Christina Milian – Dip It Low – 2005
For most people reading this blog, this part of the series will be the most surprising entry. Anyone who knew me at the time will understand how much Christina Milian meant to me. Much more than me simply being a fan, and not just a schoolboy crush Christina Milian was literally the most important musician in the world to me.
I remember seeing the Dip It Low video for the first time, a video that included Christina rolling around in mud, a lack of clothes that would make Rihanna squirm (we’ll get to her later), and a dance routine so literal that it’s simultaneously the most amazing and most terrible routine ever choreographed. Not even Lady GaGa is mad enough to make a dance that revolves around literally falling on the floor. Equal parts sexy and cringe worthy, at the time I was intrigued at just who this girl was singing such a great song, than noticing how ridiculous the video was. When I found out it was the same girl who sang AM to PM and When You Look At Me I was sold, both being early noughties Pop hits, the sort of music most Disney acts release before going off the rails. The obsession started small and developed into an in joke I wasn’t in on yet. Whatever U Want and her second album It’s About Time became as anthemic for me as Dip It Low.
I remember going on holiday for 2 weeks around the time of Whatever U Want’s release, I had left and the song was topping video charts on music channels, so I thought I would return to her first number 1. 2 weeks after our trip, the single still wasn’t out, and it peaked at a disappointing 9 given the exposure the song had had 4 weeks previous. How it didn’t make number 1 based on the still brilliant video alone was crazy, even that acted intro section ‘Joe’s Auto…okay…alright we’ll look for him’ couldn’t do it. In my mind at the time, I couldn’t see how Milian wasn’t the biggest selling artist in the world, I was so obsessed. Her move into acting actually turned out to be a good move for Christina, as recently she has proven herself on some TV movies, but when her first major movie role was in the critically panned Be Cool, as an aspiring singer songwriter who isn’t understood by her producers I can admit to being totally naieve to the irony at the time.
With now classic quotes like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler ‘Damn She’s Good!’ commenting on her new song followed by an albeit epic performance between Christina and Aerosmith where Uma Thurman announces ‘She’s a Diva!’, Be Cool is opitome of the Christina era of my musical life. The fact that two of her songs featured on the soundtrack, the now shockingly appaling Ain’t No Reason that is literally the title repeated about 40 times, makes the ‘hollywood’ era of her career that bit more hilarious. I remembered forcing two of my mates from school to go and see Be Cool, something they hated me for years on.
But that’s just half of the story, there was another character involved in my obsession for Christina Milian, a ‘villain’ that is sure to surprise just about anyone who read my Top 25 Songs list. You’ll have to wait for the next part of the series for that, but I’d like to end remembering Christina in a positive light. Most of the things that went wrong with Milian’s career were beyond her control, and I still believe that she has some brilliant music on her albums. Her third, So Amazin’ is especially good, and while she may be no Beyonce in the diva stakes, this is one star who played a crucial role in my ‘musical journey’. When I’m in the mood to Dip it low, pick it up slow, roll it all around turn it out and let my back go, I will know who to call to help me Pop Pop Pop that thing!