The question I’m about to ask is not the beginning of a joke.
What happens when you put a Jewish guy, a brown guy, Michael Bolton’s lookalike, and a Mexican-American guy together in the same room?
You get 90s supergroup Color Me Badd, the BEST thing to have ever come out of Oklahoma City.
And my personal choice for best 90s hip hop group.
Go ahead and laugh. I’ll wait until you’re done falling down the wormhole that’s going to take you to C.M.B., The New Jack City Soundtrack, the United Colors of Benetton, Fruitopia, overalls with one strap down, Hypercolor shirts, A.C. Slater, Guess jeans, and a million other awesome 90s things.
You’re welcome. Hell, I’ll even wait until you dig out your necklace that has your name written on a grain of rice. You can even part your hair down the middle, if you have hair left on the top of your head that is. Pull out that slap bracelet too, while you’re at it.
If you didn’t have the pleasure of being alive in the 90s, I feel sorry for you. Joey Lawrence was cool. Guys wore bright colored shirts buttoned to the neck, probably while wearing a bike cap. And Dunakroos were available on store shelves everywhere.
Thinking back, I’m kind of surprised that my Mom bought me the Color Me Badd tape, but then again, if you’ve ever really listened to the lyrics to “I Wanna Sex You Up,” then you probably realize it’s one of the most incoherent, rambling songs ever. Lines like, “We can do it ‘til we both wake up,” “Let me light a candle so we can make it better,” and “Makin’ love until we drown,” makes me wonder just what the hell was going on in that room. The worst part was that he disconnected the phone, so how’s anyone going to know they’re simultaneously drowning and on fire?!
The Night They Rocked Arsenio Hall
Look at the crowd in this video! C’MON PEOPLE! Even the white lady in the purple ankle length skirt thinks this performance is LIT. And their suits are amazing.
But this is what was so great about the 90s. This song was controversial. I listen to music today and feel like an ancient artifact when I think about blushing to a song like “I Wanna Sex You Up.” I didn’t even make sense!
The other thing that was so great about the 90s was that no one thought anything of a rainbow of color of men singing R&B. In fact, it was pretty normal. The GAP told us that khakis were for everyone, and we could also sing and dance in a very annoying way while wearing them together. White dudes wore Zubaz and no one thought they were lame. Some of those guys were walking sex. And way before “Despacito,” we had “I Adore, Mi Amore.”
Where do we go from here?
What happened to us, America? I’m serious. I know I was like twelve, but the early 90s were amazing. Our beautiful melting pot culture seemed like it was becoming one. Guys, we had Wu Tang Clan! How did we screw this up? Life wasn’t perfect, and clearly something was bubbling beneath the service, but we have to do better than we’re doing now.
You know how you screwed up? When you need THIS GUY to come to your rescue –
The worst part is that he’s a terrible person in real life. And this is who we need to save us. As a side note, “Color Me Badd fat” was the first search term that popped up on Google. It’s like it knew what I was looking for.
Color Me Badd is exemplary of everything that was right with America. We didn’t care that that most of this group was not brown and were singing R&B. They didn’t care either! They just did their thing and they did it well, and we loved it! Everyone loves this song, even though everyone pretends that they think it’s stupid. You know you know every lyric.
And this is why now, during a time when there’s so much division, we need these men to emerge from the shadows with their walkers and horrible lyrics, and remind us of who we are as Americans.