Playa, Birthday and Hi-Five, Birthday Girl
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Slow Jam Saturday : Playa, Birthday and Hi-Five, Birthday Girl

For this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I wanted to pay homage to the love of my life, my wife, Darcie. Today is her 40th birthday, so I am going against the norm and featuring two songs for Slow Jam Saturday. Up first is “Birthday” by Timbaland feat. Playa from the 1998 album, ‘Tim’s Bio: From The Motion Picture – Life From Da Bassment.’ Timbaland was already a certified hit maker when he released his solo album my junior year of high school. Tim’s Bio: From The Motion Picture – Life From Da Bassment featured an impressive array of Hip Hop acts such as Jay-Z, Nas, Twista, Mad Skillz, and a young Ludacris.

However, towards the end of the album, Timbaland links up with R&B trio Playa for one of the best slow jams of 1998. Opening with a smooth intro by the late Static Major and transitioning to verses by Smokey and Black, “Birthday” solidifies what made Playa such a great group. All three members get a chance to show out vocally, and the chorus is still catchy. 

“We got a five star room, the luxury suite
With marble floors, and don’t thank me
Cause I did, I did this for your birthday
All for you, all for you
With a king size bed, the Cognac bar
The sweet TV with the VCR
And I did it, I did this for your birthday”

R&B at its finest, and when Static takes it to the bridge, perfection. The young singers out now need to take note.

The second song I chose for my wife’s birthday is Hi-Five’s Birthday Girl. The song initially appeared on the group’s 1994 Greatest Hits album in the fall of 1994 and a month later showed up on the soundtrack to A Low Down Dirty Shame. The production duo Art & Rhythm provided songwriter Larry Campbell with the perfect music to highlight the maturing tenor of lead singer Tony Thompson maturing tenor. Once again, this song has a classy bridge, and can we show some love to the hook? As I’ve said many times before, the nineties were such a great time for music.

Both songs are available for streaming on your favorite platform.

Final Grade for both songs A

And To My Lovely Wife,

Without you in my life, my heart would miss happiness as the deserts miss the rain. My Beautiful Baby, thank you for making my soul the happiest in the universe. As the days go by, I will continue to give you the paradise you give me: happy 40th birthday, my love.

Movie Clappers

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Having previously revisited the late great Jesse Powell’s first, third and fourth albums, I wanted to bring on a music head to discuss Powell’s second album, Bout It. Arriving in stores on September 8, 1998, Powell’s sophomore album featured the hit song “You”. While R&B fans first heard the song on Powell’s debut, it was officially a single on this album.

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