MY TOP 10


So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

And without further ado, Number 1.

1. Tupac “Brenda’s Got a Baby”
Tupac was poetic and could be romantic as well as derogatory and offensive.  It was when he tapped into his political and equally rebellious and enlightening spirit that he was most potent.  He was an orator that was at the same time detached observor and emoting experiencer or participant. “Brenda’s Got a Baby” is a brutal look at too harsh a reality.  It was his debut single from his debut album, 2Pacalypse Now. It would have been interesting to see what he would have grown into if he would have been allowed time and space to shed off the anger and stubbornness.  I think we would have had a  social-political hip hop leader who would have been the first of his kind.  The BONUS is from his sophomore album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.  I always liked the gender twist in this video.

***BONUS*** Tupac “Holler If Ya Hear Me”

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So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

Two down; one to go.

2. The Notorious B.I.G. “Juicy”
Hip Hop became the dominant force in music from the ’80s and into the ’90s.     Hip hop today is “pop.”  Not that there’s a “poppy” sound there, but it is one of, if not the, dominant genres of mainstream popular music.  At the heart of its story are the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac.  I heard Jamie Foxx refer to himself and KanYe West as the Batman and Robin of music on TV once.  I think the true Batman and Robin of hip hop were Biggie and Puffy.  Biggie could definitely rhyme and Diddy provided, arguably, some of the best beats in all of hip hop history.  Something about that pairing at that time worked and it started with this single “Juicy” from his debut, Ready to Die.   Now, when someone dies, it does seem to make them a deeper and faster legend than maybe they would have become.  Still, this represents a moment in time that can never be duplicated.  The BONUS, the posthumous “The Notorious B.I.G” from Born Again, is a tribute to Biggie Smalls.  I was impressed when I found out the sample was from Duran Duran BITD.

***BONUS*** Notorious B.I.G. featuring Lil’ Kim and Puff Daddy “Notorious B.I.G.”

So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

Some things came up on the weekend, so I wasn’t able to post Number 3 and 2 then.  So, this countdown will end just how it began — with a three-fer.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

3. Eminem “My Name Is”
Whether or not you agree with what he has to say in his songs and how he does things, you can’t deny his talent.  His lyricism and dark comedic cynism connected with the masses straight out the gate (though he did have an independent album prior to his first official commercial release, but I’m not counting it).  And, that’s the difference between him and some of the other Divos on this countdown — It wasn’t after being in a boy band or on a sophomore album.  He’s also held off a few strong contenders from the Number 1 spot both on the album and single charts more than on one occasion.  This is why he’s Number 3.  In this video in particular he hinted at character acting chops.  I still want to see what more he can do hosting an episode of SNL or playing a character totally unlike himself.  The BONUS, “Lose Yourself,” from his acting debut, 8 Mile, showed new maturity and growth, both musically and contextually.

***BONUS*** Eminem “Lose Yourself”

So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

4. Usher “You Make Me Wanna…”
Usher or JT?  Who’s is the Prince of R&B/Dance/Pop?  Did they really have a dance-off some years ago?  Well, Usher one ups JT — on this countdown, anyway.  Like many of the Divos on this countdown, this was not Usher’s first recording, but this is the one that broke through.  This is the first single from his sophomore release, My Way.  The BONUS is “U Remind Me,” the first single from his junior album, 8701.  I really liked this song when it came out.  Looks  like they purposely casted Mya, Brandy, and Tamia look-alikes (in that order) throughout the video and the real Chilli (from fave group, TLC) is featured at the end.  We all know how their story ended up, but we’re not going there.  Enjoy the videos.

***BONUS*** Usher “U Remind Me”

So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

5. Justin Timberlake “Cry Me a River”
So, though this was JT’s second single (the first was BONUS video “Like I Love You”) from his solo debut, Justified, I take it as his official jump-off  because it made quite the splash. It tackily interpolated his relationship with Brit-Brit, though.  Hey, this is just one editor’s opinion, but, I can’t deny the success of this video.  He was smart to enlist Timbaland to give his N’ Sync clean-cut boy sound a grittier urban upgrade. 

***BONUS*** Justin Timberlake featuring Clipse “Like I Love You”

So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

6. Jay-Z “Dead Presidents”
Now, Jay-Z’s debut and evolution were more like a slow sizzle than an immediate explosion.  His debut album, Reasonable Doubt, got a lot of critical praise even though it wasn’t a super-fan-favorite straight out the box.  Historically, it stands the test of time.  Jay-Z is commended for his lyrical prowess on those early recordings.  The BONUS tonight, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” from his junior album, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life, which famously sampled Annie, is that mainstream crossover hit that many artists hope for and it was also his most successful single at the time.

***BONUS*** Jay-Z “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”

So, it’s been a year since I started popolio.com and kicked it of with my first MY TOP 10 Countdown in September 2008.  Since popolio.com was jumping off, I kicked it off with MY TOP 10: 90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs.  Well, this is the twelfth month, so I thought it would create nice symmetry if I presented the men as a bookend to that very first countdown before Year 2 officially begins.  This time around the Div-Os, or Divos, will get the spotlight.

7. Ricky Martin “Livin’ La Vida Loca”
This man and this song is what kicked off the Latin explosion of 1999.  This is what paved the way for Number 8, Enrique Iglesias (click here), as well as Marc Anthony, J.Lo, Shakira,  Thalia and Paulina Rubio.  Though his US appeal was somewhat limited, no one made a bigger splash, at the time, than Mr. Martin.  It is from his self-titled English debut.  The BONUS is his live performance of “The Cup of Life” at the 1999 Grammys that preceded this single and set things off for him and the Latin thang’ in the US.  This performance went down in history as one of those it performances.

***BONUS*** Ricky Martin “The Cup of Life” 1999 Grammy Performance

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