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. My groundbreaking single “Friends” featuring Eric B and Rakim is either overlooked or debated as not achieving a feat never accomplished in Pop/R&B/Hip Hop/Dance Music.
“…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.