When listening to these mix tapes, I can sometimes pinpoint things I was doing while each song was playing. When I hear certain songs on the radio, I will immediately feel something like extreme nostalgia or extreme embarrassment, depending on the song and the memory it evokes. For example, when I hear "Don't Let Me Get Me" by Pink, I am dancing around my old childhood home with a purple inflatable chair in the corner and a face mask drying on my face. "Whoomp! There It Is" by Tag Team comes on, and I am doing gymnastics on a blanket in my living room while my mom watches and gets angry because she thinks she heard the word "ass". (Which she didn't, I had the edited version...but had she listened closer, I know now, she had a right to be mad. That song was filthy!) "All or Nothing" by O-Town? = Every middle school dance ever.
There is at least one song in the "top one hundred" list of each year that corresponds with a memory. Please indulge me during this trip down memory lane....I'll start in 1996 - The Year of the First Mix Tape.
1996: Don't Speak - Gwen Stefani
Incidentally, somewhere during this era, I had a fuzzy purple notebook on a keychain, and on one of these pages, I wrote something like, "Hey gurl! You're awesome! <3 Chelsea". Why? Well, because, I clearly remember pretending to sign an autograph and then toss it out into the "crowd" of fans. Fantasy lipsynching? It was my thing.
1997: I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy
1998: The Boy is Mine - Brandy and Monica
1999: I Try - Macy Gray
2000: Bye Bye Bye - NSYNC
Also, in sixth grade, my friends and I decided to dance to this song at our school's annual lipsynch contest. (Apparently I am not the only one who loves to lipsynch. My school dedicated an entire contest to it.) Two years later, was this song still relevant? Who knows. We danced to it anyway, mainly just freestyling with an occasional "bye bye bye" wave like Justin does in the video. I wore athletic swishy pants, my brother's football jersey, multiple sweatbands, and about a gallon of body and face glitter. Our group's name? Cosmic Crush. My idea. (I am cringing with embarrassment.)
2001: Follow Me - Uncle Kracker
Also, this year's list was chock full of songs I used to sing on my karaoke machine. (I upgraded from lipsynching.) Also "Lady Marmalade", which I was obsessed with and had no idea it was inappropriate.
2002: Hot in Herre - Nelly/Cleaning Out My Closet - Eminem
Eh, we're gonna break this bad boy up into sections. I hadn't anticipated it being so long...I'm so old! There are so many years to cover!!
To be continued.