No Diggity by Blackstreet
Today, October 8th, is Teddy Riley’s birthday. So what better time to talk about this party classic?
According to sources, this was the song to knock the “Macarena” off its 14-week run at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1996. Rolling Stone & MTV said it was one of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs; VH1 calls it one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the ‘90s. In the year it was released, it sold 1.6 million copies and went on to win a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
The platinum record was produced by Teddy Riley himself. The track is a relentless groove created by looping a tempo-adjusted, pitch-shifted sample of “Grandma’s Hands” by Bill Withers. Just about 5 seconds of strumming & humming at the beginning of a song that follows Withers more famous “Ain’t No Sunshine” on his album Just As I Am. One can only imagine how the process of making this song actually started…
I was so fascinated by the creativity of the video for “No Diggity" that as a child, I failed to acknowledge the importance of Dr. Dre’s cameo even though I had repeated the song a million times to mimic both him & Queen Pen. (And I would dare say that it was actually my formal introduction to Dr. Dre) Truth is, I can’t imagine the song without those two crucial verses. But the inclusion of marionettes of Teddy & Chauncey, playing and singing, was well infused with the other imagery by director Hype Williams, who would prove to be another visionary in the music industry. In fact, the video got nominated for Best R&B Video and Best Rap Video in the 1997 MTV VMAs.
In honor of Teddy’s birthday, I’m gonna go ahead and revisit Blackstreet's Another Level album… Go on, have a happy Blackstreet day! ^_^
Written by Kay.DS