While perusing this list on Buzzfeed entitled, "14 Forgotten R&B Girl Groups" I decided to listen to one of my favorite songs of the 90's, Jade's "Don't Walk Away" via YouTube. This video is hilarious on many levels, which we'll get to, but it's also EXTREMELY 90's. What do I mean by that? I mean that nearly every random idea we associate with the 90s, and early 90s in particular, is in this video.
And yes, a "Most 90s Music Videos" list is coming soon.
Before we get into Jade's video, let me address this forgotten girl groups list. I need a defintion of forgotten that includes demographic information. Because this list includes: Total (arguable), Zhané (their two singles anybody knows still jam, but I'll concede this one), 702 (again arguable), MoKenStef (definitely forgotten), Allure (another definite), Blaque (yep…"808" didn't quite have the legs it should have. RIP Natina), Kut Klose (Keith Sweat got a little arrogant with all the K's, no? And yes, forgotten), Changing Faces (eh…yeah, forgotten), SWV (total bullox, they lost me on this one…nobody will ever forget SWV), Jade (mostly forgotten but hey, they gave us great music), Nuttin' Nyce (gonna go ahead and say this one is dead on accurate; just last week I was listening to a Hi-Five song featuring Nuttin' Nyce and was like who the fuck is that? Turns out its a group I don't remember. Point sustained), Jomanda (this group is so forgotten, I don't even remember them existing in the 90s; I legit had to look up their hit and was like THAT was them??), Brownstone (same level as Jade in my opinion), and Xscape (leaning towards a few levels below SWV, but definitely not forgotten, but I could argue you down that they are). Again, I need a definition of forgotten because no list with that identifier should include SWV and to a lesser extent Xscape. They might as well have put En Vogue on there, hell.
Back to the lecture at hand (90s Snoop was straight murder…get it…because he went on trial for…never mind), while watching Jade's video for "Don't Walk Away" I was immediately transported to 1992 with the clothing, the style, the total non-sensical shit that happened in music videos back than and said to my self, "hey self, you haven't really done a video review in forever. Perhaps you should do that today."
So today, creep with me as we stroll through the #ThatsSo90s world of Jade's "Don't Walk Away" video.
0:00 - 0:20: This video opens with a staple of 90s group videos…some trashy section of town with lots of graffiti and chain link fencing. I once tried to hurdle one of those fences and got my shoe lace caught. I went face first into the concrete. We will call that experience "My First Concussion". And yes, it happened in the 90s. See what I did there? Also, why do rebels hang out in places like this. And this opening montage is full of people who look like rebels. Unemployed rebels because its clearly mid-day. But we have low-riders and motorcycles. Low-riders were huge in the 90s. Now they're pants.
Also a staple of 90s videos is the phone call-to-answering machine segment. That's a post in and of itself, "The Best Videos that Featured A Phone Call Being Sent To An Answering Machine". Where's Jozen at when you need him?
Now here's where this shit goes WAY 90s. And we're only like 20 seconds in.
You've got the harmonized greeting which…let me tell you something…EVERYBODY wanted their own line in high school JUST so you could create some type of dope greeting with singing and shit. It ain't like anybody but McDonald's or friends were calling anyway.
0:25: Why did they hi-five each other at having to leave a message? I have watched this video 6 times now and I'm still lost here. Like these two 90s fade hair cut dudes gave themselves congratulatory hi-fives as if they were afraid they got the wrong number but they didn't so even though they ain't get through, they're just glad they didn't get FUBAR'd. And no, that acronym doesn't work here. And yes, I'm leaving it. Point is, why were they hi-fiving? Somebody call Sway.
0:26: Why is there a cat in this video? How it happen? Why it happen? But this just proves my point about random non-sense thrown into videos. No ideas were ever turned down. "Hey, I have a great idea. Let's bring in Sasquatch wearing a tu-tu for a dance sequence." "GREAT IDEA! It's 1991…NOBODY ELSE IS DOING THAT!"
0:27-0:35: Another significant 90s staple - college apparrel and Troop boots (they weren't wearing Troops but they did have on combat style boots which were very popular). Considering how popular college was in the 90s amongst Black people, its amazing we all know so many people who didn't graduate. Then again, niggas were hype to go just to get the apparel and or pledge Omega Psi Phi. Once they got there and niggas handed them books they were like hell to the nah…they kept the sweatshirts though. By the way, the coolest people always got to wear the Georgetown stuff in videos. This is indisputable.
0:37 : They walked RIGHT into a dope dance move that I still perform when ever I get the chance. The stomp-and-arm thing. It's still applicable. I'll bet they still do that at family reunions.
0:37-0:47: We get an upclose view of a lot of styles of the 90s. Mainly the most ubiquitous - the plaid too big button up shirt with the too big jeans and boots combo. There's definitely a skully in here somewhere. And of course, the women had on the crisphy white wifebeaters with the box braids. Nostalgia is a bitch because I'm tearing up right now.
0:50-1:05: This 10 second stretch is important because it features a lot of dance moves that were CENTRAL to the 90s and crescendos into the verse and the most ubiqutous dance of the 90s, the world famous, infamous, grand daddy of the two-step, the Gangster Walk.
1:22: We get a good view of what men were wearing in the 90s here as well. Basically, the same shit women were wearing. Oh, those Karl Kani outfits with the denim vest/pant combos…wow those are atrocious. But you put your Troops on with them joints and you automatically became as cool as Jodeci. This is also indisputable. I did like the overalls with the hoodie though. I never owned these things mind you.
1:50: I just realized they're wearing Doc Martens. An expensive ass 90s staple that has had a bit of a resurgence amongst the fashionable set. I know they never went out of style and were mostly worn by the goth kids, but it seems like more teens are rocking them nowadays…again. A lot.
Also…there was A LOT of dancing in crouched positions in the early 90s and a lot of knee centric dances. I'll bet a lot of folks who were in their 20s in the 90s are having substantial knee problems now. I have no proof of this, but I'm going to go ahead and assume it to be true.
2:00-2:12: Honestly, if I lived in areas like this - clearly LA - as a youth watching these videos that look like they just came about at random, I'd always think that if I got my friends together and we went to a decrepit warehouse like area with proper lighting, plaid shirts, and at least one lowrider, that a music video would break out. I'd always be disappointed if it never happened. Too many videos looked just like this.
2:32: This dude dancing with the maroon on is giving SO much work to his shoulders. Why he never started a dance-workout video is beyond me. He shows back up later in this video doing a different rendition of the same dance and its just as awesome as the first time. We are all better becaue this guy existed.
Pretty much the rest of this video is the exact same as the beginning. People dancing in place in an abandoned area with lots of plaid and bit hats or braids. There's some pretty fancy and seductive rail dancing happening around the 4 minute mark as well.
Mostly because this got long I'm stopping. But this is one 90s ass video.
And we're all better for it.