Advertisement
ChrisBrown_X_DeluxeEdition_outnow_728x90

All Music Entertainment
What's Your Flavor? Choose a tab
You are viewing all articles posted under: From The Vault
Music

From The Vault: Nelly – ‘Hot In Herre’

Long before Drake or Lil’ Wayne were heard rapping and singing on a track, Nelly was already using the technique, delivering hits on hits on hits for the most part of the 00’s.

This week’s From The Vault pick is the veteran’s signature smash, ‘Hot In Herre

Produced by The Neptunes back in 2002, ‘Hot’ was the second offering from the artist’s sophomore album ‘Nellyville‘.

With its catchy chorus and various hooks, the tune was both Nelly and The Neptunes’s first of many a Billboard Hot 100 chart topper. It also reached the top spot of the Canadian charts and placed #4 in the UK. Alongside the Kelly Rowland-assisted ‘Dilemma’ – from the same album – it is considered Mr. Haynes’ signature track, and thanks to its sleek production never sounds out of date, to this day, when it’s party-o-clock.

It was with flying colors that director Little-X managed to translate the urgency of the lyrics into a fiery video taking place in a red hot kind of club where the ladies are anything but unhappy to oblige at the song’s request to take off their clothes. Although sportsmen Carmelo Anthony, TJ Duckett and Julius Peppers make brief but notable appearances during the clip, it is Cedric The Entertainer who steals the show with his now infamous “Roof Is On Fire” segment.

***********

With 2014 marking ‘Hot In Herre’’s 12th anniversary and the past few years in music focusing on “living for the moment”, you’d think a plethora of CLASSIC party-tunes would have emerged by now. Well from our vantage point there haven’t been that many jams that established themselves as club classics the way Nelly’s single did. The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Got a Feeling’, Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ and Usher’s ‘Yeah’ come to mind as contenders for that category, can you think of others?

1597150724248aff337321a117715280677754ae 300x261 From The Vault: Nelly   Hot In Herre

What are the club-classics of the past decade?

Read This Story
5 Comments
Music

From The Vault: Janet Jackson – ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’/ ‘If’ Live At The 1993 MTV VMA’s

While the masses will be tuning in tonight to witness what is shaping up to be yet another glorious MTV Video Music Awards moment for Beyonce, we’d like to take a second and celebrate a prolific VMA performance which holds a very special place in our vault. Performing a medley of ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ and ‘If’, we give you Ms. Janet Jackson’s 1993 Video Music Awards showing as this week’s From The Vault pick.

Produced and written by usual suspects Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis alongside the diva herself, the two tracks were respectively the first two singles off Jackson’s eponymous fifth album ‘janet.’ which hit #1 with the largest first week sales for a woman at the time of release. The two singles, arguably two of her signature hits, fared extremely well on the Billboard charts too with ‘Love’ claiming the top spot for 8 consecutive weeks in the US and hitting #2 in the UK while ‘If’ reached the 4th position of the Hot 100 and was a UK Top 20 hit.

Closing the ceremony, Janet opted for a slow start with the sultry and sensuous ‘Love’ nonetheless engaging in ample choreography with her female dancers. For the second chapter of the performance, it seems the ‘Feedback’ singer wanted to remind people of the “stage-blazer” status she acquired during her ‘Rhythm Nation days’: extra dancers, wind machines and of course THAT dance-break were all set in motion to ensure the ceremony went out with a bang during the sickening ’If’.

****************

With Janet reportedly releasing a new album later this year (which would naturally come with edgy visuals), could next year’s VMA ceremony honor Janet the same way they did Justin Timberlake last year and are about to do Beyonce tonight? Granted she already won the Video Vanguard Award over two decades ago, we’re still salivating at the prospect of a 15+ minutes Janet Jackson performance on the grand stage, and we’re convinced MTV could think of something fresh and exciting to justify such an event.

Only time will tell it seems. In the meantime, we’ll heavily replay this performance and will be glued to our seats tonight, hoping for brand new VMA moments as epic as this.

Janet VMA 93 300x219 From The Vault: Janet Jackson   Thats The Way Love Goes/ If Live At The 1993 MTV VMAs

Your thoughts?

Read This Story
27 Comments
Music

From The Vault: Shaï – ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’

At a time where male R&B is on the up, we’d like to pay tribute to a song that  helped popularize the genre in the first place. Shaï’s ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ is today’s From The Vault pick.

Released in a Boyz II Men-dominated era, the A Cappella track is a harmonizing masterclass that took the R&B world by storm in 1992. Written by band member Carl Martin, it was blocked from the #1 spot by Whitney Houston’s gargantuan smash ‘I Will Always Love You’ and had to settle for a #2 placing – for 8 weeks – on the Billboard Hot 100. It did get to the top spot of the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart. It was also a UK Top 40 hit and placed 4th in the Australian charts.

The Ian Fletcher-directed video uses the same “less is more” approach the song does with the guys standing in a circle while singing the  track and a scant beauty shots injected for good measure. For us, the simplicity  allows the lyrics to really shine through, but most importantly the gentlemen’s voices to take centre-stage.

******

We wish more artists today would be as vocally adventurous as Shaï and other acts from the 90’s with their vocal arrangements. Though autotune and studio trickery is a necessity for a slew of modern acts, we feel some might rely on it too much, resulting in robotic, soulless deliveries. Furthermore, the EDM era seems to have sacrificed melody in favor of anthemic hooks and repetitive riffs.

Hopefully, the reemergence of organic music will mean more melodically and vocally rich tunes that will go on to inspire the next generations the same way ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ has inspired ours.

Shaï, we salute you, we thank you.

shai 600x337 From The Vault: Shaï   If I Ever Fall In Love

Your thoughts?

Read This Story
9 Comments
Music

From The Vault: Paula Abdul – Cold Hearted

Way before she was a judge on ‘American Idol’, the ‘X Factor’ and the Australian edition of ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ and not long after blessing Janet Jackson with a few signature moves, Paula Abdul was a popstar in her own right. This week, From The Vault is celebrating one of Ms. Abdul’s finest visual works –  the magnificent ‘Cold Hearted

Pulled from Paula’s blockbuster debut ‘Forever Your Girl’ as its fifth single, ‘Cold’ is a Pop number with sprinkles of New Jack Swing wherein the singer warns a fellow female about a heartless, womanizing man that she compares to a “cold hearted snake “.

It was produced by Elliot Wolff – who was also responsible for the entertainer’s breakout single ‘Straight Up’ – and was one of her six Billboard chart-toppers. Unfortunately, its home soil success never translated into an overseas one.

As many of you would know, we love ourselves an epic video here at TGJ. Therefore you’ll understand why this one has a very special place in our vault. The work of Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher, the visual serves as Abdul’s homage to legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, most particularly his work on classic musical ‘All That Jazz’. The all-dance affair perfectly embodies Paula’s proposition as a “Popstar”: hook-heavy edgy Pop music, enchanting choreography, and high-octane music videos.

With Paula waving goodbye to her singing career almost two decades ago, we feel it is a shame that the current generation only knows her as a TV figure and not the award-winning stage blazer she once was. Just to express how inspiring and trend-setting she and this video have been, here’s a few well-known visuals which take inspiration from ‘Cold Hearted’: Janet Jackson’s ‘If’, Christina Aguilera’s ‘What A Girl Wants’, Britney Spears’ ‘Slave 4 U’, Ciara’s ‘Promise’.

Paula Abdul 1989 Coldhearted video her 3rd 1 single 300x181 From The Vault: Paula Abdul   Cold Hearted

Can you name more?

Read This Story
19 Comments
Music

From The Vault: Michael Jackson – ‘In The Closet (Starring Naomi Campbell)’

Journey Back To Jackson's Classic Cut

As the reigning King of Pop, Michael Jackson has hits of the major, moderate, and minor persuasions. The common theme? He has H-I-T-S!

This week’s From The Vault pick pays homage to one of the late singer’s more muted chart successes – 1991′s ‘In The Closet’.

Produced by Teddy Riley, the sensually-charged track served as the third single to be lifted from MJ’s mega-selling ‘Dangerous’ album. Beyond boasting an edgy title, the said LP houses some of Jackson’s most progressive and provocative material  - with ‘Closet’ standing as one of the most prominent examples.

Previous releases such as ‘Thriller’, ‘Smooth Criminal’, and ‘Bad’ saw Michael become renown for his left-field approach to songwriting; an approach which saw him largely deviate from the well-treaded music narratives of “love” and “sex” in favour of more wholesome/all-encompassing themes. However, with ‘In The Closet’ the King through a curveball and drew on those exact topics. Put simply, he embraced the racy.

And while modern times have seen artists push the envelope with adult themes, MJ’s move – at the time – was seen as relatively revolutionary. Indeed, here stood the world’s biggest and most mass appealing act belting the lyrics “there’s something about you baby that makes me want to give it to you”. It excited many, yet unnerved others. A polarizing response that was amplified once its accompanying video debuted.

Unlike the elaborate mini-movies that have come to define much of Jackson’s career, the visual for ‘Closet’ was a fairly simple affair. Aptly set in the Salton Sea desert in California, the clip wasn’t without titillation and served up heat aplenty. A then-rising Naomi Campbell was tapped to star opposite MJ – with the supermodel assuming the role of his love interest. By no means a timid affair, the pair danced up a storm and sent temperatures into fever-pitch with the intimate nature of their choreography.

A triangulation of the song, its video, and the hype both generated helped the single peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart). The track was also a global success, achieving top ten status in the UK, France, Australia, and many other countries. Still, in following the two super smashes that preceded it (‘Black Or White’ and ‘Remember The Time’), ‘Closet’ is often treated as a “lesser hit” and is routinely forgotten in retrospectives on MJ’s iconic discography.

Yet, like the impact of Jackson himself, we here at That Grape Juice will never forget. Ever.

Fun Fact: Did you know that ‘In The Closet’ was initially conceived as a collaboration between Michael and…Madonna?! The legendary pair began working on concepts for the song, however MJ vetoed the idea after feeling like Madge’s vision for the track was too provocative. We can only imagine.

michael naomi 2 600x606 From The Vault: Michael Jackson   In The Closet (Starring Naomi Campbell)

Your thoughts?

Read This Story
16 Comments
Music

From The Vault : Brandy & Wanya Morris – ‘Brokenhearted’

From The Vault is back this week with a R&B duet courtesy of the Vocal Bible herself Brandy alongside Boyz II Men crooner Wanya Morris. Today’s pick is ‘Brokenhearted’.

Originally a solo track from her eponymous 1995 debut, ‘Brokenhearted’ was remixed by Soulshock & Karlin for its single release, making way for fresh new vocals by Morris.

As the 5th and last single off said album, it gave Brandy her third Top 10 in the US by peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 – it also reached the 2nd position of the Hot Hip-Hop/R&B tally.

The laid-back groove’s visual – directed by legendary videographer Hype Williams – presented the ex-lovebirds in a moody yet vivid dream-like environment. Rocking her 90’s trademark box-braids, a then-aged 16 Bran was already showing all the signs of a diva-in-the-making proving yet again that age is but a number when you have « it ».

With the singer/actress recently confirming that work was underway for the follow-up to the criminally underrated ‘Two Eleven’, we can’t help but anticipate what the future holds for Ms. Norwood. Indeed, the ‘Put It Down’ vocalist’s craft seems to get stronger and more diverse with time – contrary to some other divas from the last two decades – and with her qualitative stock already sky-high, it’s quite obvious we’re in for a treat.

Bring it on, B-Rocka!

Your thoughts?

Read This Story
33 Comments
Music

From The Vault: Patti Labelle & Mariah Carey Perform ‘Got To Be Real’

As vocal legends go, few come more equipped than Patti Labelle and Mariah Carey.

Though from different eras, the dynamite diva’s have made it routine to honor one another at many points in their illustrious careers.

One of their most celebrated showings serves as this week’s From The Vault pick – their performance during Labelle’s ‘Live One Night Only’ TV special in 1998.

Together, the powerhouses blew the roof off the venue with a rendition of Cheryl Lynn‘s 1978 Disco classic ‘Got To Be Real’.

Watch the icons trade belts, whistles, and sass above…

Your thoughts?

 

Read This Story
22 Comments
eXTReMe Tracker