As we’ve seen in past editions of BitchTapes, many Bitch Media staffers spent the 90s listening to super cool, street-cred building riot grrrl jams. Well, I’ve got a confession to make: Even though I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I had no idea that riot grrrl was even happening until it was already over. No, I spent my formative feminist years listening mainly to top 40 radio. Lucky for me, that included a whole lot of all-female R&B music. Behold:
1. “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue
This song had a lot to teach young suburbanites (like myself) about racial prejudices. Also, my best friend used to think the chorus went, Free your mind/ And the rats will follow which still makes me laugh.
2. “None of Your Business” by Salt N Pepa
Before “Let’s Talk About Pep” was even a twinkle in Vh1’s eye, these ladies were rapping about sexual double standards.
3. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by TLC
With a similar message to “None of Your Business,” TLC wants us to know that even though they’re ladies they’re not too proud to ask for sex when they want it.
4. “Just Kickin’ It” by Xscape
This song tells us that you don’t need to get dressed up all fancy to be a good girlfriend, you can just be yourself! You do need to “always keep him in the mood” though, so the message isn’t perfect. Still, it’s a good song.
5. “Don’t Walk Away Boy” by Jade
This song is all about waiting until it feels right before you make a commitment. It’s like a 90s version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”!
6. “I’m So Into You” by SWV
A perfect song for declaring your unrequited crush on someone. I even made a dance up to this when I was in high school. Ohhhh yeah.
7. “Shorty Swing My Way” by KP & Envyi
Another song about declaring your romantic interest in someone. Perhaps there is a pattern here?
8. “Where My Girls At?” by 702
I guess the literal interpretation of this song (a woman trying to keep other women away from her boyfriend) isn’t all that feminist, but I like to think of this song as being more about sisterhood. Where my girls at?!?
9. “No No No No” by Destiny’s Child
Before Beyoncé we had Destiny’s Child. This is one of their first singles, and I like how the message here is that everyone in dating situations should just keep it real.
10. “808” by Blaque
Blaque was “granted the power to make you dance!” So get to it already!