Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” is one of the most successful party/dance songs ever written. Released in 1995, the song was a monster hit for Rick Rubin’s Def Jam Records and Montell Jordan, spending seven consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 100 Chart and ultimately winning Jordan a Grammy for Best Male R & B Performance. The beauty of the song is in its simplicity. There are two elements that make it so much fun for crowds to dance to. First, there’s the six-syllable a cappella introduction of the title of the song…which endlessly repeats itself over and over, making it easy and fun for your guests to sing along with. Someone at Def Jam also had the musical foresight to have the repetitive phrase being sung in simple unison, by what sounds like a random bunch of guys at a party, making it easy for those of us with less than great voices to sing along with.
The second element is the immediately distinctive bass line that starts immediately after the a cappella opening and continues unchanged throughout the whole song. That concept is very similar to Backstreet’s “No Diggity” which I wrote about last week. The use of that repetitive 9-note bass line holds the structure of song together, regardless of a less-than-memorable melody line, or lyrics. The combination of being able to sing along to the six word title, and being able to dance to the equally distinctive nine-note bass line, make this incredibly funky groove a truly inclusive song to enjoy, regardless of whether or not you’ve ever been anywhere near “South Central”.
This is an undeniably great party song that works every time. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.