.  Everything can be burned to an endless playlist, but if you had to narrow your jams down to 90 minutes of hits, how would you choose? 

Let me start by saying they don’t make slow jams like they used to!  I listened to the tapes I found and I was shocked.  First of all what on earth did I know about there’s a right and a wrong way to love somebody in high school? (Keith Sweat had it going on back in the day).  Now that I’m in my 30’s, the songs have meaning, but back then…what on earth was I thinking?   

Some of the songs I found on my “Volumes” were one hit wonders.  I guess they were the hit of the moment, but didn’t really have staying power.  A lot of them were classics though.  As I pressed fast forward and rewind I found myself picking which songs would make my “Slow Jams: The Grown Woman Volume” tape.

First on my list of course was Adore by Prince….if God one day struck me blind, your beauty I’d still see.  Love’s too weak to define, just what you mean to me.  WHAT?!?!?!     Another classic balladeer was LUTHER.  I would have to have House Is Not A Home on my Grown Woman Volume (GWV).  When that song came on my little tape (with the poor sound quality) I was are you gonna be, say you’re gonna be, are you gonna be, say you’re gonna be, all up and through my house! 

Always & Forever made the cut too.  I was really big on this song in high school for some reason…loving you is a thing that I’ve planned, for a very long time….forever and a day, forever and a day, definitely made the Grown Woman Volume.  When was the last time you came across someone with “Whip Appeal”?  Didn’t quite get it back then, but I have the remix version with all the “snapping” on one of my tapes.  Now I’m a little older and a lot wiser, so Whip Appeal would go on my GWV.

With all the recent legal woes of the Debarge family, it was nice to hear Love Me in A Special Way.  I think that was my second favorite Debarge hit…..cause I’m special, not the average kind, who’d accept any line that sounds good.  So reach into your chain of thoughts, try to find something new….  I used to love that song, and I think if space would allow, it could make the GWV.

Another observation I made while going through my old cassettes…. slow jams were LONG.  Prince, Luther, Lenny Williams…those brothers were trying to sing somebody’s panties right off for real! *cracking up now*.  I Love You by Lenny Williams was over seven minutes long (but I must admit the song would not have been complete without his break down at the end: Maybe you’ve never been in love like I been in love.  Maybe you’ve never felt the things that I felt…but this is what I told my friend I said you know sometimes you get lonely).  I like Usher, and Ne-Yo is cool, but they can’t hold a candle to Lenny!

Does anyone remember Kwame’s remake of Chaka Kahn’s  Sweet Thing?  (It sucked, but apparently I liked it back in the day because it was on one of my little tapes with the poor sound quality).  I think he failed miserably at this attempt to do the I Need Love/LL Cool J thing.  I had a lot of Guy/Aaron Hall hits on my tapes too (Let’s Chill, Tease Me, and Piece of My Love).  

No GWV would be complete without a little Teena Marie and Teddy P.  I loved Casanova Brown and Portuguese Love, but my personal favorite from Teena is a song called Yes Indeed.  I don’t think it was a big hit, but WBLS played it to death in the middle of the night. (If you are not familiar with the song, look it up on You Tube, and you can hear it…trust me it’s a CLASSIC!)

Regarding Teddy P, the list is endless.  Close the Door, Turn Off the Lights, and my personal favorite And If I Had (…I would be the best lover that they ever had, cause I need somebody to love me, love me back).  Can you imagine going to somebody’s house and they had THAT SONG playing in the background?  I like Jamie Foxx’s album. His Can I Take You Home was a good song, but it can’t touch Come Go With Me by Teddy.  I am not going to even get started on Marvin Gaye, but suffice it to say Distant Lover (the live version) would make the GWV!

A few other songs that aren’t classics in the Luther, Prince, Teddy sense of the word, had throwback appeal nonetheless. Jodeci, Ready For the World and New Edition would make an appearance on my GWV.  Every now and then I’m sure we all hear Can You Stand the Rain on the radio (if not, look for it on the Wednesday Wind-UP one day soon), but when was the last time you heard Let Me Love You Down?  When was the last time you heard Stay or U&I by Jodeci?  (That Forever My Lady album is a classic for real…especially since the lead singers are someplace very cracked out right now!) 

So here is my question….if you had to narrow down your playlist to a 90 minute cassette tape, what songs would definitely make the cut? When you start picking those O’Jays and Earth Wind & Fire songs, keep in mind they were long, and 90 minutes will go by quick! On your Grown Woman Volume, or your Grown Man Volume, what classics and throwback hits would you include?

JerzeeChick

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Music, Old School | 4 Comments

What’s your favorite Throwback?

I Googled the word Throwback recently, and this is what I found:  A sudden reminder of the past. This can be brought about by hearing a song from high school, seeing an ex, puffing on a j in your old puffin spot, etc. Similar to a flashback.

From what I understand about Throwback Jersey’s, the further back you go, or the more specific you are, the better the find.  For instance a Shaq jersey from the Orlando Magic is okay. If you could find his Jersey from LSU, then you might be doing something, but if you started rocking his Jersey from Robert G. Cole High School, then you are a super fan!

What is your throwback claim to fame?  Is television your throwback genre?  When people start talking about The Cosby Show, can you really take it there with the episodes?  Can you break down the Gordon Gartrell shirt debacle, or Vanessa sneaking out to have big fun with The Wretched?  Did you learn what the term “bootlegging” meant from Al Dunbar on the What’s Happening two-part episode with the Doobie Brothers?  

Back when rappers had background dancers that were mostly men (not scantily clad women) we all knew how to dance.  The Snake, The Steve Martin, The Prep….we had tons of dance moves!  If you are from a certain part of Jersey, I know you remember The Stolen Car and The Give It Up.  When I was in high school being able to dance was a requirement.  As part of our senior superlatives we had “Best Dance”.  I remember it came down to The Bart Simpson, and The All Beef…..but I digress.  My point is; when was the last time you got your dance on?  Not a simple two step, but a real deal, break it down, out of breath, dance move.  I think you should try TODAY, but please don’t hurt yourself J 

For some, nothing can put them in the nostalgic mood like music.  The right old school track can change your mood better than a good martini.  For those that like club music, when was the last time you heard Din Da Da or Break For Love?  Do you remember when You Are My Friend would cause everyone in the club to pack the dance floor?  If any of those things made you smile, then maybe old school club music is your throwback!   

Have you ever been sitting in traffic and heard the DJ mixing in Nobody Beats The Biz by Biz Markie?  Did you not want to jump out of your car and break into an old school dance?  During that era when rap music was becoming hip hop music, we had Eric B and Rakim, EPMD, and Big Daddy Kane among others.  Unless you are going to Old School Second Saturday, your chances of hearing all those artists in one night are slim.  If you’re lucky, they might play Top Billin or A Children’s Story.  If the DJ is halfway decent, he’ll probably mute it at the appropriate time and everyone on the dance floor can yell “Dave the dope fiend shootin’ dope who don’t know the meaning of water nor soap…”! When was the last time you heard “…hear yea hear yea, come one come all, the princess is having a royal ball”?  Dana Dane didn’t have a lot of hits, but he stayed in Bally’s and a Kangol.

Some of us have boxes of things from the good old days.  Our acid washed jeans, our Gazelles, and our graffiti sweatshirts are nicely preserved for posterity’s sake!  We know we will never EVER squeeze into those red Lee’s with the black pin stripes again, but we refuse to throw them away because they’re classics!  Right there next to your old Bally’s is the belt buckle with your name on it and your souvenir from the senior prom.  These are the throwbacks we treasure. 

The best throwbacks will transport your mind to that era.  They can take you back to the days of house parties, backyard barbeques and fat rope chains.  Speaking of backyard barbeques….Do people still build barbeque pits in their backyards?  We all know some of the best cookouts were hosted at a house with a barbeque pit in the yard!  If a man took the time to build a pit in his yard, you know he took his grilling tasks seriously and his food was going to be slammin!

  Remember when we were buying cassette tapes, and most of our friends did not have cars?  We appreciated getting a ride someplace, and not having to walk home in the rain/snow/burning hot sun.  Back then our biggest concern was not breaking curfew and what we were going to wear to school the next day (and of course a ride home from the party).  Whatever your throwback is, wear it well.  You don’t need to spend $300, you may only need to pull out an old mix tape, or watch a few hours of Nik at Night. 

Before we cared about the terror threat level, FICA, and our 401K’s we were consumed by Dwayne and Whitley, shell toe Adidas, and doing the Cabbage Patch.  Adulthood is overrated and we all deserve a few moments to relive our carefree youth!  Come on y’all, rep for your throwback!!! Put on your Triple Fat Goose, and pose in front of the mirror a la Run DMC.  Go ahead and crack open a bottle on Boones Farm, but please don’t wear that acid washed jean suit to the mall.  Whop it out during your next conference call, and feel free to start pop locking in the break room the next time Corporate America tries to break you down! So I ask again….What is your throwback?  EpiphanyBlog wants to know J

JerzeeChick

July 12, 2007 Posted by | Hip hop, Life, Old School, Society | 10 Comments