February 24, 2016
You simply cannot have a conversation about R&B at the turn of the last century without including Donell Jones. Whether you were in the club or listening to your Walkman (remember those) his smooth jams were EVERYWHERE. And while he released a rack of hits, it was his biggest jam that remains our favorite. “U Know What’s Up” is a classic song about finally mustering the courage to speak to your crush that brings you back to the first place you ever heard it: a house party, for many of us. It’s been a while since we took a look at the video, and of course, we noticed a few things we hadn’t the first few thousand times we’d seen it. Here are five thoughts we had after re-watching the “U Know What’s Up” music video.
Be sure to catch Unsung featuring Donell Jones this Wednesday at 8/7 c!
1. Cameo Game Was Strong: We forgot how many artists from the LaFace Records roster was in this video. Cameos include the late and great Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, Usher, Big Boi of Outkast, T.I., and the YoungBloodZ.
2. Music video within a music video: Man, there sure were a lot of screens! In almost every scene, Donnell is singing and smiling from the other side of a screen. While this felt kind of futuristic at the time — flatscreens were sort of hard to get then — in hindsight we’re thinking Donell wasn’t present for his own music video.
3. Long Shelf Life: Yes, this song is about as old as Kylie Jenner but damn if this isn’t still our jam. Throw this on at your next party and we bet old heads and millennials will be on the dance floor.
4. Look at those 90’s Moves: The only thing missing was the Tootsie Roll.
5. What are thoooose?: This wouldn’t qualify as a late 90’s R&B music video without the baggy leather jacket and pants to match. Whew! Thankfully, times have changed.