Morning Coffee

A few days ago, via Twitter, I offered a few notes on the aesthetic of 80s R&B groups."Shiny" was the buzz-word. Vaseline and jheri juice were primary components. But by the 90s, the processed aesthetic had given way to something different--the era of Black Love


Somewhere around 91-92, a style emerged--perhaps influenced by hip-hop--that featured the R&B singer in his natural idealized habitat. Out with the pleather and S-Curl. In with the Kinte Cloth hat and braids. More--in with the TMI. The era of Black Love gave us the gratuitous " love scenes of Boomerang and Jason's Lyric

I think a lot of this came from the fact that we hadn't enjoyed many chances to depict ourselves as sexy, on our terms.Or maybe, it's just about the fact that I haven't had my coffee yet.

Hmmm. 

Either way, this joint was on all of my high school slow-jam tapes. It's that rare cover that I actually like more than the original.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In