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This monthly podcast looks back at the pop culture of Generation X, from an African-American perspective.

Dec 1, 2020

Topics: Monica Lewinsky Scandal, Jay Z, Beloved (Film), 90's Tech (Bonus Artist: hidingtobefound and Luck Pacheco)

1998 General Snapshots
1.    Bill Clinton President
2.    Jan - Paula Jones accuses U.S. President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
3.    Jan - Smoking is banned in all California bars and restaurants.
4.    Jan - Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos become the first AFC team in 14 years to win the Super Bowl, as they defeat the Green Bay Packers
5.    Jan - Lewinsky scandal: On American television, President Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The next day, Hillary Clinton appears on The Today Show, calling the attacks against her husband part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy".
6.    Mar - The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.
7.    Apr - The unemployment rate drops to 4.3%, the lowest level since February 1970.
8.    Apr - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 9,000 for the first time.
9.    Apr - Teletubbies begins its U.S. television debut on PBS.
10.    Apr - Inflight smoking is banned on all commercial passenger flights in the United States,
11.    Jun - The Chicago Bulls win their 6th NBA title in 8 years when they beat the Utah Jazz. This is also Michael Jordan's last game as a Bull, clinching the game in the final seconds on a fadeaway jumper.
12.    Aug - The bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kill 224 people and injure over 4,500; they are linked to terrorist Osama bin Laden. Two weeks later. The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan.
13.    Oct - College student Matthew Shepard is found tied to a fence near Laramie, Wyoming. His death became a symbol of gay-bashing and sparked a national debate on homophobia in the U.S.
14.    Nov - Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler, is elected Governor of Minnesota.
15.    Nov - America Online announces it will acquire Netscape Communications for $4.2B as the “” bubble heats up. Between 1995 and 2000, the Nasdaq Composite stock market index rose 400%.
16.    Dec - Lewinsky scandal: President Bill Clinton is impeached by the United States House of Representatives. (He was later acquitted of any wrongdoing.)
17.    Open Comments
18.    Top 3 Pop songs
19.    #1 "Too Close", Next
20.    #2 "The Boy Is Mine", Brandy and Monica
21.    #3 "You're Still the One", Shania Twain
22.    Record of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On", Celine Dion
23.    Album of the Year: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
24.    Song of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On", Celine Dion
25.    Best New Artist: Lauryn Hill
26.    Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "Doo Wop (That Thing)”, Lauryn Hill
27.    Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: "St. Louis Blues”, Stevie Wonder in Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World
28.    Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "The Boy Is Mine", Brandy & Monica
29.    Best R&B Song: "Doo Wop (That Thing)”, Lauryn Hill
30.    Best R&B Album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
31.    Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album: Live! One Night Only, Patti LaBelle
32.    Best Rap Solo Performance: "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It", Will Smith
33.    Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: "Intergalactic", Beastie Boys
34.    Best Rap Album: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z
35.    Top 3 Movies
36.    #1 Armageddon
37.    #2 Saving Private Ryan
38.    #3 Godzilla
39.    Notables: Dr. Dolittle, Half Baked, The Wedding Singer, The Big Lebowski, Primary Colors, The Players Club, Suicide Kings, He Got Game, Bulworth, The Truman Show, Mulan, There's Something About Mary, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Blade, Rush Hour, Antz, Beloved, Belly, The Waterboy, A Bug's Life, A Simple Plan, You've Got Mail
40.    Open Comments
41.    Top 3 TV Shows
42.    #1 ER
43.    #2 Friends
44.    #3 Frasier
45.    Debuts: Judge Joe Brown, The Hughleys
46.    Open Comments
47.    Economic Snapshots
48.    Income = 38.1 (Previously 37.5K)
49.    House = 129.3 (124k)
50.    Car = 17k (17k)
51.    Rent = 619 (576)
52.    Harvard = 30,080 (28.9)
53.    Movie = 4.69 (4.59)
54.    Gas = 1.15 (1.22)
55.    Stamp = .32 (-)
56.    Social Scene: Monica Lewinsky Scandal (Highlights)
57.    Born in San Francisco in 1973, Monica Lewinsky was raised in a well-off family in the Los Angeles area. In the summer of 1995 (@ 22 yrs. old), after graduating from Lewis and Clark College, she landed an unpaid internship in the White House chief of staff’s office.
58.    In November 1995, during a federal government shutdown, Lewinsky flirted with the president and the two had their first sexual encounter. Later that month, she took a paying job in the Office of Legislative Affairs.
59.    They had seven more encounters in the White House and her visits started drawing notice from people. In April 1996, a deputy chief of staff had her transferred to a job at the Pentagon.
60.    The president and Lewinsky had two more encounters, the last was in spring 1997, and stayed in touch by phone.
61.    At the Pentagon, she befriended a coworker, Linda Tripp, and she confided details of her affair with the president. Tripp in turn shared the story with an anti-Clinton conservative literary agent she knew. That person urged Tripp to secretly, and in violation of taping laws, record hours of her phone conversations with Lewinsky.
62.    Word of Tripp’s tapes made it to lawyers working on behalf of Paula Jones, a former government employee who had filed a lawsuit against the president for alleged sexual misconduct that took place in 1991, when he was governor of Arkansas.
63.    In December 1997, Lewinsky was subpoenaed by Jones’ attorneys and, after the president allegedly suggested she be evasive, the former intern denied in an affidavit that she had had a sexual relationship with Clinton.
64.    Around the same time, independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who had been investigating Clinton and his wife Hillary’s involvement in a failed business venture called Whitewater, found out about Tripp’s recordings. Soon afterward, FBI agents fitted Tripp with a hidden microphone so she could legally tape her conversations with Lewinsky.
65.    Then Starr expanded his investigation to include the president’s relationship with Lewinsky and told her that if she did not cooperate with the investigation she would be charged with perjury.
66.    When Clinton was deposed in January 1998 by Jones’ legal team, he claimed he had never had sexual relations with Lewinsky. (The Big Lie)
67.    On January 17, 1998, the Drudge Report, a conservative online news site, published the accusations against the president and the next day revealed Lewinsky’s identity. The mainstream media picked up the story a few days later, and a national scandal Erupted. Clinton refuted the allegations against him, famously stating at a press conference, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
68.    That July, Lewinsky’s lawyers announced she had been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. She also gave Starr’s team physical evidence of her affair with Clinton: a blue dress with an incriminating stain containing the president’s DNA. At the suggestion of Tripp, Lewinsky had never laundered the garment.
69.    On August 17, 1998, Clinton testified before a grand jury and confessed he had engaged in “inappropriate intimate physical contact” with Lewinsky. However, the president contended his actions did not meet the definition of sexual relations used by Jones’ attorneys—so he had not perjured himself. That night, he appeared on national TV and apologized for his behavior but maintained he had never asked anyone involved to lie or do anything illegal.
70.    In September 1998, Starr gave Congress a 445-page report. The Starr Report was soon made public by Congress and published in book form, becoming a best-seller
71.    In December, the House approved two articles of impeachment against him: perjury and obstruction of justice. He was only the second president in U.S. history to be impeached (after President Andrew Johnson in 1868).
72.    On February 12, 1999, following a five-week trial in the Senate, Clinton was acquitted. (During his impeachment proceedings, he agreed to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit for $850,000, but admitted no wrongdoing.)
73.    Open Comments:
74.    Question: Impeach? (Y/N) (Can you imagine if Barack did this to Michelle!)
75.    Music Scene: Black Songs from the Top 40
76.    #1 "Too Close" - Next
77.    #2 "The Boy Is Mine" - Brandy and Monica
78.    #6 "Together Again" - Janet
79.    #7 "All My Life" - K-Ci & JoJo
80.    #9 "Nice & Slow" - Usher
81.    #12 "No, No, No" - Destiny's Child
82.    #14 "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" - Will Smith
83.    #15 "You Make Me Wanna..." - Usher
84.    #16 "My Way" - Usher
85.    #17 My All" - Mariah Carey
86.    #18 "The First Night" - Monica
87.    #19 "Been Around the World" - Puff Daddy featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Mase
88.    #24 "Body Bumpin' (Yippie-Yi-Yo)" - Public Announcement
89.    #26 "I Don't Ever Want to See You Again" - Uncle Sam
90.    #27 "Let's Ride" - Montell Jordan featuring Master P and Silkk the Shocker
91.    #30 "A Song for Mama" - Boyz II Men
92.    #31 "What You Want" - Mase featuring Total
93.    #33 "Gone till November" - Wyclef Jean
94.    #34 "My Body" - LSG
95.    #36 "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" - Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz
96.    #39 "They Don't Know" - Jon B.
97.    #40 "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" - Master P featuring Fiend, Silkk the Shocker, Mia X and Mystikal
98.    Vote:
99.    Top RnB Albums
100.    Jan - R U Still Down? (Remember Me), 2Pac
101.    Jan - My Way, Usher
102.    Jan - Money, Power & Respect, The LOX
103.    Feb - My Balls and My Word, Young Bleed
104.    Feb - Anytime, Brian McKnight
105.    Mar - Charge It 2 da Game, Silkk the Shocker
106.    Mar - My Homies, Scarface
107.    Mar - Life or Death, C-Murder
108.    Apr - The Pillage, Cappadonna
109.    Apr - Moment of Truth, Gang Starr
110.    May - There's One in Every Family, Fiend
111.    Jun - It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, DMX
112.    Jun - MP Da Last Don, Master P
113.    Jul - El Nino, Def Squad
114.    Jul - Am I My Brother's Keeper, Kane & Abel
115.    Aug - N.O.R.E., Noreaga
116.    Aug - Jermaine Dupri Presents: Life In 1472, Jermaine Dupri
117.    Aug - Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told, Snoop Dogg
118.    Sep - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
119.    Oct - Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z
120.    Nov - R., R. Kelly
121.    Dec - Tical 2000: Judgement Day, Method Man
122.    Dec - Doc's da Name 2000, Redman
123.    Vote:
124.    Featured Artists: Jay Z
125.    Childhood & Early Life: Shawn Corey Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York City in 1969. He is the last of the four children. When he was only 11 years old, his father abandoned the family. They lived in the drug-infested ‘Marcy Projects’, where violence and gun-culture were also prevalent. He soon became so imbibed the gun-culture that he allegedly shot his elder brother in the shoulder for pocketing his jewelry. His interest in music was sparked from early on when he received a boom box for his birthday from his mother. He began free styling, scripting lyrics and copied the music of many popular artists of the time. He studied at several local high schools, where he was classmates with future performers, Busta Rhymes and The Notorious B.I.G., before ultimately dropping out and selling drugs.
126.    Career Highlights
127.    1989 Jaz-O (@19yrs): Hooked up with local star and fellow project inhabitant, Jaz-O, who became his guru and taught him the industry basics. In order to pay homage to his mentor, he changed his name to Jay-Z, since Sean was known as ‘Jazzy’ in his neighborhood. Jaz-O’s “Hawaiian Sophie” is one of Jay-Z’s earliest appearances on wax. - Key development: He saw Jaz-O get jerked over by the record business. No record deal and he return to selling drugs.
128.    1992 Big Daddy Kane (@22): BDK records a mixtape with Jaz-O and Jay-Z. Eventually, BDK and Jay start working together and during BDK’s time with the Patti LaBelle tour he had Jay-Z performing for him while was in the back changing clothes. Key Development: Exposure and experience, but no deal. Back to the streets.
129.    1994 Original Flavor/Clark Kent/Damon Dash (@24): Original Flavor was one of rap's middle school crews headed by Ski, an MC/producer. They were also the first group managed by future recording industry executive Damon Dash. Although Ski worked with legendary New York DJ Clark Kent for the groups debut project, the album fizzled. For their follow-up, Ski enlisted the aid of a few more MCs including a young Brooklynite with some experience in the rap field, Jay-Z. Original Flavor was Jay-Z's training ground and it served as a catapult for his future endeavors. Flavor's sophomore release was released in 1994 and again fizzled. However, the lead single "Can I Get Open" features Jay-Z in impeccable pre-Jayhova form. Jay-Z's skills far surpassed those of the rest of the crew and his solo career would begin soon. Key Development: Local buzz, regional tours, several singles and videos but no deal. Starts transition from the streets.
130.    1995-96 Roc-A-Fella Records (@25): Frustrated with being turned down by several major labels Carter, Dash and Kareem Burke started their own label, Roc-A-Fella, as an independent outlet for Jay-Z's music. After becoming a local sensation, Jay-Z turned into Jigga and adopted the Tony Montana-styled persona. He would continue to work with his Original Flavor partner Ski after the group disbanded, making him a member/producer of his Roc-a-Fella staff. Jay-Z was also supported by The Notorious B.I.G.'s producer DJ Clark Kent. Key Development: Debut album, ‘Reasonable Doubt’ released in 1996. It did not immediately attain commercial success, but it spawned several hits, and established Jay-Z in the hip-hop community. No more streets.
131.    1997 Def Jam (@27): Roc-A-Fella Records agreed to a 50/50 partnership and distribution deal with Def Jam. His second studio album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Is released. The album debuted at #3 and most of the production is handled by Puff Daddy's production team giving the album a glossier sound than its predecessor. It was a shift from the mafioso rap themes of his first effort to a more popular sound. Critical reviews: "Though the productions are just a bit flashier and more commercial than on his debut, Jay-Z remained the tough street rapper, and even improved a bit on his flow...he struts the line between project poet and up-and-coming player" while balancing "both personas with the best rapping heard in the rap game since the deaths of 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G." (Also, in response to the sellout charge, Roc-A-Fella Records released the movie Streets Is Watching.)
132.    1998 Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life: The third studio album was released on September 29, 1998, by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. Key Development: He cracks the code. This album went on to become his most commercially successful album to date, selling over 5 million copies. Critics review: Q magazine called it "the epitome of mainstream hip hop".
133.    Audio Clip
134.    Open Comments:
135.    Question: Everybody knows someone who overcame the “streets” and is a success or should have overcome the “streets” and been a success. Who is your personal “Jay-Z”?
136.    Movie Scene: Beloved
137.    Summary: In 1873 Ohio, Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) is a mother of three haunted by her horrific slavery past and her desperate actions for freedom. As a result, Sethe's home is haunted by a furious poltergeist, which drives away her two sons. Sethe and her daughter (Kimberly Elise) endure living with the spirit for 10 more years, until an old friend, Paul D. Garner (Danny Glover), arrives to run it out. After Garner moves in, a strange woman named Beloved (Thandie Newton) enters their lives, causing turmoil.
138.    Accolades: Academy Awards, Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood (Nominated), Chicago Film Critics, Most Promising Actress: Kimberly Elise (Winner), NAACP Image Awards, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Danny Glover (Winner)
139.    Review: Demme's direction tells the story through mood and accumulation of incident, rather than through a traditional story line. His editor, Carol Littleton, takes on the difficult task of helping us find our way through the maze. Some audience members, I imagine, will not like it--will find it confusing or too convoluted. And it does not provide the kind of easy lift at the end that they might expect. Sethe's tragic story is the kind where the only happy ending is that it is over. - Roger Ebert
140.    Review: No Peace from a Brutal Legacy.  "Beloved" works on its own but is much enhanced by familiarity with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. In so ambitiously bringing this story to the screen, Ms. Winfrey underscores a favorite, invaluable credo: read the book.  - By Janet Maslin. NY Times
141.    Fallout: 'Beloved' Tests Racial Themes At Box Office; Will This Winfrey Film Appeal to White Audiences? - By Bernard Weinraub
142.    Answer: No. Winfrey has gone on public record stating that she ate 30 pounds of macaroni and cheese when she was informed the Saturday after the movie opened that "we got beat by something called Chucky." Oprah also claimed that Beloved's failure at the box office was the worst moment in her career and brought her into a major depression. "It was the only time in my life that I was ever depressed, and I recognized that I (was) depressed because I've done enough shows (on the topic). 'Oh, this is what people must feel like who are depressed.”
143.    Open Comments
144.    Question: Favorite book-to-movie?: Call Me By Your Name/The Princess Bride/12 Years a Slave/Little Women/Mean Girls/The Shawshank Redemption/Harry Potter/Gone Girl/The Color Purple/The Wizard of Oz/Jurassic Park/The Lord of the Rings/The Godfather/THE /COLOR PURPLE/ROOTS/WAITING TO EXHALE/BELOVED/WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT/THINK LIKE A MAN/THE WIZ/THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES/The Help/THE HELP/MALCOLM X/LADY SINGS THE BLUES/HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK/PRECIOUS/DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
145.    Technology that changed us: The 1990s, from Worldwide Web to Google - By David Gewirtz, ZDNET
146.    1990: The First Web Browser - Of all the technologies that changed our lives, perhaps the most profound of the last 50 years has been the web. But it was not the ability to hyperlink documents that made the most impact. Instead, it was the application that presented all that information to users, the browser. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented and wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. Notables: Adobe released the first version of Photoshop in 1990.
147.    1991: Linux - On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds typed the following to the Minix Usenet newsgroup, and it changed everything, "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional..." Today, Linux runs in everything, from light bulbs to cars, to almost all TVs and phones on the market. Notable: Second generation (2G) cell phones. 2G service used digital transmission instead of analog and paved the way for SMS messaging.
148.    1992: The First Sms Text Message - December 3, 1992 engineer Neil Papworth sent a message to Richard Jarvis on a Vodafone Orbitel 901 handset. It said, "MERRY CHRISTMAS".
149.    1993: Mosaic Web Browser - It was the first browser that could display images. Mosaic was created by grad students at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mosaic eventually became Netscape, which dominated the web (for a while, at least).
150.    1994: Amazon Founded - It started as a source for books. Notable: Sony's first PlayStation
151.    1995: Windows 95 And Ie 1.0 - Windows 95 was the first version of Windows to include IE, which would become the dominant browser for more than a decade. Notable (1): E-commerce: While the concept of e-commerce existed loosely for a few years, it was not until the 1990s that modern e-commerce was born. In 1995, both Amazon and eBay launched, and in 1999 Alibaba made its debut. Notable (2): JavaScript. SSL, and eBay
152.    1996: Palm Pilot Handheld - The first successful handheld PDA. Notable: DVD, & USB
153.    1997: Steve Jobs Returns To Apple - Apple would soon utterly transform music and telephones. Notable: MP3 players, Netflix, and Wi-Fi standard adopted.
154.    1998: Google Founded. Notable: Windows 98 and first iMac introduced.
155.    1999: The digital video recorder (DVR) was born. Notable: BlackBerry and preparing for the Y2K bug.
156.    Question: Best 90’s tech:
157.    Vote: Best/most important/favorite pop culture item from 1998?