I just finished my workout, the sun was shining bright through my windows, and I was about to slam down a delicious protein shake I just made for myself. In my post-workout endorphin high, I decided to let my songza workout playlist continue to blast through my apartment.
But the moment I knew I was in a great mood, the kind of mood that if someone who owed me money on that day told me they couldn’t pay me back for another week, I’d be like, “Ah man, it’s cool whenever you can get it to me” instead of “Now we got to fight,” was when that damn Montell Jordan started screaming through my speakers, “This is how we doooo it!”
Did you know “This Is How We Do It” is 19-years-old (yeah, we’re old, don’t remind me)? The song was Jordan’s debut single when it was released in 1995 and it was a huge record. I was 14, an age when I just started going to school dances and grinding on girls. Popularity of the song withstanding, I can distinctly remember not liking it. It went number one on the Billboard 100 for seven weeks in a row, so maybe I was in the minority. But 19-years-later, I can’t still be the only one who thinks this song is basura, right? To this very day, I can be out somewhere and at some point “This Is How We Do It” starts blasting more often than it doesn’t, and I have to wonder why.
When “This Is How We Do It” starts playing at a party I’m at, it lets me know two things: I’m at the wrong party or I’m at the right party but I need to leave because it just became the wrong party. If there are any DJs reading this, please explain to me why you decide to turn this record on? Do you have to go pee and that’s the “Let me go pee real quick” record? A better question: Why does it still get played? Aren’t there better “Let me go pee real quick” records that have come out in the past 19 years you can play instead of that one? “This Is How We Do It” is not played at every party I attend. There have been plenty of shindigs where I never heard the record, but you know what I never hear someone say when I leave those parties? “Man, I wish the DJ would’ve played “This Is How We Do It.”
That’s because the song is so awful, if a strip club said all lap dances were free when “This Is How We Do It” comes on, I would throw all my money at the stage for them to play another record. If anyone tells you “This Is How We Do It” is their favorite song, cut them out of your life. They’re either a liar or they have bad taste. Neither of those are healthy qualities with which to associate.
Let’s start with the production: It’s a souped-up version of Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” beat. Now that song is great, but not because of the beat itself. Slick Rick’s vivid storytelling of a robbery run amok and how quickly one’s life can forever be altered over one bad decision is what makes “Children’s Story” hot, to the point that Slick Rick could’ve spit those bars over the sound of a toilet running water and we still would’ve bobbed our heads. But “This Is How We Do It”? We’re not bobbing our heads in approval so much as we’re bobbing our heads to say “No, not this song again.”
The only thing that saves “This Is How We Do It” was Montell Jordan’s vocals, because I can’t hate; he can sing. But after 19 years of hearing that man sound like Louis Armstrong after drinking too many Red Bull and vodkas (“Sha la la la la la lo! Shabada lo lo lo whoa! Lo lo lo low-oh-oh!”), I don’t get nostalgic or excited, I get hives. If I’m drunk when the song comes on, I get sober. It’s also ruined by his mediocre rapping, talking about how he used to be a lower-case g, and now he’s a big G…y’all know the rest, I don’t even have to finish it.
To be clear, I’m ripping on “This Is How We Do It” the song, which is not the same as ripping on Montell Jordan. The man had some minor hits outside of his biggest one. I remember the follow up single to “This Is How We Do It” was “Somethin’ 4 Da Honeyz” and I liked that song way more (even though he insisted on rapping badly again on the bridge).
He had a couple of ballads. There was “Fallin,” which I appreciated for sampling MC Eiht’s “Streiht Up Menace” that came out in 1996.
In 2002, he had another smooth record I heard on WHUR’s “Quiet Storm” show all the time, “You Must Have Been.”
But while all of these songs are good, none are as good as “Get It On Tonite.”
This song is exactly what I mean when I say a better, “Let me go pee real quick” record. Any of you out there who DJ or like putting together playlists, put “Get It On Tonite” on that 90s segment, and watch how quickly the dance floor gets filled up. Choose instead to play “This Is How We Do It” and watch how quickly the dance floor empties.
Ladies and gentlemen of the night, let’s ban together and ask all those controlling the music not to play “This Is How We Do It.” But don’t stop there! I want you all to share the songs you wish DJs or automated playlists would stop playing.
Here’s the criteria:
The song must be at least 3-years-old.
The song cannot have come out before 1988. This is so we can include Rob Base’s “It Takes Two,” a song I loathe.
It must be a song that gets played way more than it should. For example, according to my Spotify, “This Is How We Do It” has been streamed over 4.9 million times.
I plan on taking those songs and creating a playlist that I'll eventually share with everyone. I'll call it the “Bathroom Break.” Because these are the songs that let you know the DJ has gone for a bathroom break.