As far as I’m concerned, the 90’s were awesome. There was global prosperity, playboy Bill Clinton was president, and everyone was generally in a good mood. Well, except for the Middle Easterners, but then they’re always pissed off. Tyra Banks had shown us Black women could be sensational super models, and the Fresh Prince made us laugh every week with his antics. Were there really Black millionaires? I say again, the 90’s were awesome!!
What I miss most about the 90’s is the music. I sympathized with a Tribe Called Quest when they left their wallet in El Segundo. En Vogue encouraged me to hold on to my love. Mary J Blige had me and legions of other girls scrambling to find tek boots and baseball jerseys, and it was ok for dudes to dance with dance, as Kid N’ Play showed us in House Party.
In the 90’s if a guy asked a girl to dance, it didn’t automatically translate into a gratuitous sexual experience on the dance floor, with pelvic and backbones grinding and gyrating furiously against one another. We danced hard, sweated profusely and if the guy (or girl) was cute enough, shared a slow dance to the sounds of H-Town or Black Street, funkiness and all.
Suddenly, everything changed. Women traded in their baggy pants and baby doll dresses for bikinis and tight mini dresses in droves. Suddenly, no one wanted to dance anymore. The dance floor became a strip joint with huge black booties jiggling and bouncing with wanton abandon. The fun was all gone! I pin the demise of 90’s hip hop on one song: Rump Shaker.
Rump Shaker was the mainstream, acceptable version of Luke’s 2 Live Crew beach and pool side antics. The chicks in the video showed just enough skin to make them look desirable and not trashy. The guys made jet skiing and rapping about booties look like great fun! Who wouldn’t want to live life like that video? So from then on, that’s what we did as a generation. We eschewed the “running man”, the “bogle” and the “butterfly” for dropping it like it’s hot and whatever it is when you call it when a guy walks up behind and girl and sticks his crotch in her crack while she bend over and bounces her behind up and down. I sound like an old biddy, but ugh!
Thank you Wreckx-n-Effect. Indirectly, you gave the world Li’l Wayne, Nelly and every other mysogonistic crap rapper who objectifies women through their lyrics and videos. You ruined what was a very good party. It was all fun and games until you released that “hit!”