That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.
Release Date: May 19, 1998
- The Boy Is Mine (Album Version)
- The Boy Is Mine (Club Mix)
- The Boy Is Mine (Radio Version w/ Intro)
- The Boy Is Mine (Album Instrumental)
- The Boy Is Mine (Acapella)
1998’s the Boy Is Mine is a duet between two of the top R&B artists of that time period, Brandy Norwood (a.k.a. Brandy) and Monica Arnold (a.k.a. Monica). The Jerry Springer Show and the multitude of love triangle themed episodes on that program inspired the song.
This appears on Brandy’s Never Say Never and Monica’s album, also named The Boy Is Mine. The Boy Is Mine eventually became the best selling single of the year, spending 13 weeks at #1 on Billboards Hot 100. It also won the Grammy for best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
I loved this song from the moment I first heard it those so many moons ago. The pairing of these two young R&B singers was perfect in my mind. Both in their prime, on separate labels and competing with each other in the charts made the song much more compelling than other random pairings.
Production wise this is a signature Darkchild track. The closest song I can think of that he has done that uses the same sound elements is Jennifer Lopez’s If You Had My Love. So if you liked that track, you should have no issue with this one.
Just for shits and giggles, an FYI for H!P fans. Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins is one of the producers Tsunku & his production brain trust were trying to emulate when some of the shuffle groups in the 90’s went all Urban.
Darkchild should also be be a familiar name to all of you Hikaru Utada fans as well.
Anyway, while both women were not considered powerhouse vocalists hearing them try to out diva each other as The Boy Is Mine progressed made this song even more interesting.
The video for The Boy Is Mine was directed by Joseph Khan. Yes AKB48 fans, the same dude who directed Gingham Check and UZA. Its plot revolves around Brandy and Monica playing neighbors who are fighting over a man played by Mehki Phifer. As the video progresses they discover their man is an unfaithful scumbag, join forces and dump his ass.
It’s a simple concept that has been done before, but the charisma of the two artists, the fact that both these ladies were hella fine and the rumors of a real life rivalry drove the point home.
I find that there really aren’t too many duets like this anymore in the modern era of R&B. The years since this was released focused more on having the hottest MC or MC’s of the moment spit nonsensical verses instead of having another vocalist do some verbal jousting. This is another fine example of an era of Urban music that some possibly really old people or snooty music lovers remember fondly.
I’m fairly sure the maxi-single for this is out of print so you can get this song from either of the albums below.
Brandy – Never Say Never
Monica – The Boy Is Mine