#9: Montell Jordan: This Is How We Do It (Spring Remix)
You know how a song transcends your age group when your momma and dem start singing it, and your preacher crafts a Sunday sermon based on the hook? That was Montell Jordan's 1995 classic, This Is How We Do It.
Although this is more of a New Jack Swing groove than a hip-hop joint, the sampling of Slick Rick's Children's Story was just enough to propel This Is How We Do It to must play status for every urban radio station in America. And even today, at every black house party, it's still a "that's ma song!" hands swaying in the air classic.
So what does it have to do with Black Greeks? Plenty. First, if you watched the original This Is How We Do It video, you'd see vague elements of Black Greekdom. Dancers wearing generic black unis stomp in the background, as Montell tells us, well, how they did it.
There were rumblings on college campuses that Montell was a Kappa, but remember, this was at the beginning of the Internet. Minister Alfred Ignogi of the Nigerian Treasury had yet to inform thousands of people via email that they were instant billionaires, if they'd simply deposit $1000 into his account. I'm talking low tech, y'all!
This was 1995, and if your SkyPager didn't blow up with correct info, you really didn't know for sure. But that's why we have the inevitable remixes (and Diddy), isn't it?
When Montell, a Pepperdine University grad, came out in the This Is How We Do It [Spring Break remix] video, twirling his cane smooth as butter, Kappas from around the world rejoiced. From that moment on, Kappas from the ‘90s dedicated their lives to strolling to This Is How We Do It, canes a twirlin', at every party and picnic. And thus, we learned that this is how the Nupes do it. So without further ado…
Lawrence Ross is the author of the Los Angeles Times best-seller The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. His newest book, Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses, is a blunt and frank look at the historical and contemporary issue of campus racism on predominantly white college campuses. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.