Everyone around me knows that I am obsessed with the 90s and early 2000s. Everything about the pop culture scene back then is orgasmic. Well, apart from the fashion.
The fashion can stay in the past.
If you ask me to put my music player on shuffle, one out of every 3 songs you would hear are from that era. My wedding would most likely be a throwback party because the DJ will play songs from a playlist that I would give to him and it will definitely have songs from the 90s.
I woke up today to a tweet that said Drake sampled Lauryn Hill. The first thing I did was yell because Lauryn Hill was a huge part of my childhood. Let me take a pause and break it down for you.
Growing up, I had a lot of older people around me. My parents were separated and my best friend was my dad’s neighbour so I only got to see him whenever I was on holiday or when I was spending the weekend at my dad’s house. This meant that I was mainly surrounded with grown folks at my mum’s house. It was at that moment I fell in love with American Pop Culture. You see I couldn’t find solace in Nollywood because while some of the films were exciting, they had a way scaring the daylights out of me. My mum also loved Yoruba films and Nkan’be so there was no way I would watch TV with her; at least if I didn’t want to have nightmares. Whenever I got back from school, I will watch Disney cartoons on Channels and stations like DBN, AIT e.t.c always played some of the hottest songs of the time. DBN especially had a thing for Brandy because I saw a lot of Brandy videos on that channel. Whenever I will head to my dad’s house, my best friend and his sister would also increase my pop culture fix. I remember watching the music video for “Remember the Time” by Michael Jackson in their room. (They had a TV in their room. Good times). American Pop Culture was a safe haven for me. I fell in love and I fell hard. Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica, Usher, Living Single, The Cosby Show, A Different World; that was my life. For an awkward child with big teeth, it was all I needed.
I didn’t have The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as I didn’t start owning albums till I got to JSS2. All I had was television and radio. I would record the videos when they come on TV on a video tape and playback when I was bored. I would do the same on my walkman for the songs I would hear on the radio. My mother was not going to get me any CD that wasn’t Don Moen, Kirk Franklin or Hillsong so TV was going to help with that. That didn’t stop this boy though. I knew all the singles from the project; Doo Wop, Ex Factor and Everything Is Everything. Those songs were everything even though I didn’t learn the lyrics to Doo Wop till I was in University.
I know at this point it might seem like I am just rambling but I just had to provide some context to how it always excites me whenever anyone samples music from the 90s. Drake had done it earlier with I Get Lonely Too when he remade TLC’s Fanmail (which is my favourite TLC song by the way). From Fifth Harmony sampling Always Be My Baby on Like Mariah to Zendaya’s Something New sampling TLC’s Creep. There was Camila Cabello sampling Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle on Crying in the Club to Ed Sheeran‘s sampling No Scrubs on Shape of You and let us not forget Wild Thoughts. It seems like the vibe from the 90s and early 2000s are here to stay.
Moving past samples to actual hits; Finesse by Bruno Mars has such a throwback vibe that it is hard not to have nostalgia to a song that was released in 2017.
The 90s is making comeback and I am here for it!
Drake recently released Nice For What and it sample’s Lauryn Hill’s Ex-Factor. As I ran to YouTube to check out the video this morning, I remembered a little boy watching the music video on television. I remember admiring Ms. Hill’s hair and wondering how can someone be so perfect. Those were good times. The song is such a great sample of an iconic song and the message of girl power in it makes it an instant bop for me. Considering that the music video has such great representation of some of the women in Hollywood making giant strides.
I am older now and everyday I long to escape. I was teased a lot growing up but it never phased me. I had my music to rely on. I was young and was connecting to the music and experiences of people who were older than I was and lived in a different reality. Sorry not sorry, this throwback vibe is here and even if it stays for a while or becomes a flash in the pan, it is important for my peace of mind and for the boy that was.
Watch the video for Nice For What here
Ex-Factor was also sampled by Cardi B on Be Careful off her Invasion of Privacy album. Listen below.
Watch the video for Ex-Factor here.