School's almost out, which means a number of things. First, I'll be relaxed sometime in the near future. Second, I'll probably have time to pack on some much-needed pounds. Finally, I'll be blogging again. (Confetti! Sparkling Lights! Silly String! Heavily Oiled Gentlemen in Thongs!) Yes, everyone, the excitement is palpable.
To kick off my return to the webiverse, allow me to pay homage to wedding season. Just a week ago, Afenya, the sister of a high school friend, tied the knot. It was a nice wedding, sweet and all that. Later this summer, another friend, Rachel (shout out!), will be making the big step. All of this has me thinking about wedding songs, tunes perfect for making major commitments, and I came up with a list of epic proportions. Luckily, I'll only include a small slice of that list here.
"Mo Betta" Raheem DeVaughn
This is a relatively new song, but it may be eligible for all time status; only time will tell. Some months ago I raved about Raheem's latest CD Love Behind the Melody. Well it is that same album that contains one of the most moving declarations of r&b love ever. The song is "Mo Betta" and, honestly, it doesn't get much better.
"Can't Go Wrong" O.C.
The year was 1994. Everybody was on Nas's jock, especially my friend Rachel (not the same getting married Rachel mentioned above). I, however, was singing the praises of another Queens rapper, Omar Credle AKA O.C. (People don't name their sons Omar anymore; that's too bad.) I Looooooved Word ... Life. Jewelz, which came out about three years later, was his follow-up and criminally slept on cuz there was this hip hop witch hunt that sought to figuratively hang any rapper who appeared to be going commericial. "Far From Yours" did not help the cause. Too bad, Jewelz was and is damn good and contains one of the best hip hop love songs of all time, "Can't Go Wrong."
"Let No One Separate Us" The Deele
Boy did I love The Deele. Yep, I knew "The Deele before Babyface went solo" © Ras Kass. I even had a crush on Kayo (see: first verse of "Two Occasions"). Anyway, most people don't know that their slow jamming repertoire extends past that and "Shoot 'Em Up Movies." "Let No One Separate Us" is a wonderful concoction of sweet n' sappy 80s.
"Lullaby" Omar Lye-Fook f/ Syreeta
I once had friends. We used to ride around at odd hours of the night doing things octogenarians enjoy like hitting up the 24-hour Super K-Mart, eating at the Squeez (Baker's Square), or hitting up the suburbs just because. On these journeys, we'd listen to tunes on top of tunes. See, at the time, I worked at a slightly snooty, but customer friendly independent music store (Crow's nest employees, stand up!). My friends were music elitists, so our driving soundtracks were allways on point. One particular artists we all enjoyed was the the Brit soulster (that was menat to be funny ... soulster) Omar. Dude had jams. One such jam is "Lullaby," a duet with Syreeta Wright (yes, Stevie's ex) which appears on his 1997 album This is Not a Love Song.
"My Heart Belongs to You" Jodeci
Man, sometimes you just gotta break out the leather vests with matching pants, get down on both knees, and wail like you're auditioning for the Ebenezar Baptist Church choir. Jodeci is one of my top five male groups of all time. I love those dudes. "My Heart Belongs to You" is simply that shit.
"Orange Moon" Erykah Badu
Other times, you gotta don a head wrap and burn some nag champa and as you clutch your lover's shea butter-soaked locks in your silver and turquoise encircled fingers. ASHE! yeah, mickeyfickeys are extra sometimes, and when Erykah Badu first dropped, I was annoyed as hell. With Mama's Gun I momentarily relented on the hate and enjoyed the ride. I'm still not sure what the hell she's singing about, but "Orange Moon" is great, so I kinda don't care.
"Stay This Way" The Brand New Heavies f/ N'Dea Davenport
Once upon a time, I was a weird youngster who dressed funny. I've since changed. Now I'm old and dress funny. Back in the day, though, I was very close to idolizing a lady by the name of N'Dea Davenport. She and The Brand New Heavies were so ill to me. They had fun and funky songs that I danced aroung to in my room. "Stay this Way" is one of my all time favorites. It's such a happy, optimistic love song.
"Love Ballad" L.T.D.
No explication; if you're in the know, you know. A straight classic
"You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" Sylvester
No list, in my eyes, is complete without at least one disco tune. I have a weird infatuation/obsession with Sylvester James. S/he epitomized the perfect combination of diva and gospeldelics and raw 70s energy. "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" is perhaps one of my favorite songs of all time, regardless of genre. Every time I hear it, I have to get loose. I'm so enamored of this song that I've committed myself to singing a rendition of this tune at Rachel's wedding later this summer. I'm gonna need a lot of vodka cranberries to get the job done, but I'm sure I'll be fantastic.