Like Boyz II Men once sang so beautifully, this is the end of the road. Well, at least for Crushin on the 90s. It’s been such a blast revisiting my favorite decade with some of my favorite guests from the first 89 episodes of Crushgasm! But before we look ahead to the 100th episode and more…let’s take one final look at 1999 (for now). We covered this year with Jon Reilly, host of ‘Life’s But a Song’ and the co-host of ‘Movie Deja Vu.’ During that Jon gave insight on everything from why female singers are better in pop music, a hot take on M. Night Shyamalan, and we both revealed that we’d never seen one of HBO’s biggest series. What one was that? If you know your TV history and this year, you know…if you don’t – listen! The episode is right here!
Now into why we’re here…the final year of the ‘90s was one overflowing with pop culture goodness. We had boy bands, extreme sports, and a girl who really made us believe the 21st century was about to be IT. So far it’s not been, which is probably why those of us who grew up then yearn to go back to the days when only rich kids had the bare-bones internet, and JNCO Jeans were a trend instead of a comical memory. Jon and I covered a couple of things below, but the rest are pieces of pop culture that could not be forgotten, and reasons why I was crushin on 1999.
Stop-motion animation blew ‘90s kids away when ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ came out in 1993, and since then we’ve seen this artform grow into one of the most inspired. However, one show that doesn’t get enough credit for its utilization of it? ‘The PJs.’ Leading the voice cast was none other than Eddie Murphy. By his side was the iconic Loretta Devine. Already right there; stacked. The show followed Eddie’s Thurgood, the super of the Hilton-Jacobs projects. When you talk about shows that highlight various ways of living, this show gave the same level of struggle that others such as ‘Roseanne’ did in the early ‘90s and ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ would in the 2000s. It was perfect but sadly didn’t last as long as fans would’ve liked.
Limp Bizkit ‘Significant Other’
Jon and I touched on Woodstock ‘99 and the documentaries that came from that highlighted not only the chaos of the event, but the underlying toxic masculinity, and at the helm of that were artists like Kid Rock, Korn, and Limp Bizkit. I could get into the whole thing of these acts being the straw that broke the camel’s back and the reason emotions were placed first in rock music with Linkin Park bridging the gap for teens who grew up with the aforementioned but were more aware of their feelings – which then led to the emo boom of the 2000s, but I’ll get back to an album that had no business being as good as it was. “Nookie,” “Break Stuff,” and “N 2 Gether Now” still manage to get 30-somethings too hyped to this day.
Adam Sandler’s movies were not ones I watched growing up, and I’m not sure why. I love nonsense, but somehow missed all hit heavy hitters until ‘Big Daddy.’ This movie is as hilarious as it is endearing and I think set Sandler up to move into more dramatic realms as we entered the new millennium.
Destiny’s Child “Say My Name”
So my absolute favorite Destiny’s Child song came out a couple of years prior but this year it was hard to get away from the power of “Say My Name.” Plus, the video was just as great as the song with the color schemes and design. Artists today, that’s how you take a simple concept and make it iconic.
Britney Spears ‘…Baby One More Time’
If I were to list my favorite pop record, Britney Spears would own two spots and this would be one of them. It is everything you want in a pop record; catchy music, easy-to-learn lyrics, and at the time encased a sense of innocent romance that I think tweens and teens sort of are tricked into thinking they want (and understand). Put all of that together and pop perfection occurs.
Skateboarding, rollerblading, insane bike tricks. Anything you saw at the X-Games was cool as fuck. So Nickelodeon knew they had to get there with their own take on extreme sports. Looking back, those kids were like 8-10 years old doing the absolute most, but my brother and I were enthralled with them.
Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century
Zenon was that girl. She lived in space, dressed so freaking cool, and managed to save the day with her favorite musician by her side. Um, if you didn’t think she was cool…may I ask why? Her awesomeness aside, this movie is still my #1 Disney Channel Original Movie. Yes, even topping ‘High School Musical!’
Mariah Carey ‘Rainbow’
Since I already wrote about my love of ‘Millennium’ earlier this week, I had to place another album I listened to more times than I feel is normal right here. It could be none other than Mariah Carey’s ‘Rainbow.’ I’d been a fan of hers since elementary school, but this record suddenly became my everything. To this day, it sits in my top 10 of all time.
TLC “No Scrubs”
If you say the word “scrub” in front of a 30-year-old, there’s a 99.9% chance that they are going to sing “No Scrubs” by TLC. Jon and I talked about whether this became their signature song after 1999. What do you think?
There was a memo that went around Hollywood in 1998 that said, if you wanna do a teen movie – make sure to release it next year. Okay, so I’m not sure that occurred but it feels like it seeing as how 1999 was the year of the teen movie. ‘She’s All That,’ ’10 Things I Hate About You,’ ‘Drive Me Crazy,’ ‘American Pie,’ and my personal favorite of the bunch, ‘Cruel Intentions.’ All came through that year for a cascade of youths to attach themselves to, and attach we did. We bought into every story taken in at our local theater then, or at a later date when some had to beg their parents to rent them. We were obsessed and rightfully so.