Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pride Month: Destiny's Child Song Facts

CATER 2 U by DESTINY'S CHILD

This was the fourth and final single from R&B trio Destiny's Child's fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fufilled.

Legal action was brought against the R&B trio by singer/songwriter Rickey Allen, who claimed that this song was inspired by a track he had composed with the same title, which was copyrighted in the mid-1990s. The three Destiny Child stars finally agreed to a settlement behind closed doors in 2009.

SAY MY NAME by DESTINY'S CHILD

Two members of Destiny's Child - LeTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett - quit the group before the video shoot for this song. They were replaced by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams, who were mostly hidden in the video. Franklin was fired a few months later and the group continued as a trio.

This is about a woman who wants to hear her boyfriend speak affectionately to her because she suspects he's in a room with another woman. She says, "When no is around you, you say 'Baby, I love you' Why you playing games?"

In 2000, this won Grammys for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo Or Group.

In a 2008 interview with Pop Justice, Kelly Rowland revealed that this is her favorite Destiny's Child song. She said: "It was so much fun to record and we crossed over with that song into a whole new world and it was amazing for us. Our audience got bigger."

Luckett and Roberson alleged they didn't know they were out of the group until they saw their replacements, Franklin and Williams, in the video. The clip, which won for Best R&B Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, was directed by Joseph Kahn, who also helmed the promo for "Jumpin' Jumpin.'"

The group wrote this with LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III and Rodney Jerkins - the same team that was busy preparing Jennifer Lopez for a singing career that same year with her debut hit "If You Had My Love."

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS by DESTINY'S CHILD

This song is about a man who gradually becomes more dependent on his girlfriend for money; he runs up bills and then asks his girl to pay them. Kandi Burruss and Kevin "She'kspare" Briggs, who had already written the song "Bug A Boo" for the group and had worked with TLC on "No Scrubs," came up with "Bills" on their second trip to Houston to write songs for Destiny's Child. Briggs got the idea for the "can you pay my bills?" hook when they were in a grocery store. According to Burruss, she came up with the melody, and made sure the song wasn't about desperate girls looking for a guy to pay their way, but ladies who thought they deserved better than a man who never picked up the tab. Burruss based many of the lyrics on a true story: a guy she dated would drive around her car and use her cell phone while she put gas in it.

When Burruss and Briggs went back to the studio, they had a writing session and worked on the song with group members Beyoncé Knowles and LeToya Luckett, who got writing credits on the song for contributing lyrics (this is something Beyoncé would often do: work with experienced writers and grab a lucrative writing credit on her songs). By the end of the session, they figured out that the reason they were asking a guy to pay their bills was because the guy was running them up, a distinction lost on listeners who heard only the chorus and figured the girls were looking for a sugar daddy.

This was the first single released from Destiny's Child's second album The Writing's On The Wall, and it became their first #1 hit. Beyoncé was just 17 when they recorded it, and was still using her last name. There were four girls in the band, and the song's co-writer, Kandi Burruss, was about 10 years away from becoming a Real Housewife of Atlanta. Burruss did have girl group experience - she was a member of Xscape, who had a hits with "Just Kickin' It" and "The Arms of the One Who Loves You."

This was the second hit for Destiny's Child with a title made up the same word repeated three times. Their first hit was "No No No."

A dancer in the video, Farrah Franklin, joined the group after Letavia Robertson and LeToya Luckett quit in 2000. Franklin was fired a few months later after she did not show up for an MTV appearance.

This is certainly not the first song to find a woman complaining about her man's lack of financial prowess, but it is one of the more audacious takes on the matter, and the only song we've found in the genre to top the Hot 100. One of the first songs of the Rock Era to explore the topic was sung from a man's perspective: "Money (That's What I Want)," a 1959 Motown classic for Barrett Strong. One of the more enterprising lyrics in that one - "Your love gives me such a thrill, but your love can't pay my bills" - was written by a female writer at Motown named Janie Bradford.

Some listeners misinterpreted this song, thinking the girls were demanding that a guy pay their bills, a mistake made by listening to just the chorus and ignoring the verses. The next year, when Destiny's Child contributed a song to the Charlie's Angels soundtrack, they made sure the meaning was crystal clear: powerful women being able to take care of themselves. That song was "Independent Women Part I," a massive hit. Their next album, Survivor, was all about female empowerment.

Before taking up with Jay Z, Beyoncé was subjected to a passel of pick-up lines. One of her least favorites: "I'll pay your bills."

BOOTYLICIOUS by DESTINY'S CHILD

Group leader Beyoncé Knowles came up with the title and helped write this song. She got the idea when she heard the media's sometimes unpleasant comments about her weight and physique. She wanted to write a song that celebrated a curvy, voluptuous figure.

The group says that despite the title, this is a tasteful song. It is about having confidence and knowing you are beautiful.

This samples the guitar riff from "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks, and Nicks appears in the video. There's not much crossover between their fans, but the Fleetwood Mac singer and the girls of Destiny's Child share a mutual admiration. They met through a chance encounter: Nicks was at 30 Rock (NBC Studios) promoting her Trouble In Shangri-La album on The Rosie O'Donnell Show when she ran into Destiny's Child, who were rehearsing for their appearance on Saturday Night Live. After a chat, they asked Stevie to appear in the video, which she did.

Nicks has never been accused of bootyliciousness, but she is a visionary songwriter/performer and an independent woman who embodies the confidence Destiny's Child projects in this song. Having Stevie in the video implied her endorsement, which helped appease any of Stevie's fans who objected to the sample.

Beyoncé came up with the line "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" when the group was on a plane trip to Japan. She sang it to the other Destiny's Children as a joke, but they loved it and insisted she use it in the song.

She claims that on this same flight she heard "Edge of Seventeen," and thought the guitar riff sounded like a voluptuous woman.

This was not the first time the word "bootylicious" was used in the lyrics of a recorded song. Snoop Dogg rapped on "F--k Wit Dre Day," a track on Dr. Dre's debut 1992 album The Chronic: "Your bark was loud, but your bite wasn't vicious, and them rhymes you were kickin' were quite bootylicious."

The team of Rob Fusari and Falonte Moore produced this track and also received songwriting credits along with Beyoncé and Stevie Nicks.

They put a drum track together using an Akai MPC 2000 sequencer, and decided to loop in the guitar riff from the Survivor hit "Eye of the Tiger." Just one problem: they didn't have that song handy. Fusari had a Stevie Nicks greatest hits album in his CD collection, so they used the riff from "Edge of Seventeen" instead, figuring they'd replace it with "Eye of the Tiger" later.

The track sat on the shelf for about six months before Fusari submitted it, along with a bunch of other songs, to Destiny's Child when they were looking for material for Survivor. "I didn't think it was appropriate, but it was different from the rest of the stuff I was sending, and I know Beyoncé likes different stuff," he said in The Billboard Book of #1 Hits. "I never thought somebody would want to sing over it, but that's the one that turned out to be 'Bootylicious.'"

The "Edge of Seventeen" sample cost half of the song's profits, according to co-producer Rob Fusari. He knew it would be expensive and lobbied to replace it, but the Destiny's Child team insisted it stay.

Destiny's Child performed this at halftime of Game 4 of the 2001 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Sixers. They were booed after the performance by the crowd in Philadelphia, who were also upset because their team was losing.

The trio got a much better reception when they performed it at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2013. After Beyoncé opened the show with a few of her hits, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams blasted out from under the sage and joined her for this song, "Independent Women Part I," and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." it was the group's first appearance since their split in 2006.

Kelly Rowland told the Daily Mail January 4th 2008, "I'm so proud of everything that we did in Destiny's Child. In Destiny's Child, we showed that we could carry ourselves as powerful women, and there was more to us than just our bodies. Some people thought a song like 'Bootylicious' was about being sexy, but it was more about having confidence in your own skin."

The song reached #1 US in August 2001 and stayed for two weeks. It was the second single from the Survivor album, following the title track ("Independent Women Part I" was also included on the album, but first appeared on the Charlie's Angels soundtrack).

Another Fusari/Moore production, "Happy Face," was slated to be the next single, but then September 11 happened. In the wake of the tragedy, their cover of the ballad "Emotion" was issued instead and reached #10 in the US.

Destiny's Child performed this at two Michael Jackson tribute concerts at Madison Square Garden in September 2001.

The first use of the word "bootylicious" in TV or film was on the US TV show A Different World in 1993 when a male character uses it to describe two lovely ladies in the episode "Homie, Don't Ya Know Me?"

"Bootylicious" was added to the revised, third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary Online in 2004. It defines the word as: "bootylicious adjective orig US 1. A term of commendation of rap lyrics. 1992-. 2. Very sexually attractive. 1994-. (Blend of booty buttocks and delicious.)"

Beyoncé told the February 2013 edition of GQ magazine: "Even the silliest little thing that you hear on the radio, it comes from something deeper. 'Bootylicious' was funny, but it came from people saying that I had gained weight and me being like, 'I'm a southern woman, and this is how southern women are.' My motivation is always to express something or to heal from something or to laugh and rejoice about something."

Rockwilder and Missy Elliott remixed this as a slower version that was used on the soundtrack to the movie Carmen.

In 2003, Soulwax created a comical mashup of this with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" called "Smells Like Booty."

INDEPENDENT WOMEN PART I by DESTINY'S CHILD

The biggest hit of 2000, this song followed the winning formula of accessible hip-hop/dance attached to a blockbuster movie. In the late '90s, this was the forte of Will Smith, who did it with "Men In Black" (1997) and "Wild Wild West" (1999).

"Independent Women" was featured in the movie Charlie's Angels; the stars of the film, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, are mentioned in the song.

The production team Poke & Tone (Jean-Claude Olivier and Samuel Barnes) produced this track and co-wrote it with Beyoncé and Cory Rooney. Poke & Tone were known for crafting Will Smith's hit sound on "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and "Miami." They also had some girl group experience, having produced Allure.

Beyoncé came up with the song after having an argument with her boyfriend. She thought to herself, "I don't need a man, I'm independent," and with that went into a studio on her own and recorded vocals for the first version of this song, which promoted female independence, both financially and relationally. A team of producers - Eric Seats, Rapture Stewart, David Donaldson - put the track together using a sample from the Peabody's Improbable History theme song. This version was later used on the 2001 Destiny's Child album Survivor as "Independent Women Part II," but a radically different rendition became the hit.

Destiny's Child's label, Columbia, whose studio division was distributing the Charlie Angels film, decided that it would be a great fit for the movie, which portrayed the lead characters as tough, liberated women. They wanted the hit sound of Poke & Tone, however, so they commissioned the duo to remix the track and have the group alter the lyrics to suit the film. Instead of remixing it, Poke & Tone completely reworked the song, earning lucrative writing credits in the process. This second version of the song was released first, so it was labeled "Independent Women Part I."

There is no mistaking the meaning of this song, which Destiny's Child wanted to make clear following their 1999 hit "Bills, Bills, Bills," where the chorus ("Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills?") led some listeners to believe they were golddiggers looking for a man to support them. They left no doubt that they could take care of themselves on "Independent Women."

Shortly before this was released, Destiny's Child went from four members to three when Farrah Franklin left the group, leaving them a trio of Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams. This solved a logistical problem, since they could now make the video where the girls in the group took the roles of the three Charlie's Angels.

The song was released as a single on September 14, 2000 in advance of the movie, which opened on November 3. It hit #1 US the week of November 18, and stayed at the top for 11 weeks, a record for an all-female group. The song was still echoing on playlists in February 2001 when Destiny's Child issued the title track of Survivor as the first single from the album. That song kept the female empowerment theme going, which continued with the next single, "Bootylicious."

"Independent Women Part I" appeared as the first track on the Survivor album, which was released on May 1, 2001.

The video was directed by Francis Lawrence, who went on to direct the Hunger Games movies (featuring one of the more independent female characters in fiction: Katniss Everdeen). Scenes from Charlie's Angels are incorporated into the video, but the bulk of it is original footage, showing Destiny's Child in boss mode, calling the shots at a conference table in between dance routines.

Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (from The Bodyguard soundtrack) spent 14 weeks at #1 in the US, but "Independent Women Part I," with 11 weeks at the top, is the longest-running #1 original song from a soundtrack - "I Will Always Love You" was written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton.

In 2013, Destiny's Child shared the stage at the 2013 halfime show, where Beyoncé was the featured performer. After playing some of her solo selections, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her for part of this song.

No comments: