(I’m unearthing this awesome post by my homey Manny… because it’s so awesome. This post was originally written in June 2010. – Len)
Back in ‘94 during (Catholic School) Confirmation Classes (grade eight) I made a mixtape for a girl from one of the other schools and wrote a stupid letter in the liner notes. This mixtape didn’t even have music on it. I gave her a blank tape as an excuse to write to her†. She’s kept it ever since and though I hardly see her nowadays, she never lets me live it down. She’s keeping the tape, but she made me a photo-copy for a going away present.
In honour of the first performance of Leonard Cervantes new musical Shotgun Wedding: A Nineties Musical Mixtape About Nine Months of the Best Years of Our Lives this Saturday (June 26 2010), I decided to finally fill that blank.
Ok. So a lot of the songs on this mix are from after 1994, but I was 13 and had like 2 tapes (no older siblings). Besides, in 2010, who the hell can remember what was released when?
I refrained from arranging the tracks in any order. A little bit because that would take forever, but mostly to encapsulate the way that memories of the 90s- for those of us old enough to have memories of the 90s- blur into each other and play out like one long continuous summer. When love was real and we were immortal.
Play it on shuffle. Then keep it on repeat if you dig it.
Some of the songs are near and dear to me. I still listen to them. Some of the tracks I haven’t thought about in ages, but they caught me in the gut after the first few bars or at the chorus (“Ooooo, shit! I remember this). The rhythms I heard whispering from my best friend’s fly older sister’s room while trying to catch a glimpse through the crack in her door on my way to the washroom. My very first experiences with love.
As an ‘81 kid, I got to hit the stage of conscious thought, yet never reached adult-hood, in the 90s. So I was mature enough to be critical of my music and surroundings, but still dumb enough to just be plain stupid in love with something for no good reason . . . “YA DUN KNOW!” Even though the 90s were an era of innocence for me, everything mattered.
So I bugged over that dumb little note on that blank-tape as much as I’m bugging over this blog-post.
This is for Gap Anoraks, Dep gel, CK1, The Lion King, those stupid plastic zig-zaggy things that hold your hair back, coloured contacts, Sun-in, B-boying in the basements, popping the ‘M&M’ off the top of your cap for headspins, beefs with ‘Sauga boyz, crushes on ‘Sauga girls, Malvern house parties, writing in her agenda, free refills at Taco Bell, debut-crashing, 10 in a Honda Accord- 8 in the front, 2 in the trunk, holding down mute during a three-way phone call to get to the truth, ‘black’ hair, one pant leg rolled up, the other tucked in your sock, WetJam ‘jams’, R.A.R.E. Sounds, Bag of TriX! saying “ketchup!” at a Mcdonald’s drive-thru and getting a bag full of food at the window, khakis, towels around the neck, half-tops, and those pretty-somethings in capris and white tennis shoes at PND.
dreamin eyes (dilla remix) – d’angelo
touch me tease me (f. foxy brown) – case
ones for the money – horace brown
shorty swing my way – kp & envi
ditty – paperboy
baby luv (remix) – groove theory
he’s mine (remix f. grand puba) – mokenstef
so anxious – ginuwine
keep it real (f. jay-z & coko) – jon b.
freekin u (ghost and rae remix) – jodeci
renee – lost boyz
go down – sa-deuce
i get so lonely – janet jackson
when boy meets girl – total
tell me what you like – guy
kick your game – tlc
my love is the shhh – something for the people
just wanna please u (stevie j remix) – mona lisa f. the lox
that’s the way love goes – janet jackson
mary jane – mary j. blige
you’re the one – swv
head over heels (f. nas) – allure
bump n’ grind (remix) – r. kelly
everyday & everynight – yvette michele
butta love – next
can’t you see? (f. biggie) – total
[big up to the khats at the MASSIVE for their musical connoisseurship. this tape is mostly their work.]
†There was some logic behind this. Some. It was the last week of Confirmation Class at church. All I really wanted to do was to get this girl to remember me somehow. I had no time to make a whole mixtape. Remember, back then we had to record shit in REAL-TIME. I think I only had two tapes at the time anyway (Freakin You by Jodeci and The What by Biggie Smalls). So I thought I could tell her “you could put anything you want on it” and it would be cool. Cool was never really my thing. We’re still friends, though. So it kinda worked.