Does the perfect club song exist?
This is the question I asked myself a few nights ago, sipping a beer at a local dance club while so-cheesy-they’re-cool ‘80s pop songs intermingled with the slightly more hardcore fare of the past 10 years to keep booties shaking on the dance floor.
There’s a song like “Dirrty,” a tune that best exemplifies the late-‘90s/early-‘00s move from dancing with one another at a club to straight-up dry humping to a beat under the mirror ball. “Toxic” personifies the millennial trend toward style over substance in the popular culture. There’s “Billie Jean,” a quintessentially American club song, not to mention the cue for any Jacko wannabe to break out his best Moonwalk (and they’re still out there). Any Prince song is almost guaranteed to get you and your girl where you’re trying to go. “Like a Prayer” is the ultimate Girls Night Out song, a tune so powerful the ladies are helpless against its powers, though it makes them forget about any guys in the vicinity, which is somewhat counterproductive.
But if one is to contemplate the perfect dance song, a few factors have to be taken into account. First, sex must feature prominently. Unless your last name is Montana or Saprano, why else are you at a dance club beyond trying to get laid? Next, the beat must be relatively fat with plenty of groove to go along with it. Along that same line, it’s got to be pretty damn smooth (there was once a popular band called Silk, for instance). Originality pushes it over the top, as anyone can drop a beat on his or her keyboard and rap about nothing (witness the briefly dominant No Limit Empire). There’s a caveat to this last one, though: The song must fit within the genre of which it is a part, while simultaneously standing on its own as an innovative work of art.
I contemplated all of this while waiting on another five dollar Miller Lite when I heard it, the single greatest dance song in the history of American popular music. As the song moved into its riveting first verse, it seemed so easy, a song I’d known for almost my entire natural life but for some reason completely forgot about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you …“Do Me!,” by Bel Biv Devoe.
Let’s do the rundown:
Sex – Check! The song is called “Do Me!” The first verse ends with a line that lays it all out there: “Do you think you can dooooooo me?” This song starts playing and you can smell sex on that dance floor.
A Fat Groove – Check! The slinking bass groove runs the show on this song. Find a girl when you hear it starting, and there’s no telling when the dry humping’s going to stop. I mean, Teddy Riley’s crew was involved here … enough said.
Smooth – Check! “The time was six o’clock on the swatch watch/No time to chill, got a date, can’t be late, hey!/The girl’s gonna do me.” I mean really, does it get smoother than saying, “Hey guys, I’d love to hang out, but I gotta go get some”? Nope. This song is teaming with rhymes just like that. And, as the mark of a smooth gentleman is his asking for and receiving what he wants, I’d like to direct your attention to the chorus: “Do Me Baby/Oh oh oh/Do Me Baby/You can do me if you wanna do me/Do Me Baby/Yeaaaaaaaaah/Do Me Baby/Oh…yeah!”
Original – Check! Bel Biv Devoe were hip-hop pioneers, and this song best exemplifies “New Jack Swing,” a sound that dominated the genre for 10 or 12 minutes as the 1980s became the 1990s. This means BBD was possibly the first band to successfully combine R&B, hip-hop and pop. That’s pretty huge right there.
It seems to me that no collection of talent other than Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens and Ronnie Devoe had balls enough to say, “You know what, we’re going to write a song called ‘Do Me,’ and it’s going to be HUGE. Get Teddy Riley on the phone.” And, what’s more, as the world first came to terms with AIDS’ arrival on the scene, the song promotes safe sex: “Action took place/Kinda wet, don’t forget/the J, the I, the M, the M, the Y/I need a body bag.” Not only did they produce the smoothest song yet unleashed upon the world, but they were responsible with the fruit of the song’s labor.
I’m no scholar of dance music. I can’t stand disco, and crunk kind of pisses me off. I can bounce around, but actually dancing is pretty far beyond me (and I prefer to do my dry humping on a bed in a dimly lit room).
All I can say is “Do Me!” is the purest slice of dance music I’ve ever come across. It’s smooth and sexy with a fat beat and was the first of its kind. You can’t get onboard with that, maybe you should go to China with all the other Communists.
Number 2 on the list? “It Takes Two,” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. Now THAT song gets the asses shaking.
I wanna rock right now, HIT IT!