On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre – No Diggity (1996)
” No Diggity” is a 1996 song released by American R&B group Blackstreet as the first single for their second studio album Another Level featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and in New Zealand, and number nine in the United Kingdom.
We’re staying in the US and in New York, dear reader, as the sun sets on 1996. Formed in 1993 by three record producers – Thomas R. Taliaferro, Chauncey “Black” Hannibal and Teddy “Street” Riley – Blackstreet were a group that specialised in R&B. We join them in 1996 with the release of their second album – Another Level – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – No Diggity.
No Diggity features guest vocalists – Dr Dre and Queen Pen – who each take a verse with other members of the group also on singing duties. We hear tales of Blackstreet and the women that can be found there. Beautiful they appear to be but they come at a price. The men in the song are bowled over by one particular woman and it is clear we are dealing with prostitution here. Later in the song Queen Pen throws in her viewpoint as the woman who is worshipped by dozens of men flocking to Blackstreet. Rather than looked upon negatively, this woman is considered superior to all the others.
Blackstreet and No Diggity is a song I remember very well. I watched the music video many dozens of times back in the days when I had access to MTV. I never knew what it was about prior to doing the research for this post so it was interesting to learn more. This is still a genre I need to learn more about but No Diggity is a catchy and impressive collaboration. The group split up in 2003 but reformed in 2014 and continue to perform to this day.
Favourite songs so far: