Destiny's Child 'The Writing's On The Wall' Cover Destiny's Child 'The Writing's On The Wall' Cover

What Millennials Should Know About... Destiny's Child's 'The Writing's On The Wall'

VIBE spotlights some of music's most essential timepieces for Gen Y to get hip to

The Writing’s On The Wall (1999)

Most Slept On:
-"Sweet Sixteen"
On an album full of brash wailing and dance tracks, this simple ballad about a misguided teenaged girl was overlooked. One of the few tracks that doesn’t feature Beyoncé as the only lead, it’s refreshing to hear the other voices in the group equally showcased. (Listen out for expert guitar licks from Tony! Toni! Toné! group founder Dwayne Wiggins).

Most Overrated:
-"Bills Bills Bills"
T-Boz, Left-Eye and Chili were the go-to girl-group in the late '90s and their influence can be heard just a bit too much on this joint. This entire song, from melody to vocal arrangement to lyrical content is a straight jack of TLC’s whole style. The connection between TLC and Destiny’s Child? That would be Real Housewife Kandi Burruss. After her group Xscape disbanded, Kandi focused on songwriting—for TLC and Destiny’s Child.

(Also) Most Overrated:
-"Bug a Boo"
Why? See above.

Old School References Millennials May Need Translated:
-“Tell MCI to cut the phone cord” (“Bug-A-Boo”)
See, long ago, you had to have two phone service companies, one for local service and a separate provider for long-distance calls. In the nineties, MCI was one of the biggest longest-distance service providers. The company was purchased by Verizon in 2006.

Lines Best For Status Updates [When You’re In A Man-Hating Mood]:-“Why is that men can go do us wrong/Why is that we just decide to keep holding on?” (“Hey Ladies”)
-“Ladies leave yo’ man at home/The club is full of ballers and they pockets full grown” (“Jumpin Jumpin”)
-“Say my name/Say my name/If no is around you/Say baby I love you/If you ain’t running game” (“Say My Name”)
-“When we were together/You told me what you didn’t like/And you went out and got exactly that type” (“She Can’t Love You”)
-“I know you’ve got your things to do/But tell me what means more to you” (“Stay”)

Bet You Didn’t Know: On the song, "If You Leave,” Destiny’s Child Beyoncé duets with singer R.L. from ‘90s R&B group Next. On the song, R.L. sings out the phone number to find his love and he uses the number 612-555-2422. Why that number? Since the 1950s, ‘555’ has been used in music, films and television for fictional numbers so that regular folks don’t have people crank calling them. And area code 612 is for Minneapolis, where R.L. and the group Next hails from.

Bet You (Also) Didn't Know: The song "Sweet Sixteen" was written and originally recorded by Grammy-Award winning entertainer Jody Watley for her album, Flower, which had just been released the year before.

Bet You Didn't Know This Either: The last song on the album, a rendition of gospel spiritual "Amazing Grace", is dedicated to DC’s former manager Andretta Tillman, referred to as Miss Ann at the top of the song. Tillman died of lupus in 1997, soon after things began to pick up for Destiny’s Child. Bey's dad Mathew Knowles then took over as their manager.

Synopsis: The title of this album proved prophetic. "The writing's on the wall" is an expression from the Old Testament that means the future is predetermined. And clearly, Beyoncé had a destiny that would leave the child(ren) behind. It’s often been said that Destiny’s Child was little more than a platform for Mathew Knowles to position his own child to solo stardom. And a close re-listen to this multi-platinum album makes that hard to deny. If you close your eyes and try real hard, you may be able to catch a few lines from Kelly here and there. But outside of spoken interludes, it’s impossible to identify any vocals from the other group members. Even the backgrounds seemed layered with just Bey’s voice.

Although the album was a runaway success, scoring several #1 hits for the group, it doesn’t hold up nearly as well as their follow up, Survivor. Many of the tracks were derivative and the overlying theme: men suck unless they have money, often overshadows the music. While this album cemented their status as superstars, it signaled the beginning of the end for the group. Six months after this album was released, two of the group members had been replaced and a new lineup was presented without a single hiccup.

The Writing’s On The Wall may not hold up as an example of stellar songwriting or innovative production. But with over 10 million in record sales, it can’t be dismissed either.

Aliya S. King's is the author of two novels and three non-fiction books, including the New York Times Bestseller, Keep The Faith, with recording artist Faith Evans. She had written for VIBE since 1998. Find her at and @aliyasking. You can also cop Destiny's Child's The Writing's On The Wall on iTunes here.

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Fans Shut Down Beyonce Cultural Appropriation Allegations

Beyonce is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation after she was spotted at an Indian wedding on Sunday (Dec. 9). Despite some assertions, the BeyHive is swooping in to set the record straight about their queen.

According to reports, Beyonce performed at an early wedding celebration in India's western Rajasthan state. She was celebrating the nuptials of Isha Ambani – the 27-year old daughter of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani – and Anand Piramal, the 33-year old son of another Indian billionaire.


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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:47am PST

The early festivities, which is custom for Indian marriages, welcomed a handful of celebrity guests including Hillary Clinton, Bollywood stars, businessman, and more.

The controversy surrounding Beyonce sparked after the singer shared an image of herself wearing an extravagant, pink and gold dress with seemingly traditional, Indian accessories, including a headpiece and bracelets. Some critics immediately assumed Bey was culturally appropriating Indian or Hindi culture, but suggested it would go unnoticed due to her social status.

Fans however, shut the allegations down, noting that she was actually paying homage to the culture. They also stated that she was invited to perform at the party by a prominent Indian family and therefore, should be dressed appropriately.

This wouldn't be the first time Beyonce has been accused of cultural appropriation of Indian culture. She was hit with similar allegations following the release of the music video for "Hymn for the Weekend" with Coldplay.

Join the discussion and check out the debate below.

why are fake wokes on twitter accusing beyonce for doing cultural appropriation ? IT'S APPRECIATION YOU MFs !! y'all don't know shit about indian culture !! literally sit tf down, even indians aren't mad why are you dumbasses shoving it down our throats as if yall know better

— anupama (@taysmoonchiId) December 9, 2018

Beyonce wearing Indian clothes to an Indian Cultural Event is not cultural appropriation. She was invited by an Indian family and everyone there is wearing Indian clothes. So.

— Ivan (@taexty) December 10, 2018

As someone who is half-Indian and half-Pakistani (aka fully South Asian for those who are not geographically inclined), I do not want to see ANYONE shouting nonsense about Beyoncé and cultural appropriation unless you are South Asian too. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk x

— Shehnaz Khan (@shehnazkhan) December 10, 2018

Ppl commenting on @Beyonce’s IG Indian outfit post, saying it was cultural appropriation, need to have a seat. Embracing another’s culture and shedding positivity on it is not cultural appropriation, it is cultural appreciation. Damn keyboard warriors

— Ramon Salas (@ramonssalas) December 10, 2018

Beyoncé was invited to an indian wedding, to perform there, she's appreciating the culture and the people that invited her There's no cultural appropriation here

— 🅚 (@chained_tofenty) December 10, 2018

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Tyrese And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

Jacquees has made a bold statement that's ruffled a few feathers.

The Cash Money artist took to social media over the weekend to assert that he's the king of R&B, and from what we can gather, the 23 singer wasn't talking about ribs and barbecue. "I just want to let everybody know that I'm the king of R&B right now, for this generation. I understand who done came, and who done did that and that, but now it's my turn. Jacquees, the king." he said.

Some of the Internet raised its digital eyebrow at the boast, while others paid it no attention. Tyrese, however, didn't take kindly to the assertation.

"Ima keep it stack with you," the Transformers star posted. "The young kings of this generation that's been running sh*t since day one are Chris Brown and Trey Songz."

Tyrese continued and accused the Decatur, GA native of employing Tekashi 6ix 9ine tactics. "You got this out of the Tekashi 6ix9ine playbook. Stop trolling, my n***a. Get back in the booth."

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How Sway..? How.??......... The way we ALL reacted.......... Let me put you up on what’s really movin bruh.. This ain’t Hip Hop my nigha.. You can’t come in this game get hot for a year then try an #T69 nighas and throw that there word #KING around..... Imma keep it a stack with you... The young kings of your generation that’s #been runnin shit is 1 @chrisbrownofficial and 2 @treysongz .... BIG facts! FYI the last real R&B album through and through that has the integrity and blueprint of the culture that was made with NO skips was #ThreeKings you got this out of the T69 play book stop trolling my nigha get back in the booth.....

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:25pm PST

Tank, having gotten wind of Jacquees' statements, refuted his "king" claim. "First, R.Kelly is the king of R&B. The accusations don't disqualify what he's accomplished. Second, if you can't go in the studio by yourself and make a hit record, you're not my king. If you can't sing it better live, you're not my king. I appreciate all the talent out there, but we are using the word "king" too loosely."

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Every artist is supposed to believe they can fly but only one man made it happen. @rkelly body of work is still bible. I love ALL of the artist out now and some are having amazing success but to be the King you have to beat the King and his stats still stand. Imagine if “I Believe I Can Fly” had streaming when it dropped..geesh!!! I’ll let you guys focus on kings and queens.. I’ll stay focused on being around for another 20yrs! #Elevation #RnBMoney #TheGeneral

A post shared by Tank (@therealtank) on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:56pm PST

J. Holiday noted that Michael Jackson sold 20 million after the release of Off The Wall, and said R.Kelly owns the second spot. Eric Bellinger, while in the studio with Usher, simply panned his camera phone to Usher, who sat quietly in a corner.

Are Tyrese and Tank overreacting? Or should Jacquees not make such bold assertions? Sound off in the comments below.

READ MORE: Tory Lanez Explains What Tekashi 6ix 9ine and Tupac Have In Common

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Tekashi 6ix9ine Refuses To Take Plea Deal In Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is maintaining his innocence in his racketeering case despite the mounting evidence against him. His attorney Lance Lazzaro recently told TMZ that a plea deal is "off the table."

"A plea deal is simply off the table, even if the feds offer one," Lazarro told the celebrity news publication.

Tekashi's refusal to make a deal comes only one day after prosecutors presented photos and videos taken from his phone that prove the Brooklyn native's involvement in at least three armed robberies and shootings that went down in BK earlier this year. While the media found on his device does not show 6ix9ine pulling the trigger or holding a weapon, authorities are suggesting that he was the ringleader of all the crimes and enlisted others to do the dirty work for him. Tekashi's former manager, Kifano "Shotti" Jordan, is the only one who has been identified in the incidents at this time.

Nevertheless, Lazarro maintains his clients innocence, stating that he "was never part of a conspiracy, plain and simple. Nor did he ever participate in any incidents that the government has alleged." Despite his unwillingness to take a plea deal, Lazarro said 6ix9ine is fully cooperating with prosecutors.

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