meta-script10 Crucial Hip-Hop Albums Turning 30 In 2023: 'Enter The Wu-Tang,' 'DoggyStyle,' 'Buhloone Mindstate' & More | GRAMMY.com
10 Crucial Hip-Hop Albums Turning 30 In 2023:  'Enter The Wu-Tang,' 'DoggyStyle,' 'Buhloone Mindstate' & More
(Clockwise from top left): 2pac - 'Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.'; A Tribe Called Quest - 'Midnight Marauders'; KRS-One - 'Return of the Boom Bap'; De La Soul - 'Buhloone Mindstate'; Snoop Dogg - ' DoggyStyle'; Wu-Tang Clan - 'Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'

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10 Crucial Hip-Hop Albums Turning 30 In 2023: 'Enter The Wu-Tang,' 'DoggyStyle,' 'Buhloone Mindstate' & More

Albums released in 1993 furthered the conversation of what hip-hop was and could be. Debut albums from Mobb Deep, the Roots and Digable Planets, and peak efforts from A Tribe Called Quest and 2pac, help define the sound of the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2023 - 01:10 pm

Most genres of music have a generally agreed-upon golden age, when creativity, experimentation, and talent set the standard for music from that genre going forward. With hip-hop, that era isn’t just generally agreed upon — it’s named. 

While the exact beginning and end are nebulous, the Golden Age of Hip-Hop is generally considered to be between the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, and one year that undoubtedly demonstrates the significance of this era is 1993. An auspicious year for the genre, albums released in '93 furthered the conversation of what hip-hop was and could be.

Lyricism was at its peak during this period, and rappers found new ways to critique the establishment. Though oppression and discrimination were still very pervasive, rappers were more than just soldiers in the fight against it. Albums from '93 engaged in the genre's revolutionary spirit with a forthright expression of their lived experiences as Black people in America, as well as what was going on in their minds and hearts. 

Productions in 1993 were also honoring the history of the genre by putting techniques like sampling and scratching in the forefront. One of the biggest songs of 1993 (and in rap history), Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Brain," applied a squealing and unmistakable sample of which avid listeners to this day are still trying to discern the source.

1993 saw debut albums from now-essential artists, including Mobb Deep, the Roots, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Digable Planets. At the same time, young legends including Tribe Called Quest and 2pac released work that demonstrated how they were at the peak of their game. Today, these records help define the sound of the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

The mainstream wanted hip-hop to be a fad; to fade away along with its message of fighting the power and freedom of self-expression. But that was not destined to be the case, and taking a look back 30 years, these albums are sure to explain why.

A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders

An unnamed female host explains the title of Tribe's third album with a disjointed, monotone: 

"...In this case, we maraud for ears."

Following up 1991’s The Low End Theory was not going to be an easy task by any means, but somehow the trio of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali-Shaheed Muhammad managed to do so on this masterpiece LP.  Released in November, Tribe constructed a record that captures the culture of rappers on the rise.

The lyrics are not as forceful as those from N.W.A. and Public Enemy. Instead of throwing salvos at the government, the inherent rebellion happens in the demonstration that a rap album didn’t just have to be social commentary. The standout "Electric Relaxation" depicts the oh-so-human experience of early courtship, while "Oh My God" reflects the general reaction from the listener when they hear how adept at the craft Tribe truly is.

Midnight Marauders is a look at the humanity behind rap and that’s what the fight for equality really is — the ability to be recognized as human. That "Award Tour" that Tribe is rapping about? It’s a statement that rap and the people who create it are here to stay: "Going each and every place with a mic in their hand."

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is not only the supergroup's first album, but it’s also their magnum opus — though not in the sense that they peaked. Wu-Tang were staking their claim in the world, and that stake has only grown larger over the last 30 years.  

The combined forces of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP) was a power that hip-hop (and really every genre of music) hadn’t seen before or since. Each MC brought a unique style and flow (to the point they have all recorded solo albums) to the record, shouting hooks like "Protect Ya Neck," and "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit." 

But the most influential track off the record was undoubtedly "C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)." With its silky piano-driven beat, the nine major MCs demonstrated that they could rap with as much finesse as they could power. 

Snoop Dogg - DoggyStyle

Snoop Dogg has gone through several moniker changes (from Snoop Doggy Dogg, to Snoop Dogg, to Snoop Lion), featured in major films, and become an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, leaving an indelible effect on culture with each evolution.  

But none of that would be possible if he didn’t write "Gin & Juice," for his now classic debut album DoggyStyle. G-funk existed before Snoop came into the picture, but Snoop gave it that extra bounce — the kind that comes from a ‘64 Impala with fresh hydraulics. From '93 on, it would certainly be a doggy dog world.

Snoop and his close friend and collaborator, Dr. Dre, embodied the gangsta rap lifestyle in a literal fashion. The same year DoggyStyle was released, Snoop and his bodyguard were charged with murder when the bodyguard killed a rival gang member. They were both later acquitted of all charges in 1996.

Souls of Mischief - 93 'til Infinity

Stepping on the scene in September ‘93, Souls of Mischief were an arm of Hieroglyphics, an Oakland, California-based collective founded by Del Tha Funky Homosapien. On their debut record, the rapping quartet of Phesto, A-Plus, Opio, and Tajai took the West Coast sound to a more chill place, connecting to audiences through their love of jazz and getting real about their understanding of the world around them.

No song better represents this intention than the album's title track. Now a classic, "93 'til Infinity's" echoing horns and dreamy keys create a spacious, yet intriguing backdrop for the foursome to share stories of everyday activities: hanging out with friends, meeting girls, and going to the movies.

But that’s the point. Very few people can relate to murder charges; everyone can relate to chilling — including rappers like J.Cole, Freddie Gibbs, Joey Bada$$, who sampled the beat, and likely many more who recognize the mischievous power of chill.

2Pac - Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

The second album from Tupac Shakur demonstrates his staying power, consistency, and how he was going to change the course of rap forever.

The backronym "N.I.G.G.A.Z" means "Never Ignorant in Getting Goals Accomplished," and Shakur made his goals clear on this album: He was going to stand up for the principles of rap while still pushing the sound into new territory.

Though he was deep in the gritty lifestyle of gangsta rap — a lifestyle that would eventually take his life at the age of 25 — Shakur used his music and his growing platform to stand up for moral values like respecting women, an idea he explores with an entire stanza in "Keep Ya Head Up."

And in the spirit of these more humble and grounded lyrics, Shakur employs beats that are less flashy and more minimalistic, ensuring his words are heard and understood.

Mobb Deep - Juvenile Hell

Rap music is deeply ingrained into the struggles of Black Americans, and Mobb Deep went through struggles with this LP. 

Just teenagers at the time, this debut album didn’t receive any chart placements upon release causing their label, 4th & B'way Records, to quickly drop them. Production from legends like DJ Premier and Large Professor didn’t help either. Yet in listening to the single "Peer Pressure," the sole track with DJ Premier on production, it’s understandable why Mobb Deep didn’t connect off the bat.

Though the lyrics of members Prodigy and Havoc were honest and relatable, their delivery set them apart. Their use of syncopation and unconventional rhyme placements created a groove that was less club-ready and more primed for in-depth listening. 

Perhaps the idea of taking a chance on an act with a more intricate approach didn’t seem worth it at the time for a label, but Mobb Deep would prove them wrong by embracing that struggle. 

Their second album, 1995’s The Infamous, is now rightfully lauded as one of the best rap albums in history. 

The Roots - Organix

The Roots have never been typical: They hail from Philadelphia, not one of the cities traditionally prevalent in the history of rap. They perform with a band, a staunch departure from DJing which was the standard among the genre at the time. 

Today, they’re pop culture staples with a residency on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, is an Oscar and GRAMMY-winning director and author.

Yet the atypical nature that would take the Roots to the highest echelons of culture was first demonstrated on their debut album, Organix

With the live approach, there was a looser and more collaborative feel between the beats built around Thompson’s drumming and the vocals primarily delivered by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter. The resulting energy (which the group maintains to this day) is more akin to an instrumental jam, with the music and vocalists playing off one another. 

This created tracks on Organix with longer run times like "Pass The Popcorn" which is over five minutes, "Grits" which is over six minutes, and the rap epic "The Session (Longest Posse Cut in History)" which is nearly 13 minutes. These longer raps feature a variety of artists, but Trotter is the core of this new format, demonstrating his surprising flow.

A little-known fact about the Roots is that Thompson has also served as an MC throughout the history of the group, and Organix contains a verse or two from the famous drummer.

Digable Planets - Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)

The Golden Age of Hip-Hop saw the development of "jazz rap," a style that emphasized the already vital similarities between the genres by imbuing hip-hop beats with jazz instrumentation.  Digable Planets’ debut album, Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), pioneered the sound.

Beyond the smooth delivery from the three MCs, Digable Planets further emphasized the influence of jazz by sampling genre greats like Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. It’s clear where Digable Planets grabbed the bassline and horn break of "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" within Art Blakey’s "Stretching," taking the first couple bars of longer improvisational sections and looping them into beats — a technique in line with all of the earliest hip-hop beats.  

From the jump, Digable Planets had the courage to apply sampling and looping to the high-flying virtuosity of bebop.

KRS-One - Return of the Boom Bap

In 1993, KRS-One (also known as "Teacha") hit the airwaves and store shelves with his debut solo album, Return of the Boom Bap, and subsequently invited everyone who wanted to listen into a classroom about the realities of life. 

Prior to going solo, KRS-One was a member of the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions; fellow member DJ Scott La Rock was murdered in 1987. Such a tragic loss added a certain fire to the music of KRS-One, and from then on he has been committed to educating his listeners on what it means to be human.

On his debut, he launches this intention with an attack. "KRS-One Attacks" opens the album with the sampled words: "We will be here forever," and then proceeds into an instrumental basis point of boom-bap hip-hop production that sets the tone for the rest of the album. 

One song that will certainly be around for decades to come is the record’s hit song "Sound of da Police," a scathing indictment of the culturing of policing in the U.S. over heavy kicks and crisp snares. 

De La Soul - Buhloone Mindstate

De La Soul defined the Golden Age of Hip-Hop, putting out four albums in the celebrated period, including their September 1993 LP, Buhloone Mindstate. By 1993, De La Soul had demonstrated their ability to evolve as artists and engage with burgeoning styles like jazz rap. 

Where on early hits like "Eye Know" De La Soul were rapping at high speeds and flexing samples like Steely Dan’s "Peg," Buhloone Mindstate’s standout, "Breakadawn," embraced the more relaxed approach to rap with light jazz instrumentation and a reserved tempo to give more space for their lyrics to truly resonate. 

In the spirit of the Golden Age, the release also crosses literal and figurative borders. Figuratively in the sense that they cross musical borders by inviting jazz greats like Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, and Pee Wee Ellis on songs like "I Am I Be" and "Patti Dooke." Literally in the sense that they invited Japanese rappers SCHA DARA PARR and Takagi Kan on to the record for the skit "Long Island Wildin'," which sees the two featured artists deliver impressive verses in their native tongue.

Though David Jude Jolicoeur’s (a.k.a.Trugoy the Dove) experimentation with sampling led to legal troubles that excluded De La Soul from streaming, that same experimentation is what inspired numerous other hip hop greats, including Yasiin Bey, Jurassic 5, Pharrell, and Tyler, the Creator.

Relive The Epic GRAMMY Tribute To Hip-Hop's 50th Anniversary With A Playlist Of Every Song Performed

Positive Vibes Only: Watch Passion Lift Up "He Who Is To Come" In This Healing Performance
Passion

Photo: Roxy Moure

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Positive Vibes Only: Watch Passion Lift Up "He Who Is To Come" In This Healing Performance

Atlanta-based worship group Passion shares the feel-good promise of God's return in this stripped-down performance of their new single, "He Who Is to Come," led by longtime member Kristian Stanfill.

GRAMMYs/Mar 4, 2024 - 06:08 pm

There are many uncertainties in life, but Atlanta-based worship group Passion knows one thing for sure: Jesus Christ will return — and He'll reveal a painless, sorrow-free world. Until then, they're praying for it with excitement and patience.

"He is surely coming/ Oh, can you feel it, too?/ All this tension growing stronger/ It's just a sign He's getting closer/ He's already on the move," they sing in the fourth verse of their single "He Who Is to Come."

In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, Passion delivers an acoustic version of the track, led by longtime member Kristian Stanfill.

"He Who Is to Come" was first released on December 1, 2023, via Capitol Christian Music Group and Sixstepsrecords, and also saw an appearance from GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Cody Carnes.

On March 1, the group dropped their live album Call on Heaven, including "He Who Is To Come," which they recorded at their sold-out Passion 2024 annual conference at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

"Call on Heaven is the sound of a generation desperate to see Heaven's reality of ceaseless praise become the reality of Earth," Stanfill said in a press statement. "What we experienced at Passion 2024 marked all of us forever. We'll never forget the glimpse of God's holiness, the weight of His glory, or the sound of His people singing."

Press play on the video above to watch Passion's hopeful performance of "He Who Is to Come," and check back to GRAMMY.com every Monday for more new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.

Positive Vibes Only: Watch Cody Carnes Find A "Firm Foundation" Through God In This Acoustic Performance

The Jesus And Mary Chain Is Unbroken: Jim Reid On New Album 'Glasgow Eyes' & Their Tempestuous History
Jim Reid and William Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Photo: Mel Butler

interview

The Jesus And Mary Chain Is Unbroken: Jim Reid On New Album 'Glasgow Eyes' & Their Tempestuous History

"We used to say things that no one ought to say to another human being," says Jim Reid about his brother and musical partner, William. Yet the bond of the Jesus and Mary Chain remains intact — and they're out with a new album, 'Glasgow Eyes,' out March 8.

GRAMMYs/Mar 4, 2024 - 04:46 pm

Aside from an eight-year hiatus, noise-poppers the Jesus and Mary Chain have been together and productive for more than four decades — and stuck to their guns creatively. 

How could a hysterical, screaming, improvised onstage meltdown from the mid-'80s — titled "Jesus F—" — possibly foreshadow this?

"The first six months of the band was the only time that you could get away with doing things like that," Jim Reid, their co-leader with brother William, tells GRAMMY.com. "People have paid next to no money to see you. They're not really your fans, because you don't have fans yet. So, you just went out there and did whatever the f— you want."

This involved any number of onstage provocations, fueled by Dutch courage — swinging at the audience, cursing them, playing with their backs to the audience. Of course, the rest is history: they got their act together, at least enough to make masterpieces like 1985's Psychocandy and 1987's Darklands.

After six albums, the chemicals and resentments came to a head in 1999. The Reids wouldn't fire up the project again until 2007, nor release a new album until 2017. But the Mary Chain have forged on.

Despite their tumultuous history, their new album, Glasgow Eyes, out March 8, bears remarkable artistic consistency; it's like the verbal and physical fisticuffs never happened. On tunes like "jamcod," "The Eagles and the Beatles" and "Hey Lou Reid," the Reid brothers' creative compass remains unswerving: Whatever they started doing in 1983, they're still doing it.

"We started because we didn't like the music that we were hearing coming out of the radio," Reid says, calling the pop hits of the day "diarrhea." And if the mainstream still alienates you in 2024, well — look at it all through Glasgow Eyes.

Reid spoke with GRAMMY.com about the past, present and future of the Jesus and Mary Chain.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

In the Glasgow Eyes press release, you said something succinct yet kind of holistic and profound: "Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens." Can you expand on that at all?

Well, that's just the way it works. To be honest, when we go into the studio very often we don't have a clue what the record's going to sound like. We've got songs. We don't write in the studio. So, there are a collection of songs, but they could go in any direction.

Generally, we deliberately try not to plan what the record's going to end up [as]. But the only thing that we did see with this record, is we wanted to get out the synths and drum machines. We used things like that in the past, but never quite so upfront. 

Did that come from what you were listening to at the time? Darker, older stuff?

We've always listened to that kind of music, but I guess people might not have actually realized that. We love all of that krautrock stuff — Kraftwerk and D.A.F. and Can and all of that. All of those kinds of bands are massively important to us.

It feels like on the earliest Jesus and Mary Chain material, the outré stuff was the yin to pop's yang.

Well, yeah, that's kind of it with us, really. It's the whole package: it's psycho and it's candy.

Regarding that great '80s-ish dark music, what have you been listening to lately?

I'm terrible because I don't listen to much new music. I'm pretty satisfied with my old record collection, and I play kind of a mystery jukebox. Every record I've ever bought since I was 12 is on this computer here, and I just sit with the computer on random play.

I'll just trawl through the records I've had for a long time and I'll dig something out that way. I heard something the other day — it's not a new band, but I can't remember how I heard it. Somebody played it, maybe. A band called Crocodiles. I quite like them. It sounded really good.

When it comes to releasing new music, is the landscape of 2024 destabilizing for you?

Yeah, the musical landscape has always confused us, to be honest with you. Mary Chain never really belonged. We never fit in. We didn't fit in 1984 when we started, and that was why we started.

We started because we didn't like the music that we were hearing coming out of the radio. We thought the radio was ill; we thought it was sick. It was spewing out all of this diarrhea, and we thought, well, it's got to be some better music that can come out of that thing than what we're hearing now.

I'm sorry, but just Kid Creole and the Coconuts — and Spandau Ballet — did not float our boats in 1984 or '85. So it was rubbish then in a kind of way that that's always been the driving force for the Mary Chain. We just think that everybody else's music just isn't good enough. So we will kind of do it to our satisfaction and that's it.

Did you ever meet Mark E. Smith from the Fall back in the day?

I never met Mark E. Smith. He was kind of terrifying from what I can understand. I would've been scared to meet Mark, but loved his band.

I ask because Hex Enduction Hour is one of my favorite albums of all time, and Smith consciously crafted it as a reaction to "bland bastards like… Spandau Ballet."

Oh, God, yeah. That was the dark side of the '80s. Those were the bands that came along and hijacked music and destroyed its soul, I suppose. Take the 1960s and the 1970s. You turned on the radio, and you heard the Rolling Stones singing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," and everything was good in the world. Same in the '70s, to a certain degree. It was starting to become less so in the '70s, but you could turn on the radio and you could hear Roxy Music or the Sex Pistols or David Bowie.

We got to the '80s and it was like, What the f—? What's going wrong? So, me and William used to sit there and think, Why did we get the '80s? It's not fair. This is our time, and it's the f—ing '80s.

But there were great bands. There were bands like the Fall, the Cocteau Twins, and the Birthday Party, but they were made to take the crumbs that were left over from the main event, if you know what I mean.

One thing I really admire about Glasgow Eyes is that it sounds like you guys. I feel like many bands from certain eras — I won't name any names — slowly bland down and start to sound like each other. Not the Mary Chain.

Well, that's it. That's all we ever try to do: make a Mary Chain record.

A lot of bands… make a record for their audience. And to us, that's the wrong way around. What you do is you make a record for yourself, and if it's any good, you'll get an audience. But as soon as you start making music for other people, you've had it; you're lost. It's the cart before the horse.

I'm sure you've seen that over and over and over, in your decades in the industry.

Yeah, I see it all the time. Everybody thinks, The last record didn't sell as much as we hoped it would. So, what should we do? Who's selling loads of records right now? Oh, U2; let's make a record for the U2 crowd then. In the 1980s, almost every other band sounded like they were trying to be U2.

How did you guys negotiate that territory? I'm sure 30 years ago, the brass was throwing hot new producers at you, or trying to get you on trend bandwagons.

That was it. Our record label were forever trying to run producers down in our throat. Because we produced more or less all of our own music. [2017's] Damage and Joy was the first time we've ever actually brought a producer into the studio, and that was Youth.

We met Daniel Lanois in the late '80s. And I can't remember what album it was, but at the record company's insistence, we met Daniel Lanois and we had this meeting. And he was saying things like, "Yeah, what we'll do is, we won't get a recording studio. We'll get maybe an old church and we'll get all of the gear in there and we'll just get stoned."

We were like, "I'm not sure about this, Daniel." And he was like, "What are you listening to at the moment?" And we said, "Well, we're listening to a lot of hip-hop actually." And he was like, "Hip-hop, are you kidding me?" You could see him looking for the exit thinking, I want to get out.

That's hilarious.

The drugs that I was into at that time, I certainly wasn't interested in sitting getting stoned with Daniel in a church with U2's music playing in the background. I was more into getting off my tits on cocaine listening to stuff like Run-DMC at that time.

I enjoy imagining this.

It was never going to happen. And then we went back to Warner Brothers — it was Rob Dickens running Warner's at that time… and the guy was shouting at us, "You guys are losers. "Yeah, we're losers. But we're losers that are making pretty good records, Rob, so f— off.

There were a few other comedy meetings with producers. I won't go into it, but it was the same deal every time. They would just come along and say all of the opposite of what we had imagined for the record in question — and so it would just never work out.

**The fruitage of this is that you can make whatever kind of music you want in 2024. Take us through the early stages of making Glasgow Eyes, when you had dumped all your toys on the table, as it were, and began trying to make sense of them.**

William's a bit better, but the thing about me is I'm not very technical at all. I love the idea that this technology is out there to be used, but if it was left to me to actually figure out how to use it, it would never get done. But thankfully, that's what studio engineers are for.

We recorded at Mogwai Studio in Glasgow; it's called Castle of Doom. And Tony Doogan's the house engineer there. With Tony, it was like his record collection was probably the same as ours. So, it was going to work.

And then the way it works is you can just say, "That little sort of slightly detuned synth riff that's on 'Der Mussolini' by D.A.F.," And he would go, "Yeah." I don't know how many times in the past when you [reference these things] and [engineers] just go, "Uh, what?"

So it was really good that we had someone in the studio that could speak our language. And he made all of that technology accessible to us. It would be a few sentences to describe what you were looking for — and then, a couple of presses of buttons and twiddles of knobs later, and you'd be hearing what you just described.

Sounds like you had a lot of old-school reference points.

It's weird when you get to my age, yeah, they were old school. But you're thinking old school is probably the noughties. To me, old-school is like the f—ing 1920s. I'm old, man.

So it was things that I considered to be quite modern. I think of Kraftwerk as a futuristic band — because they are. They made records in the early '70s, but to me, it still sounds like new music. I can imagine people in 50 years would listen to Kraftwerk records and think that it had been made then.

The best music is timeless, and they were just way ahead of the game. Way ahead of the game.

At what point did Glasgow Eyes really start to take shape?

Well, that doesn't happen right away. It's the same every time: you start making the record and at some point you think you're losing it. It's not happening. You're thinking, This is going to be embarrassing

It's almost like you will the record into shape. It goes from this unrecognizable beast into this recognizably Mary Chain [work], and then better and better and better. And then almost like within a couple of days you start to think, F—, this sounds pretty good. And then you start to feel really quite smug about it.

And by the end of it you're like, woohoo, we've done it again. So there's some sort of black magic. It's slightly mystical, but it kind of starts to take shape by itself. But it only happens after some trauma and some sort of serious nervous breakdowns in the middle. And then it just seems to come together. I don't know; it's alchemy.

I can't name too many other bands from your scene who are still grinding it out like this, and staying creative.

There's not many of us left, but Primal Scream are still doing it, man. They're as good as they've ever been. [Singer] Bobby [Gillespie]'s our old drummer and he's rocking it out. And I went to see them a few weeks ago and it's great. He's still great. He's still going.

Growing up with the Mary Chain, I remember reading stories about how you guys had a… tempestuous relationship with your audience. Which included a lot of provocation from the stage. Is that true?

Well, it is, but a lot of it was insecurity on our part.

Well, it was a couple of things. One, we'd never been in any other bands before. Lou Reed did a [1980] album called Growing Up in Public; well, that was us. We made all of our mistakes in front of an audience, and often in front of cameras, and often on TV shows.

But we were very, very insecure, and I was incredibly shy. And the only way that I could get the nerve to get on stage was to get wasted. I used to swig down bottles of whiskey before I went onstage — then, I'd be up there, swinging at people and stuff like that. Or telling the audience to go f— themselves.

But it was all based on my own insecurity and that was it. I was unable to deal with the situation that I found myself in. And we quickly learned that you couldn't continue doing that. So we found a way to make it work.

Did you guys really play with your backs to the audience?

Yeah. We were literally so embarrassed and so awkward on stage that we would turn around and every now and again, glimpse over our shoulders at the audience, like, He's still here. Oh, God.

I'll leave you with this: how has your creative relationship with William been over the past several decades?

Well, at the beginning, we were so in tune with each other. It was like we totally, totally agreed with everything about what direction the band ought to be taking.

The band broke up in 1998 for a while, and that was because we just totally lost touch with each other. We used to argue about creative decisions. By 1998, we were arguing about anything.

We couldn't stand being in the same room as each other. And it was a very messy breakup. In 1998, we were trying to f—ing eradicate each other. And then for a couple of years, we couldn't talk. The band broke up, we didn't speak to each other.

[In 2007], the band got back together. Our relationship healed a bit. It's better now than I think it's been for years.

We argue. We always will. We always have. But it's more productive and it's less nasty. And towards 1998, we used to say things that no one ought to say to another human being. And once you've said those kind of things, they can never be taken back.

And I know there are things that he said to me and I've said to him — that even though the wounds have healed, I'm still kind of thinking, But f— you, man. I remember when you said that night.

So now when it's getting that bad, you think, Oh, we're approaching that line, step back. So it works much better now than it used to. We're OK.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Doja Cat & SZA Tearfully Accept Their First GRAMMYs For "Kiss Me More"
(L-R) Doja Cat and SZA at the 2022 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Doja Cat & SZA Tearfully Accept Their First GRAMMYs For "Kiss Me More"

Relive the moment the pair's hit "Kiss Me More" took home Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, which marked the first GRAMMY win of their careers.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 06:11 pm

As Doja Cat put it herself, the 2022 GRAMMYs were a "big deal" for her and SZA.

Doja Cat walked in with eight nominations, while SZA entered the ceremony with five. Three of those respective nods were for their 2021 smash "Kiss Me More," which ultimately helped the superstars win their first GRAMMYs.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the night SZA and Doja Cat accepted the golden gramophone for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance — a milestone moment that Doja Cat almost missed.

"Listen. I have never taken such a fast piss in my whole life," Doja Cat quipped after beelining to the stage. "Thank you to everybody — my family, my team. I wouldn't be here without you, and I wouldn't be here without my fans."

Before passing the mic to SZA, Doja also gave a message of appreciation to the "Kill Bill" singer: "You are everything to me. You are incredible. You are the epitome of talent. You're a lyricist. You're everything."

SZA began listing her praises for her mother, God, her supporters, and, of course, Doja Cat. "I love you! Thank you, Doja. I'm glad you made it back in time!" she teased.

"I like to downplay a lot of s— but this is a big deal," Doja tearfully concluded. "Thank you, everybody."

Press play on the video above to hear Doja Cat and SZA's complete acceptance speech for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.

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Listen: Miley Cyrus & Pharrell Reunite For New Song "Doctor (Work It Out)"
Miley Cyrus performs at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Listen: Miley Cyrus & Pharrell Reunite For New Song "Doctor (Work It Out)"

Ten years after their first funky single, Miley Cyrus and Pharrell Williams strike again with "Doctor (Work It Out)," which arrived on March 1. Hear the new track and watch the spirited music video here.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:31 pm

On the heels of her first GRAMMY wins, Miley Cyrus is feeling good — and she's ready to be your cure.

The pop superstar unveiled her new single, a lustful, funky dance track titled "Doctor (Work It Out)," on March 1. The track is her latest collaboration with Pharrell, and their first in 10 years.

Over a pulsating bass guitar-driven beat, Cyrus opens with the punchy chorus (“I could be your doctor/ And I could be your nurse/ I think I see the problem/ It's only gon' get worse/ A midnight medication/ Just show me where it hurts," she sings) before erupting into a dance break as she declares, "Let me work it out… Imma work it out…”

So far, 2024 is feelin' fine for Cyrus. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, her 2023 smash, "Flowers," took home two awards, for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record Of The Year. Following her first win, she delivered a knockout performance featuring the unforgettable ad lib, "I started to cry and then I remembered I… just won my first GRAMMY!" 

Less than a month later, "Doctor (Work It Out)" serves as another groovy celebration of Cyrus' achievements in life and music so far.

The song's music video is reminiscent of her 2024 GRAMMYs performance, too. Not only is she wearing a similar shimmery fringe dress, but the entire video is a jubilant, blissful solo dance party.

Though Cyrus first teased "Doctor (Work It Out)" just a few days before the song's arrival, Pharrell first gave a sneak peek in January, at his American Western themed Fall/Winter 2024 Louis Vuitton Men's fashion show in Paris. It was Pharrell's third collection for the luxury house, and the bouncy single served as a fitting soundtrack. 

The song marks Cyrus' first release in 2024, and her first collab with Pharrell since 2014's "Come Get It Bae" from his album G I R L'; Pharrell also co-wrote and produced four tracks on the deluxe version of Cyrus' 2013 album, Bangerz.

Watch the "Doctor (Work It Out)" video above, and stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for more Miley Cyrus news.

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