Archive for the ‘1999’ Category


Having done posts lately on both Darwin and Angela Bassett this is the perfect song. It is Angela Bassett you hear saying “Right here! Right now!”, sampled from her film “Strange Days” (1995). This song reached #2 on the British charts in 1999.

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I was going to do “100 Yard Dash” (2009) but got kind of sidetracked! This is that video with the television heads.


Ummah, Ummah, Ummah

1 – S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo he wanna get involved

[Raphael Saadiq]
Met this girl walking in the ghetto
(Uh huh, uh huh)
Looking good but looking down
(What’s you say, come on by)
Said she needed inspiration
(What’d you say)
I said, ‘Get yo shit cause we’re goin uptown’
(Uptown baby, uptown, say what)
I could tell she was feelin better
(Yeah, yeah come on, yeah)
When she got inside the car
(When she got inside the car)
She was a dark-skinned girl with pretty cornrows
(uh uh)
She was doin her best to try to hide her scars
(Say come on now, what you say now)

[Raphael Saadiq]
2 – I don’t really care
About that there, just get involved
Boy you, makin me feel, uh oh so real
Just get involved

[Raphael Saadiq]
Everytime i take you around friends
(Come on, everytime I take you around friends)
I catch them looking at you love
(Lookin’ at you love, lookin’ at you love like that)
You know it never ever bothered me
Because i know that i’m the one you’re thinking of

Repeat 2

Word up, word up, word up yo
Raphael just stopped in his tracks
Get involved and make it into the pack
You know the way that you present your thing
We in the belly so we might as well cling
The way you shine shorty you da shit
The princess in the pauper pit
We may be poor but we rich in soul
Just get involved and get in control
Just get involved and get in control
You know the way we do it, yo we roll

Oh, oh, oh, oh

Repeat 1

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Kelis_7Kelis Rogers (1979- ), better known as just Kelis, is an American R&B singer. She is best known for “Milkshake” (2003): “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours. Damn right, it’s better than yours. I can teach you, but I have to charge.”

Her two other top ten hits on the American R&B charts are: “Caught Out There” (1999), the one where she says “I hate you so much right now!” over and over, and “Bossy” (2006).

No one knows why, but her music does way better in Britain than in America. Maybe it is her hair. I first heard her on Virgin Radio from London (the same is true for Macy Gray). Not only did “Milkshake” and “Caught Out There”  make the top ten in Britain, so did “Trick Me” (2004),  “Millionaire” (2004) with Andre 3000 and “Lil Star” (2007) with Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley, songs  largely unknown in the States.

Kelis Trick meKelis ft. Andre 3000 - MillionaireKelis - Lil Star

Her next album comes out later this year (2009).

She has been married to rapper Nas since 2005, but separated from him in May 2009 and filed for divorce. This came just two months before she is expected to give birth to their son! She suspects him of seeing other women. They met in 2002 at a party after the MTV Video Music Awards. Before that she was just a fan of his.

She grew up in Harlem in New York. Her father was a jazz musician and her mother a fashion designer. Her father is black, her mother is Puerto Rican and Chinese. Her name comes from putting their two names together: Kenneth + Eveliss = Kelis. It rhymes with “police”.

She went to a private school in Manhattan where most people were white and did not understand her. At 13 she cut off her hair and when it grew back she started colouring it blue, green, platinum and pink, something she is known for even now. Her natural hair is Type 3 (pictured above).

Growing up she sang at church and learned to play the piano, violin and saxophone. At 16 she got in to the La Guardia High School for the Arts, a magnet high school in New York. But just then she was kicked out of the house for reasons unclear and had to support herself.

At high school she formed a singing trio, BLU (Black Ladies United). It did not go anywhere but one thing led to another and it brought her to the attention of the Neptunes – Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. With them she was able to land a recording contract with Virgin in 1998. They wrote and produced her first two hits, “Caught Out There” and “Milkshake” and much of her early music.

Kelis about her music:

Am I R&B because I’m Black? Am I pop because I have a song called “Milkshake”? Or can I just be who the hell I am? Good Lord, people make it seem like we’re doing heart transplants here, but we’re just making music!


See also:

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Here are the top songs on the R&B charts now, 10 years ago today , 20 years ago, etc. Through the wonder that still is YouTube, you can hear them all (Can you believe it has already been ten years since “No Scrubs”?):

2009: Jamie Foxx and T-Pain: Blame It

1999: TLC: No Scrubs

1989:  Jody Watley: Real Love

1979: Peaches & Herb: Reunited

1969: The Isley Brothers: It’s Your Thing

1959: Brook Benton: It’s Just a Matter of Time

1949: Big Jay McNeeley’s Blue Jays: The Deacon’s Hop

Curiously, the hardest year was not 1949 but 1989! The top song on May 3rd 1989 was Karyn White’s “Love Saw It”. I could not even find a bad audio of a live performance for that one, so I went for Jody Watley’s “Real Love” which did not become number one till May 6th. But even with that one there was no embeddable music video for the radio version of the song.

Update: 2019: Lil Nas X: Old Town Road









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Mi vida sin tu amor sera
como un camino que
que no sabe donde va
solo un recuerdo del pasado
una historia que ha llegado a su final

Mi vida sin tu amor sera
la de un amante con un roto corazon
mi vida sin tu amor es un barco en alta mar
sin puerto ni ilusion.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el crudo invierno de mi soledad
en el silencio de la inmensidad
un alma que no encuentra su lugar.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el tibio abrazo que no volvera
sera la soledad de estar sin ti
yo sin tu amor, yo sin tu amor no se vivir.

Mi vida sin tu amor sera
como un enigma que no tiene solucion
vidas sin tu amor es nube que se va
tu adios se la llevo.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el crudo invierno de mi soledad
en el silencio de la inmensidad
un alma que no encuentra su lugar.

Mi vida sin tu amor no es mas
que el tibio abrazon que no volvera
sera la soledad de estar sin ti,
yo sin tu amor,
yo sin tu amor no se vivir.

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sennaDanzy Senna (1970- ) is an American writer, best known for her book “Caucasia” (1999), a coming of age story about a girl who is somewhere between black and white. It is about a mulatto who is not tragic. Something Senna knows about first-hand.

Her parents were both writers and both worked for the civil rights movement. Her mother was white, coming from an old-money Wasp family in Boston that once traded slaves. Her father was a black Mexican. Senna, born in Boston, was in between, able to pass as white or black.

But not as biracial: in Boston in the 1970s there was no such thing. You were either black or white. Her parents brought her up as black.

You told us all along that we had to call ourselves black because of this so-called one drop. Now that we don’t have to anymore, we choose to. Because black is beautiful. Because black is not a burden, but a privilege.

She saw herself as black. But because she could pass for white she could hear the things that white people said about blacks behind their backs.

She found that no matter how much whites might talk equality and Martin Luther King and all that, they were still just as hung up about race as blacks were – they just had a different, more subtle way of talking about it. Subtle or not, it was still hard to hear it.

People who do not know her tend to think she is Jewish or Arab.

These days she sees herself as being mixed yet black:

I think of myself as mixed, and I think of myself as part of a long history of African-American writers, so I don’t see them as so distinct as people do these days.

She says not being white helps her as a writer because it gives her an outsider’s point of view.  In writing courses she took she noticed that white men, at least those who were not Jewish, had a hard time picking something to write about.

Even though she had been writing stories since at least age 11, when she went off to Stanford she studied medicine instead. But the science courses were too hard and, besides, she found that writing was something she just had to do.

The writers who made her know she should be one too were Colette, James Baldwin and Dostoevsky. She particularly likes Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” and Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”. And also Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”.

“Caucasia” was her first book. It was so good it became a hard act to follow. For two years she wrote nothing. In time she did write another book, “Symptomatic” (2004) whose hero is also biracial, but this time more of a tragic mulatto. Her latest book is “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History” (2009). She also writes for magazines, especially about the way race and sex affects how people think of themselves.

She is married to writer Percival Everett.

See also:

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No more rain in this cloud
No more rain in this cloud

[1] – My sunshine has come
And I’m all cried out
And there’s no more rain in this cloud

My sunshine has come
And I’m all cried out
And there’s no more rain in this cloud

There’s no hiding place
When someone has hurt you
It’s written on your face, and it reads
“Broken spirit, lost and confused”
“Empty, scared, used and abused, a fool”
Oh, ain’t it funny that the way you feel
Shows on your face
(It’s written all over your face, yeah)
And the smile you used to wear
Seems a little bit out of place
(Tracks of your tears)
People oh, hold on
In time it gets a little better, whoa

[Repeat 1]

So you want to live and to you I shall give
All the space that you requested
Hope you don’t live to regret it

So you say you’re in your prime
Baby, don’t waste your time
Remember my love, it’s only a thin line
(It’s never too late)

[Repeat 1]

Spring has come and winter’s gone, my love
But don’t look around for me, child
I’ll be gone (I’ll be gone, gone, gone, gone)
Not afraid because the seasons have changed
I’m gonna count my blessing then just follow the sun
Cuz you see

[Repeat 1 while:]
Now, I wanna take a minute to kick it like this
Y’all wit’ me? Y’all know what I’m talkin’ about?
You know what to do
There’s no hiding place
When you’re hurting
No, no, no

Baby, don’t want teardrops
Drying up on my pillow
(I used to think the world of you)
Only room for raindrops
Don’t belong on my smile
And there’s no rain in this cloud
(There’s, there’s nothing I would not do)

Baby, don’t want teardrops
Drying up on my pillow
(You broke me down)
Only room for raindrops
Don’t belong on my smile
(You broke me way down)
And there’s no more rain in this cloud
(You you you, baby broke me down)

[Repeat 1 while:]
What goes around, comes around
What goes up, must come down
Things you do, come back to you
Y’all believe that?
Goes around, comes around
What goes up, must come down

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TiVo (1999- ) is a computer you hook up to your television that not only records the shows you ask it to, but even shows that you would probably be interested in, based on what it knows you liked in the past.

It does not need a tape like a VCR and you do not need to tell it when a show is on – it knows. Unlike a VCR, it remembers to record your shows better than you do. You watch them when you are ready.

It can look for shows not just by name but also by the names of actors or directors or keywords. It is like Google for your television.

You can watch live television too with TiVo. It lets you go backwards in a show or watch something over again in slow motion (great for ball games). If you start watching an hour show 15 minutes late, you can also jump past all the ads – something that TiVo makes easy.

Also, you do not even have to be at home to tell it to record something: you can do that through the Web.

You can also see part of the Internet with TiVo.

You can download shows from the TiVo box onto your own computer and watch them there or put them on disc.

The best thing about TiVo is that you do not find yourself wanting to watch television but there is nothing good on: TiVo has been busily recording not just the shows you want to see, but even shows you want to see but did not know it.

It does that trick by learning what you like when you tell it whether or not you liked a particular show. Like Amazon, it can compare what you like with millions of others and have a good idea of what else you might like – the stuff you would have recorded if only you knew. Because it can look at what other people with tastes like yours are watching that you are missing.

It changes how you watch television – even how you watch, say, sports. It makes television into something different.

The TiVo box, the computer part, costs $100 (seven crowns) and can save 80 hours of shows. Sometimes it can record up to two channels at once. It only works with cable or satellite television. The box for HDTV costs three times as much and can only record 20 hours of HDTV.

But for the box to work you need to be hooked into their monthly service so that it can know what is coming up on television. The service costs $12.95 a month (a crown).

Those are the American prices in December 2007, but they give you an idea.

You can also get TiVo in Canada, Mexico, Britain and Taiwan. Some have been able to get TiVos to work in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere.

TiVo runs on a Linux computer. You can even get a bash prompt, if you know what that is. This makes it a great machine for hackers who can make it do new things.

See also:

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