Day 12: Tell us about your favorite female group.
With my sisters, I swung my shirt “hair” around on the Soul Train “stage” of my bed and lip synced the one Sister Sledge chorus I knew, “We are fam-i-ly/I got all my sisters with me!”
Sure, there was Salt N Pepa too; the high mistresses of hip hop. And by high school there was Jade, too, with the sass I emulated as best I could in the same body suit, flannel, boy jeans (Daddy’s throwaways actually) and dog tag styled necklace. En Vogue brought the class during that time, and since I took style cues from the guests and videos on Video Soul, I also had an “En Vogue dress” from Rave.
Xscape is still tragically underrated, I think, and throughout college I’m sure my neighbors were very appreciative of the bassline of “Tonight” from their first cd (still one of the sexiest songs ever), their bomb remake of the Jones Girls’ classic, “Who Can I Run To,” which sound-tracked my requisite 21 year old angst and later as a college senior, pretty much the entire Traces of My Lipstick lp.
But one of my first cassette tapes, a dub from my cousin Harold’s infinite collection, was SWV–Sisters with Voices–and I played it until the tape wore out. I was in high school, in my first (and last) real relationship, and particularly in love with that song, “Weak.”
“I get so weak/blood starts racing through my veins/boy, it’s something I can’t explain.”
Coco’s trademark whine was the stuff Homecoming Dances and composition book doodles are made of. What she was saying was probably true; at 16 I could tell I felt some kind of way, but I sure couldn’t have told you what that way was or why I felt it.
I have owned pretty much all of the group’s lps since…well, until they broke up in the late 90s…
but it’s not just nostalgia that kept me on their trail. I can trace all the trajectories of my life to music and SWV’s music is all along the teen and early adult parts of that journey.
So while it’s hard to narrow down my favorite female group, I’d have to say among those I named, they have a place at the top of my list.