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

Jan 1, 2021

Topics: Y2K Bug, Eminem, The Best Man, 90's TV (Bonus Artist: Rocky Mtn. Rhyme Posse)


1999 Notes
1.    Bill Clinton President
2.    Jan – A snowstorm leaves 14 inches (36 cm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and 21 inches (53 cm) in Chicago, Illinois, killing 68.
3.    Jan – The adult animated sitcom Family Guy debuts on the Fox network after Super Bowl XXXIII.
4.    Feb - Impeachment of Bill Clinton: President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the Senate.
5.    Mar - A Michigan jury finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man.
6.    Apr - Columbine High School massacre: Two Littleton, Colorado teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, open fire on their teachers and classmates, killing 12 students and one teacher, and then themselves. It would be the deadliest shooting at a high school in U.S. history at the time. The shooting sparks debate on school bullying, gun control and violence in the media.
7.    May - The animated children's TV series SpongeBob SquarePants debuts on the cable network Nickelodeon.
8.    May - Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is released in theaters.
9.    Jun - Texas Governor George W. Bush announces he will seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.
10.    Jun - Napster Released. It was mainly used by people who shared MP3 music and digital audio files. As the laws about file sharing and copyright regarding the internet were just newly established, the service soon ran into legal troubles dealing with copyright infringement.
11.    Jul - U.S. soccer player Brandi Chastain scores the game winning penalty kick against China in the FIFA Women's World Cup. Briana Scurry, goalkeeper, was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017. She was the first woman goalkeeper and first black woman to be awarded the honor.
12.    Jun - Lance Armsrong wins the Tour de France. The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven consecutive Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005 (which were, originally, the most wins in the event's history)
13.    Sep - The West Nile Virus first appears in the United States. The disease spread quickly through infected birds. Mosquitoes spread the disease to mammals.
14.    Dec - Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, replaced by Vladimir Putin. Yeltsin has been describes as,  "Russia's first modern leader" and has been compared to Nelson Mandela.
15.    Top 3 Pop Songs
16.    #1 "Believe"    Cher
17.    #2 "No Scrubs"    TLC
18.    #3  "Angel of Mine"    Monica
19.    Record of the Year: "Smooth" – Santana featuring Rob Thomas
20.    Album of the Year: Supernatural – Santana
21.    Song of the Year: "Smooth" – Santana featuring Rob
22.    Best New Artist: Christina Aguilera (Note: Beat out Brittney Spears)
23.    Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "It's Not Right but It's Okay" – Whitney Houston
24.    Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: "Staying Power" – Barry White
25.    Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "No Scrubs" – TLC
26.    Best R&B Song: "No Scrubs" – TLC
27.    Best R&B Album: FanMail – TLC
28.    Best Rap Solo Performance: "My Name Is" – Eminem
29.    Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: "You Got Me" – The Roots featuring Erykah Badu
30.    Best Rap Album: The Slim Shady LP – Eminem
31.    Top 3 Moives
32.    #1  Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
33.    #2 The Sixth Sense
34.    #3 Toy Story 2
35.    Notables:  Office Space, Analyze This, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Matrix (3/31/1999 - 20 days before Columbine), Life, The Mummy, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Wild Wild West, American Pie, The Blair Witch Project, Eyes Wide Shut, The Wood, The Iron Giant, The Sixth Sense, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bowfinger, Three Kings, Fight Club, The Green Mile, Any Given Sunday
36.    Top 3 TV Shows
37.    #1 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire — Tuesday
38.    #2 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire — Thursday
39.    #3 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire — Sunday
40.    Debuts: The PJs, The Parkers, The Queen Latifah Show, Judge Mathis
41.    Economic Snapshots
42.    Income = 40.8k (Previously 38.1k)
43.    House = 131.7k (129.3k)
44.    Car = 21kk (17k)
45.    Rent = 645 (619)
46.    Harvard = 31.1k (30,080)
47.    Movie = 5.06 (4.69)
48.    Gas = 1.22 (1.15)
49.    Stamp = .33 (.32)
50.    Social Scene: Y2K Scare
51.    The Y2K problem and the millennium bug was the most important thing on most companies minds in 1999. This fear was fueled by the press coverage and other media speculation, as well as corporate and government reports. All over the world companies and organizations checked and upgraded their computer systems. Problems were anticipated, and arose, because many programs represented four-digit years with only the final two digits – making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900.
52.    (Audio Clip)
53.    Music Scene
54.    Music Scene: Black Songs from the Top 40
55.    #2 "No Scrubs" - TLC
56.    #3 "Angel of Mine" - Monica
57.    #4 "Heartbreak Hotel" - Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price
58.    #9 "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" - Deborah Cox
59.    #11 "Where My Girls At?" - 702
60.    #12 "If You Had My Love" - Jennifer Lopez
61.    #14 "Have You Ever?" - Brandy
62.    #16 "I'm Your Angel" - R. Kelly and Celine Dion
63.    #19 "Smooth" - Santana featuring Rob Thomas
64.    #20 "Unpretty" - TLC
65.    #21 "Bills, Bills, Bills" - Destiny's Child
66.    #24 "Fortunate" - Maxwell
67.    #27 "What's It Gonna Be?!" - Busta Rhymes featuring Janet
68.    #28  "What It's Like" - Everlast
69.    #29 "Fly Away" - Lenny Kravitz
70.    #31 "Lately" - Divine
71.    #33 "Wild Wild West" - Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee
72.    #35 "Heartbreaker" - Mariah Carey featuring Jay-Z
73.    #36 "I Still Believe" - Mariah Carey
74.    #39 "Can I Get A..." - Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule
75.    #42 "Mambo No. 5" - Lou Bega
76.    #43 "Sweet Lady" - Tyrese
77.    Top Rnb Albums
78.    Jan Ghetto Fabulous - Mystikal
79.    Jan Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood - DMX
80.    Feb Made Man - Silkk the Shocker
81.    Feb Chyna Doll - Foxy Brown
82.    Feb The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
83.    Mar Da Next Level - Mr. Serv-On
84.    Mar FanMail - TLC
85.    Mar Bossalinie - C-Murder
86.    Apr The Slim Shady LP - Eminem
87.    Apr I Am… - Nas
88.    May  Ryde or Die Vol. 1 - Ruff Ryders
89.    May No Limit Top Dogg - Snoop Dogg
90.    Jun In Our Lifetime - 8Ball & MJG
91.    Jun The Art of Storytelling - Slick Rick
92.    Jun Venni Vetti Vecci - Ja Rule
93.    Jul Da Real World - Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott
94.    Jul Beneath the Surface - GZA/Genius
95.    Jul Street Life - Fiend
96.    Jul Can't Stay Away - Too Short
97.    Aug Guerrilla Warfare - Hot Boys
98.    Aug Coming of Age - Memphis Bleek
99.    Sep Mary - Mary J. Blige
100.    Sep Forever - Puff Daddy
101.    Oct Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders' First Lady - Eve
102.    Ocy Blackout! - Method Man & Redman
103.    Nov Only God Can Judge Me - Master P
104.    Nov Tha Block Is Hot - Lil Wayne
105.    Dec 2001 - Dr. Dre
106.    Dec Born Again - The Notorious B.I.G.
107.    Featured Artist: Eminem
108.    Childhood & Early Life: Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1972, to parents who were members of a band that used to perform at the hotel 'Ramada Inns.' He grew up in a predominantly black neighbourhood, where he was often bullied. As a child he showed affinity toward comics and music, particularly rapping. He had a difficult childhood and he was never on good terms with his mother. He was, however, close to her half-brother, Ronnie. Marshall's education suffered as a result of constant troubles with his mom and he dropped-out of 'Lincoln High School,' when he was seventeen.
109.    Career: When Marshall was fourteen years old, he started rapping and attenditg contetst with his friend DeShaun Dupree Holton, who later became famous as rapper Proof. The two friends formed their own group called 'D12' or 'The Dirty Dozen,' in 1996. Also in 1996, Eminem (@16) brought out his first album titled 'Infinite.' The album was recorded under the banner of 'FBT Productions,' and included songs that spoke about the struggles he faced after the birth of his daughter, at a time when he was financially unstable. His financial condition had worsened and by 1997, he was forced to live in his mother's house with his family. During this time, to let go of the frustration building inside him, he created an anti-social alter-ego named 'Slim Shady.' He even recorded his first extended play by the same name in the same year.
110.    After he was fired from his job and evicted from his home, Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. He placed second, and an Interscope Records intern in attendance called asked Eminem for a copy of the Slim Shady EP, which was then sent to company CEO Jimmy Iovine. Iovine played the tape for record producer Dr. Dre, who recalled sayingd, "In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, 'Find him. Now.'" Although Dre's friends criticized him for hiring a white rapper, he was confident in his decision: "I don't give a fuck if you're purple; if you can kick it, I'm working with you."
111.    In February 1999, Dr. Dre helped Eminem release an album titled 'The Slim Shady LP,' which immediately catapulted him to fame. With hits like 'My Name Is,' '97 Bonnie and Clyde,' and 'Guilty Conscience,' it was one of the most successful albums of the year.
112.    Movie Scene: The Best Man
113.    Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs), a commitment-shy writer and the best man at the wedding of Lance (Morris Chestnut) and Mia (Monica Calhoun), is nervous-and with good reason. His steamy new novel hits bookstores soon, and when his friends finally read it he knows they will notice more than just a passing resemblance to the characters depicted in the book.
114.    Director: Malcolm D. Lee, Debut film [Undercover Brother (2002), Roll Bounce (2005), Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008), Soul Men (2008), Scary Movie 5 (2013), The Best Man Holiday (2013), Girls Trip (2017), and Night School (2018)]
115.    Cast: Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terance Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall [*Film Debut]
116.    'The Best Man': A Joyous Occasion [By Lonnae O'Neal Parker Washington Post Staff Writer, Oct 1999]
117.    This smart debut from filmmaker Malcolm D. Lee, cousin to the film's producer, Spike, centers around a group of old friends who reunite in New York for a wedding. Tapping into the Zeitgeist of young black professionals starving to see themselves on film, it hits all the right cultural touchstones: from BET to Stevie Wonder, Chubb Rock to bid whist. Although the film is produced by Spike Lee, don't expect racial politics. And while comparisons to another black wedding-themed movie starring Taye Diggs, "The Wood," are bound to come up, resist.
118.    James Berardinelli - Reelviews
119.    The Best Man is not what it initially seems to be. Despite starting out with all the earmarks of a fairly ordinary romantic comedy, the project develops into a surprisingly effective look at a man's quest for rebirth after events topple him from a pedestal of arrogance. And, while there are plenty of laughs to be had, The Best Man functions better as a light drama than a straight comedy, with several scenes packing a punch because they're played straight. The film is the directorial debut of Malcolm D. Lee (Spike's cousin), who may have gotten this chance because of family connections but shows enough promise to earn further opportunities on his own.
120.    The Best Man (1999) - 1½ Stars [Reviewed by Dustin Putman, October 1999]
121.    As with 1997's melodramatic, corny "Soul Food," and last summer's "The Wood," which also starred Diggs in a story set around a wedding(!), "The Best Man" aspires to be something more than it actually is. Kudos to Lee for trying his hand at a more knowledgeable picture that all audiences (not just African-Americans) might enjoy, but he also gets more than his share of debits for its severely flawed treatment. At over two hours in length, "The Best Man" thankfully never overstays its welcome and goes by fairly fast, but by the time the Electric Slide was carried out by everyone at the wedding reception over the end credits, I realized that the actors deserved far better. As is, the conclusion plays like an excuse for each of the cast members to give themselves a pat on the back, when they really didn't earn that pat to begin with.
122.    Denzel Washington, film debut in Carbon Copy (1981) and in 1982, Denzel made his first appearance in the medical drama St. Elsewhere as Dr. Philip Chandler. The role proved to be the breakthrough in his career.
123.    Nominated for Best Supporting Actor: Cry Freedom (1988) and Glory (1990)(*won)
124.    Nominated for Best Actor for Malcolm X (1993)
125.    1981 Carbon Copy / 1984 A Soldier's Story / 1986 Power / 1987 Cry Freedom / 1988 For Queen and Country / 1989 The Mighty Quinn / 1989 Glory / 1990 Heart Condition / 1990 Mo' Better Blues / 1991 Mississippi Masala / 1991 Ricochet / 1992 Malcolm X / 1993 Much Ado About Nothing / 1993 The Pelican Brief / 1993 Philadelphia / 1995 Crimson Tide / 1995 Virtuosity / 1995 Devil in a Blue Dress / 1996 Courage Under Fire / 1996 The Preacher's Wife / 1998 Fallen / 1998 He Got Game / 1998 The Siege / 1999 The Bone Collector / 1999 The Hurricane - [25 films]
126.    Samuel L. Jackson.
127.    Nominated for Best Supporting Actor: Pulp Fiction (1994)
128.    1981 Ragtime / 1987 Magic Sticks / 1988 Coming to America / 1988 School Daze / 1989 Do the Right Thing / 1989 Sea of Love / 1990 Def by Temptation / 1990 A Shock to the System / 1990 Betsy's Wedding / 1990 Mo' Better Blues / 1990 The Exorcist III / 1990 Goodfellas / 1990 The Return of Superfly / 1991 Strictly Business / 1991 Jungle Fever / 1991 Jumpin' at the Boneyard / 1991 Johnny Suede / 1992 Juice / 1992 Patriot Games /1992 White Sands / 1992 Fathers & Sons / 1993 Menace II Society /1993 Loaded Weapon / 1993 Amos & Andrew / 1993 Jurassic Park / 1993 True Romance / 1994 Fresh / 1994 Pulp Fiction / 1994 The New Age / 1994 Hail Caesar / 1994 Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker / 1994 The Search for One-eye Jimmy / 1995 Kiss of Death / 1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance / 1995 Losing Isaiah / 1995 Fluke / 1996 The Great White Hype / 1996 A Time to Kill / 1996 The Long Kiss Goodnight / 1996 Hard Eight / 1996 Trees Lounge / 1997 One Eight Seven / 1997 Eve's Bayou / 1997 Jackie Brown / 1998 Sphere / 1998 The Negotiator / 1998 The Red Violin / 1998 Out of Sight / 1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace / 1999 Deep Blue Sea - [50 films]
129.    Question: DW vs. SLJ?
130.    Television Scene:
131.    18 Black Sitcoms of the '90s That Changed the Game: Published Jan 24, 2020 - By Damarys Ocaña Perez
132.    Black sitcoms have been popular since classics like Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Sanford and Son hit television screens nationwide in the '70s. But it wasn't until The Cosby Show became a ratings juggernaut in the mid '80s that networks finally saw the potential in investing heavily in sitcoms with black leads.
133.    And so the '90s became a decade in which more black sitcoms than ever made it onto TV
134.    Naturally, given the success of The Cosby Show, a lot of shows that followed featured families. But they didn't just simply copy the formula.
135.    The lives of younger people took center stage as well in the '90s. So, instead of being the token black friend within the larger context of a show, black teens, college students, 20-something professionals became the vehicle for funny and even poignant stories.
136.    The '90s turned hugely talented black comedians and actors into stars who remain household names to this day, and it goes to show the impact that being given a seat at the table and a voice on prime time television can accomplish.
137.    Here are 18 black '90s sitcoms that we love do this day for the impact they had on our lives then and now.
138.    'A Different World' (1987-1993): One of the show's major accomplishments was being among the first to tackle real issues like date rape, racism, and HIV, things that the Cosby Show had avoided. A Different World is the gem that created a bridge to the '90s black sitcom boom.
139.    'Family Matters' (1989-1997): The longest-running sitcom about a black family (it spanned nine seasons to The Cosby Show's eight), Family Matters was not only funny -- especially after introducing super-nerd Urkel -- but managed to balance big laughs with more serious moments. There were episodes that centered around civil rights history and police mistreatment of young black men, and a wide-ranging audience got to see them, thanks to the show's across-the-board popularity.
140.    'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' (1990-1996): Nestled between Will Smith's rapping days and his status as one of the world's most bankable A-list movie stars was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which made his a household name and produced one of the longest-running fan debates in TV history on which of the two actresses who played Aunt Viv was the best one.
141.    'Roc' (1991-1994): Before Charles S. Dutton went on to win three Emmys for his work on other shows, he starred in this underrated and brief series that was fairly typical sitcom until the second season, which aired each episode live. Roc was a treat because Dutton and several of the other cast members were trained stage actors.
142.    'Martin' (1992-1997): Martin Lawrence was all edge when he wasn't doing Martin. (One of his stand-up specials was slapped with an NC-17 rating, and he was banned from Saturday Night Live for delivering a hilariously raunchy monologue.) That makes it all the more interesting that on the show Martin, he played a lovably manic man-boy. We lost count of how many characters Martin played on the show (in disguise), each one of them hilarious in their own specific way.
143.    'Hangin' With Mr. Cooper' (1992-1997): This sitcom had a great cast, including comedian Raven-Symoné, Holly Robinson Peete, and Mark Curry.
144.    'Living Single' (1993-1998): The show marked the first time that we saw young black women portrayed as professionals and given well-rounded personalities, have healthy relationships, and pave the way for black female-centered shows - nlike Girlfriends and Insecure.
145.    'Sister, Sister' (1994-1999): There are so many reasons why we loved Sister,Sister, and one of them was that the show would occasionally break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience, which made us feel part of the action. But the show also had layers that deepened its story: The girls had been the product of an interracial relationship between a black mom and a white dad who never had the chance to marry before being separated in tragic circumstances.
146.    'In The House' (1995-1999): It wasn't the world's best sitcom, but hey, LL Cool J has always been a snack.
147.    'The Parent 'Hood' (1995-1999): One of the four original Wednesday night shows that helped launched the WB (The Wayans Bros was another), what sets the show apart are the whimsical fantasy sequences that the dad dreams up to help him solve family issues in a creative and unexpected way.
148.    'The Wayans Bros.' (1995-1999): In Living Color, it's not, but this sitcom from younger Wayans siblings Shawn and Marlon is still simple fun that doesn't require too many brain cells -- and that can be a good thing.
149.    'Moesha' (1996-2001): Moesha centered around a black teenager diving into deeper explorations of all kinds of relationships and left cliffhangers in several story lines dangling when it was canceled.
150.    'The Jamie Foxx Show' (1996-2001): Fresh off the groundbreaking comedy sketch show In Living Color and before he becoming an movie star, Jamie Foxx starred as an aspiring actor who works at his relatives' hotel.
151.    'Kenan & Kel' (1996-2000): Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were Nickelodeon's first black sitcom stars, having landed their own show when producers saw them joking around on the set of All That when they were series regulars.
152.    'The Steve Harvey Show' (1996-2002): A big highlight is the constant guest star roster that's a who's who of black TV stars and musicians -- like Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Kim Fields, and Ja’Net DuBois of the classic sitcom Good Times.
153.    'The Hughleys' (1998-2002): Two decades before Black-ish tackled a similar premise, The Hughleys featured a family that lives in a predominantly white neighborhood.
154.    'The Famous Jett Jackson' (1998-2001): This show had just 65 episodes but has a special place in our hearts as the first Disney Channel show to feature a black actor as the lead. The immensely talented and magnetic Lee Thompson Young starred as Jett Jackson, a kid who tries to live a normal life when he's not filming. Thompson tragically died at age 29, after struggling with bipolar disorder and depression, but the heartwarming show lives on.
155.    'The Parkers' (1999-2004): It's no surprise that one of the most down-to-earth black sitcoms from the '90s starred Mo'Nique as a single mom who dropped out of high school to raise her baby.
156.    Question: Most Liked Show of the 90’s?
157.    Vote: Best/most important/favorite pop culture item from 1999