Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back In the Day: 2009 versus 1999

I'm capping off the original 'Back In the Day' series with a look at Billboard's Charts, and comparing how 2009 stacks up to 1999. In semi-related news, congrats are deserved toward Ms. Ke$ha, who scored her first #1 with debut "Tik Tok" -- joining the ranks of Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga in hitting the peak spot with her debut single, as well as being the first official #1 of the new decade.

Here is how the Hot 100 shaped up in the final "official" week of 2009:

10. Jay Sean - Down (feat. Lil' Wayne)
9. Britney Spears - 3
8. The Black Eyed Peas - Meet Me Halfway
7. Jason DeRulo - Whatcha Say
6. David Guetta - Sexy Chick (feat. Akon)
5. Owl City - Fireflies
4. Iyaz - Replay
3. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
2. Ke$ha - Tik Tok
1. Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)

Only two of these artists represented were relevant back in 1999 in terms of the Hot 100, and considering how disposable pop artists are starting to become in terms of long term careers, that number is a feat in itself. Those two are obviously Britney and Hova. Jay-Z made his official debut in 1996, and his major label bow the following year, while Ms. Spears joined the Chart Pack in that illustrious year that was 1999 itself. Yes, its arguable that the Black Eyed Peas were also apart of the scene at the time, as they formed back in 1995, but we would not see the current lineup (read: including Fergie) until 2003.

Now, let's compare to the last week of 1999:
10. Kevon Edmonds - 24/7
9. Blaque - Bring It All To Me
8. Donell Jones - U Know What's Up
7. Missy Elliot - Hot Boyz (feat. NAS, EVE and Q-Tip)
6. Marc Anthony - I Need To Know
5. Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your Love
4. Savage Garden - I Knew I Loved You
3. Jessica Simpson - I Wanna Love You Forever
2. Brian McKnight - Back At One
1. Santana - Smooth (feat. Rob Thomas)

While there are no overlaps in terms of represented artists, there are allusions and stark differences.
  • #7-10 are proof of the Hot 100's more elastic love for genres, and that coupled with Brian McKnight's big hit (arguably, his best aside from the gorgeous "Anytime"), shows how much more disposed the American public was for mainstream R&B at the time -- compared to now.
  • Kevon Edmonds is actually the older brother of one of the biggest R&B producers ever, Babyface. "24/7" was from his debut album, and he just released his sophomore record this past October.
  • Blaque (the protege group of TLC's Lisa Lopes -- may she continue to RIP) and their "breakthrough" "Bring It All To Me" would be their highest showing on the chart, peaking at #4. While their other singles were certainly worthy of attention, it needs no debate that much of the interest for "Bring It All To Me" was thanks to an uncredited appearance by *NSYNC's JC Chasez, proclaiming his "thug appeal." That lyric still makes me giggle, ten years later.
  • The "fads" of the year were represented in the year in chart, by way of Jessica Simpson's debut "I Wanna Love You Forever" charting high for the Teen Pop Revolution (I had the single), and Marc  Anthony's crossover single "I Wanna Know"making an impact for the Latin Explosion (I had that one, too).
  • "My Love Is Your Love" would be Whitney's last big hit, as the majority of her chart entries afterward failed to crack the top half of the chart (sadly, including her current comeback).
  • While her main collaborator Timbaland would go on to make major strides (a future fact that absolutely none of us would have expected back in 1999), Missy Elliot (who back then more often went by her nickname of "Misdemeanor" would slowly see her relevance fade as the decade would go on. Meanwhile, Timbo's stock would rise and rise until he could literally do no wrong cerca 2006. Now, the jury is kind of out on whether or not Timbo is truly back. There is no question his break was a touch too long, as RedOne, Dr. Luke and Ryan Tedder have stolen his spotlight in terms of most sought after producers.
  • Savage Garden were only together as a band for four years, with 1999 being smack in the middle, complete with their tracks being put on heavy repeat on my local radio stations AND my tape deck. (Oh yeah, I said TAPE DECK. I had a penchant for recording Rick Dee's Weekly Top 40 radio program each week during this time. This is how I circumvented the expense of buying CDs pre-MP3. So clever.).
For a good midpoint of 1999 and 2009, let's take a peek at the week of my birthday -- June 17th.

2009: Lady Gaga - LoveGame
1999: Chante Moore - Chante's Got A Man
Thoughts: Strange to say that ten years feels like a million years ago, but when you see the differences between these two, it's hard not to feel that way.

2009: Sean Kingston - Fire Burning
1999: JT Money - Who Dat (feat. Sole)


2009: Kid CuDi - Day N' Nite
1999: Blaque - 808

2009: Keri Hilson - Knock You Down (feat. Ne-Yo and Kanye West)
1999: Shania Twain - That Don't Impress Me Much
Thoughts: What happened to Shania and her stampede of hits? While she may be MIA on the Hot 100, her brigade of tunes still sound awesome to me today.

2009: Beyonce - Halo
1999: Sixpence None the Richer - Kiss Me
Thoughts: Couple "Kiss Me" with the kind of atrocious (in a good guilty pleasure way) teen flick She's All That and you pretty much have a good look into my obsessions (other than teen pop) in 1999. Remember back when Freddie Prinze Jr. was a hearthrob and we all assumed he'd have a ridiculously long and varied career? Funny how hindsight reads 20/20.

2009: Jamie Foxx - Blame It (feat. T-Pain)
1999: 702 - Where My Girls At?
Thoughts: I may not have truly understood its meaning back then, but that 702 cut was my jam. It's kind of the ultimate of the waggin' your finger/shakin' your head/you don't touch my man songs. Am I right?

2009: Jeremih - Birthday Sex
1999: Maxwell - Fortunate
Thoughts: If Jeremih (more like Jere-meh) was expecting me to draw some kind of conclusive correlation between his mirror position with Maxwell, he is sadly mistaken. What happened to good R&B? Oh right -- it stayed far away from the Hot 100. ::sigh::

2009: Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
1999: TLC - No Scrubs

2009: Lady Gaga - Poker Face
1999: Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca
Thoughts: Ricky and Gaga have one thing in common: they crept up on an unsuspecting public and dazzled. I remember a fair share of Ricky Martin school folders and binders during this time. I much preferred my Joshua Jackson folder. (Oh yeah, that really happened. The shame!) Let's hope Gaga's reign lasts a bit longer than Ricky's did, por favor.

2009: The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
1999: Jennifer Lopez - If You Had My Love
Thoughts: People may scoff at J.Lo now, but she's accomplished so much since her above mentioned debut single just ten scant years ago. Not only did she have chart topping songs and albums, she had movies at the top of the heap as well. Hardly a title to be given easily, and for that fact alone, she should get much more props that she is currently getting. Perhaps if she made tracks more like this and "Waiting For Tonight" over throwing on her fave shoes, I might see my excitement for her projects reignite to where it was in '99.

And finally, let's take a look back at where the music world sat at the beginning of 1999, compared to a year ago today in early January 2009...

2009: Beyonce - If I Were A Boy
1999: Faith Evans - Love Like This

2009: T.I. - Whatever You Like
1999: Brandy - Have You Ever?

2009: Kanye West - Love Lockdown
1999: Total - Trippin' (feat. Missy Elliot)

2009: Taylor Swift - Love Story
1999: Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
Thoughts: Regarding the 2009 chart, not only are Kanye and Taylor back to back, both songs have "Love" in their title. Funny how much a year changes things. (I know what you're thinking -- OK Mel, I'ma let you finish, but this whole Taylor/Kanye thing has been beat to death and I wish you'd stop. Last time I'll mention it, I swear.) But in regards to the 1999 chart, this has to be, to this day, one of my absolute favorite songs. It's such a shame Lauryn hasn't come back to thrill us again.

2009: Katy Perry - Hot N Cold
1999: Shania Twain - From This Moment On

2009: Britney Spears - Womanizer
1999: 98 Degrees - Because of You
Thoughts: Ah, what a comparison. Aside from both being apart of the Teen Pop music (although 98 Degrees could be labeled more of a R&B group than a typical "boy band" during this time), I actually saw the pair perform together (and 98 Degrees headlined) at the New York State Fair back in 1999. PYT and No Authority opened. Holy flashback is right. ::rushes off to blare "Can I Get Your Number" about six times back to back shamelessly::

2009: Kanye West - Heartless
1999: Britney Spears - ...Baby, One More Time
Thoughts: Just shy of a comparison against herself, "Baby" remains to be Brit's most iconic song, and as much as I didn't want to admit it post 2000, I still really love this song. And you know what? I don't really mind admitting it now.

2009: Lady Gaga - Just Dance (feat. Colby O'Donis)
1999: Divine - Lately
Thoughts: "Lately" peaked at #1 in late '98. Nearly ten years later, one of the members of Divine auditioned for a spot on "American Idol". And was cut during the Hollywood Round. The pop world is a fickle place indeed. Funny, I don't really recall a backlash against her like there was for Joanna Pacitti this past season...

2009: T.I. - Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna)
1999: Deborah Cox - Nobody's Supposed To Be Here
Thoughts: "Nobody" still sounds passionate, raw and emotional when its spun on repeat on occasion in my iTunes. I was actually supposed to see Cox perform live in Broadway's Aida in 2003, but we saw her understudy instead. I'm still kinda p-oed about it.

2009: Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
1999: R. Kelly - I Am Your Angel
Thoughts: I believe this song was re-recorded for pop radio as a duet with Celine Dion (still on a high in terms of American popular from '97's "My Heart Will Go On"), and I much prefer this version to Kelly's original. No matter how much I may despise R.Kelly for his choices now, it's hard for me to admit that this wasn't a perfectly good ballad.


Do any of these songs spark any fond/not-so-fond memories from your past? Fill me in!


Mike said...

Ugh, my mom still has that Savage Garden album.

Aaron said...

Great Post Idea - Love it!

Some big songs - at least in terms of careers - this time ten years ago!

10 Years between albums? That's HUGE! - I would die if certain artists did that!

Ms. GaGa's LoveGame should have been bigger, that's all I'm going to say. But I probably would have tired from it getting overplayed...

And Yes! Shania's album still sounds remarkable (as Does Janet's early stuff, but that's not really relevant...) - Could easily be huge, and I'd love for her to come back with a very similar new album!

Kiss Me is absolutely gorgeous - That's really I can say about that!

I'm still a huge J.Lo fan!

Kinda not related, but Britney's Stronger should have been huge too - BRILLIANCE!

D'luv said...

Hapy New Year, vixen!


omg where have all those acts gone?? remember when jessica simpson will still relevant?? muahaha :p

interesting analysis here, mel.

happy new year! xo

Yuяi said...

I like your analysis of Timba. Perhaps his break was a bit too long. And I used to TAPE radio shows too.

Happy New Year to ya.

John said...

Such a great post idea. I loved the comparisons, and it's great to look back and see how far we've come (or fallen). Keep up the great work!

Mel said...

Mike - You say that like its a bad thing.

Aaron - Thanks for reading! I love hearing insight about musical history...I'm kind of Poindexter-y in that way. ;)

D-Luv - Ooh, vixen! I like that. ;) And to you, sir!

Will - Thanks! Happy New Year to you, too!

Yuri - Agreed on the Timbo front. I really wanted to get behind this new project but...meh. Happy New Year!

John - Thanks! It means a lot coming from you -- you always come up with such interesting reads!

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