Ridiculous Moments in R&B, Part 1.

(x-posted from Brokey’s spot)


So after finishing up my ridiculous moments in new jack swing post however many years ago, I seem to have become sensitive to all ridiculous moments in music.  I noticed very recently that my subconscious has been compiling a working list of ridiculous moments in R&B, all of R&B, not just the 90s, so I sat down intending to do a quick purging.  Turns out this quick purging is too long for just one post, so I think it’s gonna be a 3-parter as of now.  So!  Without further achoo and in no particular order, let’s get part one started right!

goodforu11.  Chante Moore clearly hates her friends. Ladies, close your eyes and imagine this.  Well, read this first, and then close your eyes cause it’d be kind of hard to do the other way around.  Okay.  It’s a Friday night.  You and some of your girlfriends gather together to have a glass of wine or 4 and do some therapeutic venting about your man problems.  Love is a battlefield, and sometimes even the mightiest of warriors get weary, and tonight, all you wanna do is find some strength in your girls and forget that men even exist for awhile.

Then the one heffa in the room with a man stands up and yells, ‘LATER FOR YOU LONELY BITCHES, I GOTTA GO HOME AND WATCH LEROY GET BUTT NEKKID AND COOK ME SOME BREAKFAST.  BYE!’  That’s pretty much what ‘Chante’s got a Man’ amounts to for me.  Like serious, she’s just like ‘yeah, it sucks that you don’t have a man.  Your man is cheatin’ on you, girl.  Mmph, what a pity.  Welp!  My life is awesome!  Sorry your man blacked your eye last week!  My man’s on the phone gotta go bye!’  she hid a positive ‘you deserve better than this’ message in there, sure but you literally have to look for it between her sounding not too sorry about one of her girlfriends gettin’ beat up by her man and singing out a laundry list of the good shit her man does for her.  Fuck that, if I was her friends, id lock her in a bathroom and snatch her bald, see how her man likes that.  Watch the video here.  I’m not putting it up myself out of respect for Chante’s manless battered abused friends (Brokey cares if don’t nobody else care).

2.  Lenny Williams watches TV forever.  Literally. This is arguably one of my most favorite ridiculous moments in all of music history, not just R&B.  Y’all all know the classic Lenny Williams song ‘Because I Love You,’ right?  ‘Girl you know I I I I love yooooou!  OOH OH OH OH OH OH OH ooooh oh ooooh oh oh oh oh oh oh’ etc etc.  Right?  Right.  Everybody knows that song.  The odd staccato repetition thing is enough to make this ridiculous but the real gem lies within the spoken breakdown towards the end of the song.  Our lovesick narrator walks us through his night of failed attempts trying to get in touch with the woman he loves.  He calls her on the phone and he just can’t get her to answer.  He goes to her house, saw her car parked in the drive way, knocked on the door and still his knocks went unanswered.  Dejected, he goes home and watches TV until television goes off.  Really, that’s what he says.  Until television GOES OFF??  Holy shit!  It NEVER goes off!  Even when television programming stops, it’s still on.  Something is on.  Paid programs, that video of the American flag, somethin’.  Even if the program stops, the TV displays static, if nothing else.  Until TV goes off.  That’s a long ass time.  I am willing to bet that right now, ladies and gentlemen, right very now, Lenny Williams is sitting in front of his TV butt nekkid in a bathrobe watchin’ a Snuggie commercial.  Or static.  Poor guy.  Listen here.

nonono3. Ashanti & J. Lo attempt to ruin my musical memory. Let me set a scene for you. It’s a Saturday afternoon.  I’m in my apartment.  It’s a beautiful late spring day, warm out, windows are open.  I’m dancin’ around while cleaning my place and listening to the radio (I actually don’t have a radio, but this is all for effect.  Follow me).  I hear the beat to Baggie’s ‘One More Chance’ playing and I do the mandatory ‘woooooooo!’ to signify that this is my jam, and then I do the customary 90s bad boy hands in the air head bob, known also as the gallop that Pam did into Martin’s apartment when Biggie was there.  I fix my mouth and get my F-sound ready to say ‘first things first,’ but instead what comes out is: ‘…fuck, is that Ashanti?’ Rage ensues.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there was a good solid period of like a year and a half when this happened way too often, and the perpetrators were *always* Ashanti and Jennifer Lopez.  I would sincerely get irate.  since I don’t have a radio, I’d usually hear my favorite beats come on, get excited, hear those two broads attempting to carry a tune in bucket, and then say ‘See??  This is why I don’t have a radio!!’  As a matter of principle, I refuse to link any of those songs here, but the perpetrators are: by Ashanti, ‘Unfoolish’ (Biggie; wtf kinda word is ‘unfoolish’ anyway?!) and ‘Baby’ (Scarface’s ‘Mary Jane‘ ); and by J. Lo the list is way longer:  ‘Ain’t It Funny’ (Craig Mack), ‘I’m Gonna Be Alright’ (Luniz), ‘Jenny from the Block’ (The Beatnuts).  I can’t remember the others.  They made my life hard for a good little while though.  Jerks.

4.  H-Town’s crazy dancing is making my penis soft. (c) Dave Chapelle.  Y’all remember H-Town, right?  Remember their song ‘they like it slow?’  Remember the ridiculous dance that they did through the entire video while wearing unnecessarily leather outfits?  No?  Here’s a memory jogger.  It starts at about 1:13 and last for the entire damn video.

…motherfucker, why?? (c) Steve Harvey

5.  Glenn Lewis really needs some help. Ah, Glenn Lewis.  It makes me so sad that you’re probably doing gigs at Mall of America or somewhere similar right now.  O, S-Curled wonder with a voice reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and a face reminiscent of a soft woodland creature, what happened?!  You were so awesome!  I liked Glenn because Glenn could pretty much sing anything and make it sound like a love song, and he usually had really beautiful instrumentals to sing over.  His song ‘Take Me‘ is no different.  The first couple of minutes, it sounds like a bittersweet story of a lost woman who doesn’t want to be alone and has an extreme case of escapism, asking a man she just met to take her anywhere.  But then… things get weird.  Kind of like ‘Superheroes‘ by Esthero.. You’re groovin’ to it, thinkin’ about how sexy it is (and it is sexy), then you notice that she’s also singing about being old and used and shit.  In ‘Take Me,’ there comes a point where you begin to pick up on alarming portions of the lyrics. Like, say, when Glenn starts repeating: take me any/where but here/she’s crazy/she’s crazy.

WOAH!!  How did we get here, Glenn Lewis??!  Just a few seconds ago, you had the cape on ready to save this poor child.  That shit went awry fast.

6.  James Brown really, really likes drugs. I think this video pretty much speaks for itself.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s another great moment featuring James Brown later on in the series.  Stay tuned!

7. K-Ci also really likes drugs a lot too as well. Sometimes I can’t believe this guy was a sex symbol.  To keep it all the way real, I couldn’t even believe this guy was a sex symbol even when he was a sex symbol.  He was the hot shit when he was in Jodeci though, right?  Not much to look at in the least (Devante Swing was more my speed.  It was during my S-Curl phase, gimmie a break). But at least back then, he had whole ‘I’m on crack but I don’t readily look like it’ thing goin’ on.  These days?  Ha!  Fucking forget it.  K-Ci looks like his address is Third Crack House on the Left and his phone number is 555-I-Can’t-Pay-This-Damn-Bill-Cause-I-Smoke-Up-All-My-Money.  Not only is he lookin’ mad Tyrone Biggums-ish, but he’s acting like he sold his last bits of common sense for an 8-ball.  I keep seeing these crazy videos of him riding into his concerts on his bodyguard’s shoulders and just being all around weird.  Oh how the mighty have become gross.

(vid via mediatakeout)

8. Bobby Brown + Whitney Houston + reality show = delicious failure. Oh man.  This is one of the greatest guilty pleasures of my life.  Bobby and Whitney’s reality show ‘Being Bobby Brown‘ shouldn’t be funny, when you think about it, especially in light of Whitney’s recent stints in rehab and their divorce.  This show pretty much captured the life and times of a couple in love in the throes of addiction.  Or two addicts in the throes of love, whichever you prefer.  It was like a season long episode of A&E’s ‘Intervention,’ only without the actual intervention.  But man alive… this was some GOOD TV.


This show puts my soul and spirit in a difficult position.  Like, I know crack is wrong, but as far as my personal entertainment is concerned, it worked for them the way it did for Mary J. Blige.  Mary did some of her best work when she was strung out!  That’s terrible to say, but TRUE!  I got some gems from her dark days, and similarly, the White Girl worked hard with Bobby and Whitney to give me some of the most golden TV moments ever.  We got to hear one talk about digging a ‘doody bubble’ out of the other’s butt.  We saw a drunk Bobby Brown walking around a hotel room with his Timberland somehow stuck to his foot while Bobby beseeches it to leave him in peace, saying: ‘Stop followin’ me, shoe.  Stop followin’ me, shoe!’  We got to see Bobbi Christina in her weird awkward funny lookin’ stage.  Awesome.  Now unfortunately, there aren’t any really good clips of the show on the youtubes, but here’s a few:

Also, here’s a 3 minute compilation of other random moments, but the quality is really bad.  Watch at your own risk.

9.  Gerald Levert may have an obsessive compulsion. Remember LSG?  The group that Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, and Johnny Gill formed?  Wasn’t that a dumbass idea from jump?  Stupidity aside, the group did pretty well.  Their song ‘My Body’ was probably their biggest hit, and it even spent some time at number one when it was released in 1997. Other than its overwhelming suckiness, the thing that sticks out in this song for me is the annoying repetition!  They say the word ‘body’ 105 times in this song.  I COUNTED.  I’d say u could make a drinking game of it and do a shot each time they say it, but I can’t have the deaths of your livers on my conscience like that.  It’s bizarre though.  Were they just lazy?  Or unimaginative?  Or could a certain someone in the group just not help himself??

A year later, Gerald released ‘Thinkin’ About It,’ a fairly mediocre song where he does a lot of needless repeating of the phrase ‘thinkin’ about it,’  namely in the chorus and especially at the end.  I can connect the dots people!!  Gerald Levert was a secret Rainman!!

10.  Alexander O’Neal’s ‘come hither’ fail. And now, today’s crowning glory. Let me be the first to say that O’Neal’s ‘If You Were Here Tonight’ is a truly, truly beautiful song.  He had a lot of talent and potential.  Shame he got hooked on that White Girl and snorted it all away.  Anyway, this song is awesome, but the video?  Not so much.  To be fair, let’s put it into context; it was made in 1985, and all videos were corny and cheesy then.  Ridiculous fashion, crappy sets.  That’s not his fault.  What is his fault though, those terrible, TERRIBLE sexy faces he’s making all up in the camera! Why didn’t the director pick up on that?  I’d point you to a particular point in the video, but really, just pick a spot.  You’ll see it in due time.  As a bonus bit of ridiculousness, though, head to the 3:17 minute mark.  You should see him tossing and turning in the bed, unable to sleep because his boo isn’t there.  Keep watching and wait for him to start awake, singing, then attempt to be both sexy and confused at the same time.  Then come back and explain to me why the fuck he felt it necessary to act up like that.  Thanks.

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

Latest posts by Brokey McPoverty (see all)

  • LMAO at all of this. I’m mad you included all of these supporting video clips. That James Brown rant…sweet minty Jesus.

  • Oh bless you for pointing out Alexander O’Neal’s constant overacting in videos. I was just looking at “Criticize” yesterday and wow. But you’re right, “If You Were Here Tonight” is the crowning glory of R&B foolishness. At the time, it didn’t seem weird but now…he looks very “how you doin?”. The White Girl is a R&B talent thief!

  • I always liked Chante’s Got a Man. It’s saying that her relationship with her man is more important than girls night drama with her girlfriends. I guess I’m wrong for that because friendships should come first?

    Glenn Lewis was a songwriter before he came out with his album so he may have gone back to where the checks are bigger.

    As for KCI, I’ve never seen that grinding on the couch video. What struck me was “who is that walking by them in front of the stage?.”

  • I always liked Chante’s Got a Man. It’s saying that her relationship with her man is more important than girls night drama with her girlfriends. I guess I’m wrong for that because friendships should come first?

    i’m in awe of the way you totally missed the point. well done.

  • More And Again

    I couldn’t even finish watching the video after he “woke up” like he heard gunshots.lol. He was doing the most, and it was hilarious.

  • More And Again

    Oh, and good call on catching Gerald Levert’s compulsiveness. It goes unnoticed in too many of our R&B stars.lol. We need more awareness. I think it was Vibe that pointed out that Destiny’s Child might have had stuttering problems (think “No, No,No” and “Bills, Bills, Bills”). And, I can’t even count how many times Ashanti has said “baby” within the first 6 months she was signed.

  • good call on ashanti… between ‘baby’ and ‘aww baby,’ i wanted to shoot myself in the face.

  • slb

    Chante Moore is probably one of a handful of artists who not only sang about herself in the third person, but also put her name in the title of said third-person song. I hate that song–for all the reasons you’ve listed but also b/c in retrospect, we kind of know that at the time, Chante *didn’t* really have a man at home (She and Kadeem Hardison’s secret marriage ended in semi-clandestine divorce a year after this song was released. Was she tryna “sing it into existence?” Was she practicing aspirational songwriting?)

    KCi stays wantin’ a witness… with his birdchest and leather pants and concerts where he unashamedly just holds the microphone over his head and lets the backing track do all his singing for him.

    This is fabulous. lol

  • (She and Kadeem Hardison’s secret marriage ended in semi-clandestine divorce a year after this song was released. Was she tryna “sing it into existence?” Was she practicing aspirational songwriting?)

    shots fired!

  • ladyfresh

    omg truly ridiculous brokey

    (*prays she leaves stephanie mills off the list*)

  • keke

    Me and my sister used to be the odd ones out because we never liked Chante’s Got A Man. Even at a young age, I used to get annoyed by some of the R&B lyrics ( R.Kelly’s “You Remind Me Of Something” really pissed me off!).

    But anyway, Chante really upset me because although the song was a a good vocal performance for her, I couldn’t stomach those lyrics. Many of the black women I knew back then used to blast the radio when that song came on knowing that their men had a laundry list of problems, many of the issues she named in that song. But all they heard was “I Got a Man” and that was all they needed to hear.

    And I am so glad that you brought up Jen Lopez and Ashanti! I got extremely frustrated and annoyed at them for jacking tracks of classic joints, then lacing them with syrupy lyrics! Once again, I was the odd girl out cause it seemed like all my female friends liked that crap. They didn’t even let enough time pass before they jacked those tracks. Murder Inc. was thee culprit; their production sounded like Bad Boy circa ’94-’95

  • LeeCee


    I was laughing so hard I could barely finish this post. H-Town’s dance fail…Chante’s shameless bragging…Alexander’s comical facial expressions, all classic! But you know Jennifer & Ashanti never would have gotten/stayed relevant without those beats, because neither one of them can sing. ESPECIALLY Ashanti, she’s been riding coattails to stardom her whole career (Ja Rule, Nelly, etc).

  • aisha

    Well you know there was a time when TV did go off. I’m thinking now about when at about 5am the national anthem was played and they would show a picture of the flag waving to signal that TV was coming back on.

  • aisha

    This post was very funny. Good job.

  • Can I put in a request for mocking of Toni’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me”?

  • keke

    Ha ha!…..you know that Chante Moore sang background vocals on that song right?

  • Grump

    There needs to be a Part 2.

  • Bwhahaha! You lie! That’s just too poetic.
    The video for that song was some foolishness too.

  • Mary did some of her best work when she was strung out! That’s terrible to say, but TRUE!

    I’ve been making the same argument about Aerosmith for years. They haven’t recorded a decent song since they kicked smack.

  • lmao! noooo!

  • slb

    I know. “That was way harsh, Tai.” Fortunately, she’s happy now and really *does* have a man at home. So, you know. It worked.

  • This was a hilarious post, but I’m a bit disappointed to find that with all these R&B fans up in here, no one pointed out that J. Lo, Ashanti, AND Biggie jacked the beat for “One More Chance” ENTIRELY from Debarge’s “Stay with Me.” Now, that happens to be one of my favorite Debarge songs, along with “I Like It” and “Dream,” and “All this Love”–all of which have been recycled ad nauseum by so-called “producers” in hip-hop. I get pissed whenever I hear what I think is an old school R&B joint come on and then all of a sudden some “rap artist” starts talking over it. So, it goes both ways.

  • @vizionheiry I feel you on “Chante’s Got a Man” being a reminder to her girlfriends how a GOOD relationship feels/looks. She was trying to add some hope to the bitter bitching session:

    And I heard you say that men are all the same
    No, no, no
    its not the truth girl
    Cause I got proof girl

    Theres good men around
    Dont you know how beautiful you are inside girl
    And dont you let nobody go and steal your pride

    I once was where you are
    Thought men were all the same
    But I never gave up hope
    And now my life has changed

    To the person who mentioned this song being “aspirational singing” because her marriage to Kadeem Hardison ended: Check her marriage to Kenny Lattimore. They’re obviously a better match, with the similarity in spiritual beliefs. So that was an upgrade for her. Maybe she took her song’s advice to look deeper…

    Those who feel this song is preachy probably got a nerve hit.

  • are you replying to the right spot? vizionhery didn’t say that anywhere in her/his response.

  • Yes, I am. I’m replying to her comment to me offsite. :) But it bears mentioning here at the source of our conversation.

  • (i don’t think you get how this works.)

  • i wont disagree with all that. the good msg was acknowledged! all im sayin is when you’re down about somethin, sometimes u dont wanna hear abt how great somebody else’s life is in that area. and she clda been like ‘there’s good men out there’ WITHOUT figuratively smackin them all in the face with her man’s magical cancer-curing penis.

    me: girl, my man pushed me last night.
    Chante: OMG! that’s horrible! not every man is like that though girl, keep your head up!
    me: thanks, girl! i am hopeful and inspired now!

    that’s quite different from:

    me: girl, my man pushed me last night.
    Chante: OMG! that’s horrible! Leroy made me a bouquet of summer wildflowers that he grew himself! In the middle of February!!!

  • LOL.

  • This is great! I’m probably going to hell for laughing at a crack head but the 1st minute of that KC video will be played whenever I’m having a bad day lol.

  • ladyfresh

    (this is straight comedy at this point and i’m loving it… carry on folks)

  • ladyfresh

    you aged yourself missy…

    but i was thinking the same thing


  • ladyfresh

    i will forever hate diddy for this

    I get pissed whenever I hear what I think is an old school R&B joint come on and then all of a sudden some “rap artist” starts talking over it.

    i’m kinda numb these days, my initial ‘thats my SONG’ excitement meter is broken because of them all


  • SJS

    This was hilarious. I’m in the library looking crazy, smiling at my computer screen like a fool. But seriously, I can’t wait for part two! And if I’m lucky R.Kelly’s wind-blown stair ascent from ‘half on a baby’ will be somewhere on that list.

  • Jara

    If someone else’s happiness gets on your nerves, imagine how your self-created drama (e.g. staying with pushy “Leroy”) sounds to the happy people? Moral: Stick with other miserable people.

  • Jara

    Mmm…meant pushy woman beater. i’d tell you about bouquet picking leroy to show you what you ought to go find for yourself. so you’d stop bitching to me. on that note, i’m outta here. bunch of iggy people.

  • Brokey McPoverty

    lol huh? ..u do know that this is all in fun, right? jokes? hahaha and all that?

    if anything here has offended u i apologize but seriously. toooooootally not this serious.

  • dear God, you’re stupid.

  • Blu

    You’re right on most of that! Very funny. You might be too young to remember/know, but back in the day, the television actually went off. At a certain time, all the channels blacked out, like around midnight or so. And the tvs went OFF! It was crazy, especially seeing how things are now. So, Lenny wasn’t spending too many sleepless nights thinking about that woman.

  • anon

    You have a place in my heart for that Alexander Oneal video breakdown. I have loved that song forever, but just saw the video online about a year ago. I couldn’t believe the madness. Thanks for the laugh.

  • blackink12

    It’s hilarious that K-Ci was mentioned in the moment right before Mary J, considering that it’s pretty much acknowledged that he’s the one who inspired her to greatness and addiction. I really think it’s possible that K-Ci is going to be the Eddie Caine Jr. of our generation. He just needs to find himself a Baby Doll.

    And, mostly apropos of nothing, G.D. and I were having this discussion over Twitter but, no doubt, Jodeci > Boyz II Men. He certainly disagrees.

  • Miss Jaye

    This was genius…not to mention a hilarious read!!