I’m doing this post for this Music Monday to drop some music history and knowledge behind my groundbreaking single “Friends.” A lot of misinformation and out right lack of knowledge; it’s my duty to not only always tell my own story but to make sure those who don’t know – learn it.
Excerpt from Okayplayer Ten Songs That Kicked Off Rap/Sung Collaborations in the 80’s. read full article : Okayplayer
“…The single was released in April 1989 and steadily rose up the charts. The video became popular on both BET and MTV, garnering a coveted spot on Donnie Simpson’s Video Soul Top 20… but the big news is “FRIENDS” with Jody Watley ft Eric B & Rakim managed to do WHAT NO PREVIOUS R&B/Rap collaboration had done before: crossover to the Hot 100 charts. “Friends” reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1989. When Jody Watley performed “Friends” on The Arsenio Hall Show, Eric B. & Rakim weren’t present but she performed Rakim’s verse effortlessly.
This monumental event in R&B/Rap collaboration history has largely gone overlooked close to 30 years after the fact.”
It’s definitely overlooked, and necessary to note. Saying it louder for those in the back – it was the first to crossover on three charts Top 10 and most significantly the Hot 100…paving the way for a new collaborations, easier access to Pop and R&B radio (eventually pushing out R&B – to become primarily all rap/hip-hop) previously had before balked at playing rap music at all, so a lot of the airplay initially had the no rap edit which is why many don’t realize the significance.
The video “Club Couture” was also notable.. my concept a real underground New York nightclub where everyone came to be fabulous, dance, perform – b-boys, and hop hop dancers getting their party on with voguers and ball kids, drag queens, transgender, mixed cultures all partying together.connected through music without hate being as you are – and fabulous as I came through in Gaultier couture from Paris – people weren’t ready. It’s still my hope. Everything I do comes from a place of being authentic – ‘Friends’ directed by Jim Sonzero was another example of that.
Arriving in style for the Rakim book signing..Rakim had no idea I was coming.
Initially I stood in live very low key with the other fans..the line continued to grow.
Eventually, I was taken in by Rakim’s manager as the word got out that I was in line..it was still a surprise though. Going back to choosing Eric B & Rakim to be on my single ‘Friends’ from my second solo album “Larger Than Life: which became a groundbreaking multi-chart Top 10 collaboration to working with him again in the 1998 ‘Off The Hook’ D-Dot Remix and video.. it was great say hi and let him know I was his fan back in the day and continue to be, to which Rakim told me “..you’re family..always will be.”
While standing in line I was also inspired and look forward to signing copies of my memoir in the near future.
Get the bestseller ‘Rakim: Sweat The Technique” life and writing manual.
Video of our reunion to follow in the meantime, here’s our classic ‘Friends’ Jody Watley featuring Eric B & Rakim.
Golden era Hip Hop, a couple of my personal favorites from Eric B & Rakim.
Sharing this from the fan page jodywatleystyle on Instagram – Jody Watley; 1993 Us Weekly. Photography Jon Ragel. Make-up by Collier Strong. Styling Jeannine Braden and Jody Watley. Hair by Jody Watley.
‘Soul Survivor’ interview feature talking about my ‘Affairs of The Heart’ –when magazines were interested in what you had to say about your music, writers cared enough to do their homework.. and focus was not celebrity gossip or how many social media followers you had.
Welcome October! Wishing former President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Peace Prize winner a Happy 95th Birthday!
I had the honor of his invitation to work on Habitat for Humanity back in the 90’s. Both President Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter were super nice people, he’s a true humanitarian and man of the people.
My October greeting is on my Youtube Channel — Subscribe
The event, originally an outdoor event was moved indoors to the Cox Business Center. It was a beautiful thing to see a music event with major sponsors to make it a free city family friendly concert and also be in celebration of Tulsa’s own former NBA player and respected jazz musician Waymon Tisdale. I performed ‘Skin Deep’ in celebration of Tisdale because I’d done two Smooth Jazz Cruises around the time of the original release of “Midnight Lounge” – the message was appropriate as well.
It was really special to see The Whispers, my former label mates from back in my Shalamar, Solar Records years..Scotty with the classic response!
Hotel suite – on my way straight to stage.
SRL (Nate Allen Smith and John ‘Havic’ Gregory’) are ready too! A quick photo before heading to Cox Business Center.
I don’t throw ‘legendary’ around casually – this is pretty epic if you know the history of hits here. Jody Watley // Shalamar // Solar Galaxy of Stars Tour// The Whispers
Always – Own it.
Making it a night to remember — with Nate Allen Smith and John ‘Havic’ Gregory
Up Next October t:
October 13 – Detroit Soundboard Motor City Casino with Tony Toni Tony
Personalized shout-outs, greetings, birthdays, special occasions, inspirational messages for yourself or gift a friend, special person in your life .. you can book me among tons of others public figures, entertainers, actors, and more. Check out my profile – Cameo