Posts from 11th October 1999

11
Oct 99

55. BLACKSTREET – “No Diggity”

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Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

Your ears are a commodity, Teddy Riley just bought them up. “No Diggity” is first of all capitalism in its slinkiest form, in every sense classy. A hymn to money, sex, upward mobility, “No Diggity” triumphs over every other swingbeat anthem because it walks it so much like it talks it. Blackstreet don’t tell you how rich they are, they make every sweet note drip with opulence, and most important of all, they’re never vulgar about it: their song may be ‘urban’ but it never refers back to the street.

The piano lick that gives the song its propulsion sounds old but timeless, like a perfectly positioned antique in a wealthy man’s house. The elegant, airtight atmosphere of “No Diggity” sounds like riding in the back of a long black limousine, with smoked glass cutting you off from the world, giving you a chance to think about….what, exactly? “I can’t get her out of my mind / I think about the girl all the time” The usual, then. “No Diggity” is one of the sexiest songs of the decade, a smooth glide through the head of a man lost in love, sometimes enraptured and sometimes abject. The rolling, wordless, gospel-tinted chant at the song’s peak says everything you need to know about both states: we’ve all been there, just never so luxuriously.