Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.
So, as our retrospective features ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our newest feature Chart Rewind – a variation of our current Retro Rewind assay – accedes salutes to an entire era of music history.
This week we’ll just shout out ‘Just Kickin’ It’ – the debut single from veteran R&B group Xscape. Look inside:
Despite the early 90’s having no shortage of chart-topping girl groups, three R&B composites – En Vogue, TLC and SWV – were leading the way by respectively wielding some of the eras most memorable hits. The former – a model-eque quartet who thrilled audiences with complex harmonies and dazzling gowns – were the poised and complete antithesis of TLC, a trio of ‘street, but sweet’ performers whose “in your face” dance routines and music capitalized on the New Jack Swing movement of the moment. With SWV falling between the two (sonically and visually), it appeared there wasn’t a need for another group to check any of those conceptual boxes. That is, until Xscape came into the picture.
Marrying the harmonic manners of En Vogue with the street personas of TLC, Xscape – under the guidance of Urban producer Jermaine Dupri – aggressively pushed an R&B agenda that saw them fuse the genre’s core styling with sonic arrangements that were more Hip Hop leaning. Nothing evidenced the strategy better than their debut single, ‘Just Kickin’ It.’
Launched as the introductory tune from their debut album, ‘Hummin’ Comin’ At ‘Cha,’ ‘Kickin’ may have drawn criticism for some of its adult lyrical content (as the members were teenagers upon its arrival to radio), but that didn’t stop it from dominating radio airplay charts. Eventually working its way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it was found this week 26 years ago, the song peaked at the runner-up position due to its inability to dethrone then-chart champion Mariah Carey and her megahit, ‘Dreamlover.’
An impressive start for girls Columbia Records branded ‘the ghetto En Vogue,’ ‘Kickin’ – released in August 1993 – was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) by mid-November of the same year and helped its parent album do the same.
Standing as one of the most appreciated gems from their short, but prized discography, look below to see who joined them in the top 25 this week in 1993.
Hot 100 This Week in 1993
Hot 100 This Week