Rebecca Schuman | Longreads | May 2018 | 11 minutes (2,912 words)

The ’90s Are Old is a Longreads series by Rebecca Schuman, wherein she unpacks the cultural legacy of a decade that refuses to age gracefully.

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In the entirety of 1990, exactly one hip-hop single made it to the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. This was “Ice Ice Baby,” and the LP whence its dope melodies came, To the Extreme, also ruled the Billboard album charts for the final eight weeks of that year — knocking off the previous number one, another rap record, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em. (It turned out that if U were Vanilla Ice, U could, in fact, touch this.) As the nineties rush-rushed in, aching to break out of the previous decade’s noxious forcefield of Aqua Net, one thing was clear: American Top…

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