Doo Wop (That Thing)

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"Doo Wop (That Thing)"
Doowop-thatthing-lhill.jpg
Single by Lauryn Hill
from the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
ReleasedJuly 7, 1998
RecordedNovember 1997[1][failed verification]
StudioChung King Studios
(New York City)
Marley Music, Inc.
(Kingston)
Genre
Length
  • 5:20 (album version)
  • 3:51 (single edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)Lauryn Hill
Producer(s)Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill singles chronology
"Doo Wop (That Thing)"
(1998)
"Ex-Factor"
(1998)
Audio sample

"Doo Wop (That Thing)" is the debut solo single from American recording artist Lauryn Hill. The song is taken from her debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Written and produced by Hill, the song was released as the album's lead single in July 1998. It was Hill's first and only US Billboard Hot 100 number-one to date; it debuted at number one on the Hot 100, making it the tenth song in the chart's history to do so, the first debut single to do so, and the first female rapper to do so. The song experienced similar success abroad, reaching number one in Iceland, number two in Canada, number three in the United Kingdom and number eight in Australia. The song won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 1999 Grammy Awards on February 24, 1999.

Background[edit]

The song is a warning from Hill to African-American men and women caught in "the struggle". Both the women who "[try to] be a hard rock when they really are a gem", and the men who are "more concerned with his rims, and his Timbs, than women", are admonished by Hill, who warns them not to allow "that thing" to ruin their lives. The chorus has been praised for promoting egalitarianism between the sexes.[2]

In terms of production value, Hill borrows heavily from elements of soul music and doo-wop, lending credence to the song's title. One such example is the opening riff of late 1960s soul hit "Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.)" by Edwin Starr which Hill uses certain distinct elements of, as can be heard in the opening of this song.

Release and reception[edit]

Hill's first solo singles were from two 1997 movie soundtracks: "The Sweetest Thing" from Love Jones and a cover of Frankie Valli's 1967 song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" for Conspiracy Theory.

"Doo Wop", released in 1998 as her first solo song from her debut album, was a major success. It became the 10th single to debut at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, and the first by a rap artist. It stayed there for two weeks in the fall of 1998. On Billboard's R&B Singles chart, it reached #2 for three weeks in November 1998, held out of the top spot by "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" by Deborah Cox. It won two Grammy Awards the following February. The success of "Doo Wop" and the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album established Hill as a success outside of her group, The Fugees. In 1999, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" was ranked at number two to find the best music of 1998 on The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll, after Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank".

Awards and recognition[edit]

"Doo Wop (That Thing)" is included as number 359 on the Songs of the Century list.[citation needed] At the Grammy Awards of 1999, the song won two awards: Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[3] The song's music video won four 1999 MTV Video Music Awards for: Best Female Video, Best R&B Video, Best Art Direction, and Video of the Year.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was filmed in Manhattan's Washington Heights in New York City, with the video showing two Hills singing side by side at a block party. On the left side of the split screen, the 1967 Hill dressed in full retro-styled attire, complete with a beehive and a zebra-printed dress, she pays homage to classic R&B and doo wop, and on the right side of the screen, the 1998 Hill is shown in a homage to hip hop culture.[4] Slant Magazine's Paul Schrodt praised the "Doo Wop (That Thing)" music video, stating "The resulting split-screen music video is the most flabbergasting testament to what the neo soul movement is all about."[5]

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[43] 2× Platinum 140,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[45] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Cover versions and samples[edit]

In 1999, Filipino rapper Francis Magalona recorded a parody version titled "Bading ang Dating" which appears on the albums Interscholastic and The Best of Francis M (2002).

Kanye West's protégée Teyana Taylor, signed in 2012 to his G.O.O.D. Music label, released a mixtape in early 2012 called The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor, which draws particular influence from much of Hill's work. One of the tracks, "Lauryn's Interlude", features Taylor performing a shortened, a capella performance of Hill's classic song.[46]

The American avant-garde band Mr. Bungle often performed an excerpt of the song as an outro for their song "Travolta (Quote Unquote)" while simultaneously playing Hemanta Mukherjee's "Ei Raat Tomar Amar" during live shows in the late 1990s.

Devendra Banhart has covered the song during live performances including Bonnaroo 2006, the Pitchfork Music Festival and Tim Festival 2006, in Brazil.

Amy Winehouse also incorporated the song into her own "He Can Only Hold Her" at live concerts in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Rihanna covered the song while on Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour in 2008.

The song was covered in Spanish by Anita Tijoux in a collaboration with the producer Quantic in 2013.

The 2014 Glee episode "Back-up Plan" includes a cover version performed by Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) and Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera).

The 2015 film Pitch Perfect 2 included a cover of the song by singer Ester Dean who performed the hook of the song in the Riff Off.

Drake sampled the song to create a song titled "Draft Day".

Phemza The Kween recorded the cover of the song.

In July 2014, French producer MKL released a remix of "Doo Wop".[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Checkoway, Laura; Checkoway, Laura (August 26, 2008). "Inside 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'". Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Selke, Lori. "Earworm Weekly: A Closer Look at Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)"". SF Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Grammy Award Winners. grammy.com. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  4. ^ Leah Furman, Elina Furman (1999). Heart of Soul. Ballantine Books. p. 155. ISBN 0-345-43588-5.
  5. ^ Schrodt, Paul. Review: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Archived September 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on December 5, 2009.
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Lauryn Hill – Can't Take My Eyes Off of You / Doo Wop (That Thing)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6995." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 6976." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 44. October 31, 1998. p. 8. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "Íslenski Listinn (13.11–20.11. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). November 13, 1998. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Doo Wop (That Thing)". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 44, 1998" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Latin Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Lauryn Hill Chart History (Latin Tropical Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  32. ^ "RPM's Top 50 Dance Tracks of '98". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  33. ^ "Year in Focus – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 1998" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 51. December 19, 1998. p. 8. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts 1998" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  35. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 100 – Vinsælustu Lögin '98". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1999. p. 34. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  36. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1998". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1998" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  38. ^ "Best Sellers of 1998 – Singles Top 100". Music Week. January 16, 1999. p. 7.
  39. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 1998". Billboard. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  40. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 1999". ARIA. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1999". Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  42. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 1999". Billboard. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020.
  44. ^ "British single certifications – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Doo Wop (That Thing) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "American single certifications – Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  46. ^ Taylor, Teyana. "Teyana Taylor The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor". datpiff.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  47. ^ MKL. "Doo Wop (MKL Remix)". hypetrak.com. Retrieved July 18, 2014.

External links[edit]