Football fans will remember 1998 as the year Zinedine Zidane cemented his name in football folklore. Zidane helped France claim their maiden World Cup Trophy scoring two goals in the final. France, hosting their second World Cup tournament sixty years on, won 2-0 in St Dennis in dramatic fashion against the then favourites Brazil.
In music. 1998 was the year legendary jazz singer Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack at the age of 82. Earlier in the year Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to pop music.
Eminem also got signed to Aftermath Entertainment by Dr Dre in 1998. This marked the beginning of a new era in the rap game as the pair went on to make history.
Lauryn Hill made history by becoming the first female rap artist to top the charts without any other billed artist. Her song, ‘Doo-Wop (That Thing)’ from ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Nov 14. This was probably the most iconic track on the album which also reinforced Lauryn’s legendary status in the music industry.
On the Jamaican scene other female artists stepped up on a dancehall rhythm featuring on my throwback of the week. Bookshelf Riddim released in 1998 was produced Tony Kelly. It features Beenie Man with the title track ‘Bookshelf’. Other artists include Lady Saw, Tanto Metro & Devonte, Wayne Wonder, Richie Stephens, Tanya Stephens, Spragga Benz, Sean Paul, Evette, Frisco Kid, Mr Easy, Chrissy D, General Degree, Ali, Sasha and Pancho Krystal.
Beenie’s title track ‘Bookshelf’ was a definite banger along with rising sensation of the time Sean Paul with his track ‘Deport Them’. The riddim is your quintessential club track which gets pulled and repeated constantly in dancehall clubs. The dance tracks have maintained the same effect on audiences over the years and is probably why the riddim is rated in most people’s 90s Top 10 Riddims.
Wayne Wonders ‘Watching You’ also gained a lot of traction along with Tanto Metro & Devonte with ‘Gal Say Woee’. Going back to my previous comment on female artists. My top pick on the riddim is Sasha with Dat Sexy Body. Shasha flirts with her male interest in a timeless classic that dominated the club scene for years.
Bookshelf Riddim is a definite classic. I may not have written enough on it but sometimes words will not give it enough justice. Just give it a listen and you will see what I mean.