This Week In 1993: May 9, 1993
The problem in being a solo male rapper and having a massive number 1 hit in Australia in the early '90s was that it quickly became all you were known for, even if you had other hits.
This week in 1993, a Canadian rapper who'd follow in the footsteps of MC Hammer, Young MC and Vanilla Ice by topping the ARIA singles chart debuted with his future number 1. Yes, it wasn't his only visit to the top 50, but it's the only song anyone ever remembers.
Another male performer with a long-running number 1 in 1993 spent his sixth and final week on top. But Lenny Kravitz is remembered for more than just "Are You Gonna Go My Way".
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Born 2 B.R.E.E.D." by Monie Love
Peak: number 98
Two years after her collaboration with Adeva put her inside the top 50, this Prince co-written single from second album In A Word Or 2 saw rapper Monie Love back towards the bottom of the top 100. "B.R.E.E.D." stands for "Build Relationships where Education and Enlightenment Dominate", in case you were wondering.
Number 94 "Walking In My Shoes" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 74
Depeche Mode's top 50 return was short-lived, with this follow-up to "I Feel You" missing the mark despite a) being a great song and b) having a great B-side in "My Joy".
Number 49 "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty By Nature
Peak: number 33
If the "yeah you know me" hook from "O.P.P." had been an instant classic, then hip-hop trio Naughty By Nature topped that with the "hey... ho..." chant from this lead single from third album 19 Naughty III. As well as introducing the world to that simple but effective hook, "Hip Hop Hooray" sampled about a gazillion different songs and managed to combine street cred with mainstream appeal. If it had been released a decade later, it would've been an easy top 10 hit, but in 1993, Naughty By Nature had to settle for another top 40 placement.
Peak: number 39
Here's another key release from a musical genre that was relegated to a minor top 40 entry in Australia. In this case, it's a double A-side comprising the first two singles by hot new British band Suede, who were a major part of the dawning of the Britpop era and hugely hyped at home. Suede's self-titled debut album (and two others in their career) would top the UK chart, but Australia had a more muted reaction to the glam rock-influenced band, holding out instead for the arrival of Oasis to embrace the genre.
Number 40 "Informer" by Snow
Peak: number 1
It wasn't always comprehensible, but there was no denying this debut single by Canadian rapper Snow was one of the year's biggest hits. Written by the artist born Darrin O'Brien about his experience behind bars in 1989 and his attitude towards snitches, it was released just before Snow found himself back in prison. This interview from 2016 covers the background of the song much more thoroughly than I could, but suffice it to say that its runaway success had its drawbacks. There was the obvious problem of having a hit so huge it would be impossible to live up to, but there was the inevitable backlash against a white guy performing a reggae-influenced song, with everyone from Shaggy (who we'll see next week) and Jim Carrey lining up to take shots. Snow did return to the chart again - the top 30, in fact - and we'll see his other hit in the coming months.
Number 24 "Detachable Penis" by King Missile
Peak: number 17
It's pretty predictable really. Call a song "Detachable Penis" and it's more or less a given it'll be a hit. And so the otherwise niche American rock band King Missile found themselves with a big single on their hands - and yet another inevitable backlash, this time from their cult following who, also predictably, didn't like it when the otherwise unknown band suddenly became popular. As a song, "Detachable Penis" comprised a rambled monologue over a distorted guitar hook as the title was intoned repetitively. Called anything else and I doubt it would've been anywhere near as big.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: a music superstar scores her biggest ever hit first week on release, plus another charts with a song that would go on to be crucified by countless reality show contestants in a decade's time. Also, one Australian and one British boy band debut with a cover version apiece.