Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.
So, as our retrospective segments, ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay,’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our latest feature – Chart Rewind – serves as a variation of our Retro Rewind assay to salute an entire era of music history.
This week, it’ll be Foxy Brown‘s 1997 hit ‘I’ll Be’ we nod. Join us inside:
Foxy Brown is regarded as one of the illest female rappers to ever grace a microphone, a compliment the Don Diva earned early in her career thanks to the critical acclaim afforded to her debut album, ‘I’ll Na Na’ (1996).
Recorded when Brown was just 17-years-old, the fiery femcee unleashed the project just two months after garnering moderate buzz for her debut single – September 1996’s ‘Get Me Home’ (featuring Blackstreet). Blessed with beauty and musical brawn, it came as surprise to few when the then-rising star unveiled the song’s Jay-Z-assisted follow-up – ‘I’ll Be’ – that she blew into the Hip Hop stratosphere. The Trackmasters-produced tune – which featured penmanship and a co-starring role from Jay – was armed with an ample sample of René & Angela‘s 1985 classic, ‘I’ll Be Good,’ making it instantly recognizable. Once Brown’s braggadocious bars, sass, and undeniable chemistry with Jay was added to the pot, ‘I’ll Be’ contained an instant recipe for success.
Released March 4, 1997, ‘I’ll Be’ soared to the top 10 on the Hot 100 less than a month after its arrival thanks to strong radio airplay and promotion courtesy of a Brett Ratner-directed music video. Found at #7 this week that year, the chart triumph not only stands as Foxy’s career peak on the tally but also her first and last top 10 hit (to date).
When the dust settled, ‘Be’ may not have earned GRAMMY love but it did go on to be certified GOLD by the RIAA and stands as one of the greatest female Rap songs ever produced.
Look below to see who joined her in the top 25 on this week’s Chart Rewind:
Hot 100 This Week in 1997
Hot 100 This Week
Click here to see this week’s full chart recap via our weekly ‘TGJ Chart Check.’