“Hopeless” by Dionne Farris (1997)

Simplicity and wordplay are the keys to this song being as good as it is. “Hopeless” is a neo-soul journey-person summit, of sorts. The song was written by Van Hunt, a musician who, despite possessing googobs of talent. was maybe a little too far left for the mainstream. It was performed by Dionne Farris, who… Read More “Hopeless” by Dionne Farris (1997)

“Butterflies” by Michael Jackson (2001)

Invincible, the last studio album Michael Jackson made in his lifetime, is pretty fuckin’ messy. But “messy” doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and there were 6 or so gems buried in the album. “Butterflies” was one of those gems, and could’ve been a blockbuster…had it been properly promoted. Mike was looking for ways to update his… Read More “Butterflies” by Michael Jackson (2001)

“Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones (1971)/”Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo (1995)

…it’s always nice when two entries blend together seamlessly. The Stones’ chart-topping classic “Brown Sugar”’s got a killer riff, a snarling vocal from Mick Jagger, and lyrics that some consider highly questionable. As for me, I consider the times and consider the context, and give the Stones a pass. Are the lyrics racist? I don’t… Read More “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones (1971)/”Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo (1995)

“Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest (1990)

There were hip-hop love songs before “Bonita Applebum”, and then there was “Bonita Applebum”. In my opinion, it was the jam that began to set ATCQ apart from the other Native Tongue groups. The Jungle Brothers could’ve maybe done a song like “Bonita”, but they didn’t have Q-Tip’s voice or production. De La’s love songs… Read More “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest (1990)

“Blackberry Molasses” by Mista (1996)

Mista came at the tail end of the R&B vocal group era, popping out of Atlanta and scoring a mid-chart hit (#13 R&B) with this song. The young men of Mista hailed from Atlanta, and were the beneficiaries of the Organized Noize production sound. “Blackberry Molasses” had a very similar sound to TLC’s “Waterfalls” (the production team’s… Read More “Blackberry Molasses” by Mista (1996)