Monday, December 6, 2010

My Awkward Songs

I am a child of the 90s.

In the early 90s, I was an elementary school student obsessed with Mariah Carey, in the mid-90s, I was middle schooler who was the most faithful Spice Girl fan EVER, and in the late 90s, as a high schooler, I got to meet my new idol, Britney Spears when she came to our mall for an autograph signing.

In the middle of all this awesomeness, I encountered some random, now mostly forgotten pop songs which impacted my adolescence.

This is my life, told with each bittersweet, horribly bad song.

Enjoy.

"Gangsta's Paradise"
Coolio



I performed this song with a straight face during a middle school talent show in 1995. It didn't take me very long to memorize the lyrics, since the song was played on the radio every half hour. It was my attempt at dry humor and I was pleased to see it worked. It received more laughter and applause than my 5th grade mime performance, where I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe and chased invisible balloons around stage for five minutes. And that act had been a solid hit!


"Don't Let Go (What's it Gonna Be?)"
En Vogue




When I discovered I was moving to the cornfields of Nebraska from the sunny beaches of southern Florida in 1996, I was devastated. I loved my life in Tampa, plus, I had already established an almost-boyfriend, Frankie. (An almost-boyfriend is a big deal for a 12-year-old.) Frankie and I had met at the back-to-school dance, where I taught him the precise steps to the Macarena. Later that night, we slow danced to a couple of Boyz II Men songs. It was magical. Well, as a sweet and sorrowful goodbye present, Frankie gave me the tape single for Don't Let Go. He said it was our song. At the time I thought it was sweet, but now I just think it was creepy. Especially after seeing the music video and actually listening to the lyrics.


"Your Woman"
White Town



When I was 13, I didn't know what this song meant. Now at 26, and after seeing this perplexing music video, I still don't know what it means. But when I was in eighth grade, this song played on the radio EVERY TEN MINUTES. Nobody knew what it meant, but they loved it, apparently. To this day, when I hear this song on one of those "gen x" radio stations, I get the most vivid memories of driving with my parents to Wal-Mart or carpooling with my neighbor, Katie, to school. It's amazing how much a stupid song can create such strong flashbacks...


"Ditty"
Paperboy




This song is from 1993. But it didn't influence my life until 2001. I was hanging out with my best friend, Jeff, and we decided to take a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio, one weekend. He made a mixed tape for me and played it while we were on the road. When this song came on, he had me pull over, and this was the soundtrack to one of the most romantic moments of my life. During this song, Jeff professed that was deeply in love with me and wanted us to get married and have children once we graduated high school. He said he already had our house picked out. Well, once the fall of 2002 came, Jeff and I went to different colleges. He headed to NYU and I went to journalism school out west. But distance isn't what has kept us from rekindling our love: Jeff came out of the closet in 2006.


Oh, and as a bonus, I've included the Spice World trailer. I'll never forget where I was when I saw this trailer for the first time. I was with my sister, Jenn, at some now-forgotten Leonardo DiCaprio movie and we almost fainted with the fabulousness. Unfortunately, by the time the film actually made it to theaters in Nebraska, Spice Girl mania had died somewhat and we ended up being the only people in the theater opening weekend.

62 comments:

chrischaos said...

gangsters paradise was so amazing back in the day :D

Couture Carrie said...

Loooooove this post! Gangsta's Paradise was one of my favorite songs back in the day!

xoxox,
CC

mariahsmile said...

Great post! It is strange how you (and me both) relate where we are and what we were doing when a certain song was on the radio!

Pop Champagne said...

SPICE WORLD. I loved that movie LOL. i mean sure it didn't have a plot or whatever but what did people expect?! it was the spice girls! and gnagsta's paradise is on my playlist still :D

btw funny story about your cheerleading team on the mexicans for the 911 incident. I laughed haha

Marialaura Barbato said...

great post! nice!!!


http://fashionlivesalwaystwotimes.blogspot.com

secrets of a goodlooking girl!! said...

I have a cd with all these oldskool songs. You must have discovered your talent very early.. great blog btw..
www.magnifique.blog.com

Paige said...

um...we are the same person! love it!

Alicia said...

I'm pretty sure that you and I have identical musical history. Oooooh the 90's! Coolio was actually my very first CD and my mom had no idea what she bought me and my friends that I was the COOLEST for owning it.

Andrés Corella said...

jaja I love the spice girls...that movies was fiercely ridiculous and I loved it haha...besides I am still fan of their music they have some amazing songs.

http://fiercepty.blogspot.com/

xx
Andy

JUST ME said...

I loved Gangsta's Paradise.

Seeing my white self sing that at full volume must have been hilarious.

Josie said...

I was just a touch too young for all of these songs, unfortunately -- because they are quite wonderful, I'm not going to lie!
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

drollgirl said...

i wish i could have seen your coolio performance~!!!!!!!

tanvii.com said...

I still like gangsters paradise ... I am lame! :P

Venus In Virgo said...

That was a great selection :) its always nice to go down memory lane XOXO

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

I loved En Vogue lol. Never Gonna Get It, specifically was my fave.

Vikki said...

Haha! This post put a huge smile upon my face! I'm a 90s girl too and I can totally relate to all the songs you've picked!

I still remember my Spice Girls days!!!

xxx
Vikki

http://stylometre.blogspot.com

Nnenna said...

throwback!! love it :)

starcrossedsmile.blogspot.com

Sjaar said...

actually they arent so bad after all! I think they still are great! Especially gangsters paradise cause it has a good message!

BlueVanilla said...

This is great i can relate to all these songs! I'm from Nebraska originally i can feel your pain! lol
Great post!
xx

Becky-May said...

wow i love this! i am a child of the 90s too. gotta love that grunge.

thanks for your sweet comment


BM

thebohemiangoods.blogspot.com

x

Nåna said...

hey
thanks for the comment
the first sond used to be my favourite when i was 11 years old
lovely post
xoxo
nana
http://nanajonesofficial.blogspot.com/

indianmakeupways said...

nice post. i too recognize a lot of songs in there and i was sooooo much into spice girls and britney spears. its true, certain songs do take you down the memory lane :)

nuttypigeon said...

I love your trip down memory lane! I was lucky enough to waitress for coolio about a month ago, and have always loved Gangsta's paradise :)

freakytortoise.blogspot.com

Melanie's Randomness said...

Your amazing! I remember all of these!! =)

Kara said...

OMG, Gangster's Paradise.. i knew all the lyrics! (I actually just downloaded it a few weeks ago). And do I remember Spice World.. I don't know if I've ever been more excited about a movie, it was epic for me and my friends. After that, we would dress up and act out scenes from it! Ah, the good old days hahaha.

http://sprinklesinsprings.blogspot.com/

BARESTUDY (Janelle) said...

i love the songs of the 90s! i too am a 90s baby :P

anyway, thanks for commenting on my blog. hope you come visit me again and follow my blog too. thanks!

Janelle
http://barestudy.blogspot.com

Sandra said...

How sad is it that I perked up at the song Spice World?

CaliforniaCandy said...

Oh how I loved these songs too, I never had enough En Vogue... I was addicted to Jody Watley and Toni Braxton. I heart the 90's!!

http://californiacandy.wordpress.com/

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Love reading your story growing up with the music! I used to be obssessed with Spice Girls too! Their movie was epic and brought back lots of fun memories :-) xoxoxoxo

VicissitudiniLombarde said...

Cool songs :)) Thank you so much Jenninfer for your sweet comments!

xx
Marc

SMASH said...

Not gonna lie, I've seen Dangerous Minds at least 5 or 6 times and that Coolio songs seriously gives me chills when its played during the movie lolz

xx
MILK TEETHS

Sherin said...

Oooo, this whole post is bringing back so many memories. Gangsta's Paradise was a song I remember from my childhood and I died of fabulousness when I saw the Spice World movie/trailer.

Rachel {Inspiration in Italy} said...

I love this post Jennifer! Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise was such an awesome song during it's popularity!! Aside from music, Clueless was my absolute favourite movie during the 90's and I literally studied Sher's outfits and tried to copy them! haha I guess I'm a 90's preppy at heart....

I hope you are having a great week my friend!

Rachel

Gertrude said...

Thanks for stopping by!! Great post.. love gangsta's paradise!

yiqin; said...

spice world is amazinng

wardrobemag said...

I loved the Spice Girls, I remember really loving that film but don't know if I still would if I watched it today!

Bhav x

Audrey Allure said...

Great songs - definitely brought back some memories. I loved the Spice Girls when I was a kid.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ohmigosh En Vogue! I used to sing that song ALL the time as a child - with full-on attitude to boot. And SPICE WORLD! I still have that movie. I thought I was Baby Spice for a good eight years of my life!! :P

Lydia Kang said...

These do bring me back to the 90's...
Hey, I'm a huge Morrissey fan too.
Nice to meet you and your blog, I found you from Christopher's blog.
*waves*

Christopher said...

Coolio tried to bum a cigarette off me at the liquor store the other day.

Oh, and you won my contest! So email me your address at notesfromundergroundblog at gmail dot com and I'll send you my... i mean your books!

Vagabond said...

I'm a kid of '90s too! But I'm '94 so I don't really remember the obsession about Spice girls or Maria Carey. But Britney Spears, woow every girl loved her! I wasn't her fan for a very long time, I just don't like the kind of music. But now when I listen to her old song we all were singing in '90s I really like her! :D

'There is a light...' is my the smith's favourite song too! :) So thank you for what you said about my pictures, I'm so happy you like them :)

I'm so jealous you've been to arizona! that's great. I hope to travel there soon to, and if I enjoy it, maybe even to live there in the future!

Rania said...

Like your choices,I like Gangsta's paradise and some years ago I used to listen pop like Britney Spears a lot too.
Thank you for stopping by at my blog,keep in touch :)

http://nothinglikefashion.blogspot.com/

btd. said...

Oh My Goodness! I LOVE THE SPICE GIRLS! I still do even to this day. I have their movie, I used to have all the dolls, and I still have a signed poster that used to be my Mother's hanging on my wall! xD

Couture Carrie said...

P.S. Thanks for your enthusiastic comment on my Tron post :)

xoxox,
CC

Lemmiwinks said...

You are never called upon to prove a negative. That's a law of logic.

SMASH said...

Hey Jen--just dropping by to say i've nominated you for an award over at my blog! :)

xx
MILK TEETHS

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Very sweet piece of nostalgia, here.

I loved the Spice Girls, too.

erica said...

haha. I don't really miss the 90's.. but as everyone else has said, Gansta's Paradise was amazing.

Dina's Days said...

Ok were you just in my head? This is kinda scary. I love to make a complete fool out of myself and karaoke on the weekends and I seriously considered picking Gangsters Paradise this weekend, and I am forever screaming Don't Let Go in my car.
I love the 90s. Like a lot.
You're amazing for this post.

Sydnie said...

90s music was absolutely amazing! I was a huge Spice Girls, N*Sync, and Backstreet Boys fan, not to mention about a billion others! This post cracked me up!

Sydnie
www.takemeouttotherunway.blogspot.com

Dahl said...

Omigod these songs are amazing!! I love the 90's!! I wasn't born til the middle of the decade but im so glad i was because it's just the coolest decade in the world..these songs are great! http://thearcenciel.blogspot.com/

Dahl said...

Omigod these songs are amazing!! I love the 90's!! I wasn't born til the middle of the decade but im so glad i was because it's just the coolest decade in the world..these songs are great! http://thearcenciel.blogspot.com/

Ratu Annisaa said...

great songs!

Mouthwash said...

I love the Spice Girls movie so much..I have every line in that movie memorized. =D


Amber
ambersmouthwash

Heels lover said...

The 90's make me feel so nostalgic!

♥ kisses ♥

http://thrilloftheheel.blogspot.com/

Amelia is... said...

I was such a major spice girl fan (when I was 5-9) that I used to collect the photos of them - I don't know if they have them where you live but they certainly did in England. Great post!

www.ameliais.blogspot.com

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

What a lovely post!
I too also enjoyed Gansgta paradise;)

Tights Lover said...

Ahhh the memories! I absolutely loved this post. I'm sure you already know this, but the 90s were really my musical era.

I was a big fan of most of these songs myself and, just like you, they all put me at a particular time and place. Nothing can do that like music, right?

Rachel said...

Gangsta's Paradise!! Hahaha. That's the only one of these songs I know. Lol.

And Spice World... Omg. I still have that on tape and I totally watched it earlier this year. :)

Jen Ben said...

Ah ha ha! I will never forget our Spice Girl adventure and the screen blowing up...it's probably one of my favorite life memories ever!

Charles said...

not as embarrassing as you think! trust me, i have worse on my list :) xx

Krisbliss said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! Hahaha love this! It's crazy how a song can recall a specific memory in your life! Those were some funny stories, but I can relate!

http://thekrisbliss.blogspot.com