’90s No. 1s Revisited: “She Ain’t Worth it”
The thirteenth No. 1 song of the 1990s was “She Ain’t Worth It” by Glenn Medeiros f/ Bobby Brown. This was the Hawaii native’s only No. 1 song. Prior to “She Ain’t Worth It,” Medeiros loitered in various parts of the Hot 100 chart with a series of lukewarm hits from 1987-88, the biggest being “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You,” a soft rock wedding staple that’s much more memorable than “She Ain’t Worth It.” After his trip to the top of the chart, he hit Nos. 32 and 78 with follow-ups, but that’s the last we’ve seen of him on the singles chart. He promptly left the spotlight and now works as a school administrator in his home state.
“She Ain’t Worth It” features Bobby Brown, who also co-wrote the track, and this is obvious when listening to it. It oozes with Brown’s signature New Jack Swing sound, heavy on drum machines and swollen synths. By this time, Brown had hit No. 1 with his one and only chart-topper, 1988’s “My Prerogative.” In 1992-93, he scored four hits off his album Bobby, the biggest being “Humpin’ Around” (No. 3) and “Good Enough” (No. 7), both of which are better than “She Ain’t Worth It.” Brown hasn’t appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart since 1993, although he’s obviously remained in the spotlight for other reasons.
Let’s listen to “She Ain’t Worth It”:
There’s nothing to hate about with this song, but it’s underwhelming. Listening to it is only slightly more fulfilling than hearing the instrumental demo on a 1988 Casio keyboard. And it kept En Vogue’s “Hold On” from reaching No. 1, which still ticks us off.
At the time, this song was decently dope because 1990 was the midpoint of the New Jack Swing fad, and having Brown’s badass stamp of approval certainly added street cred to this otherwise bland track. But it’s hard to pinpoint who the audience for this song was. If it came on the radio, you didn’t necessarily jump to change the station as you did when, say, New Kids on the Block came on. But who bothered to drive to a music store and buy this thing? Didn’t those people have anything better to do? When they got their hands on it, were they excited? Where are those people now?
Does it hold up? Not really. The New Jack Swing sound was so hyper-stylized that, like a fish out of water, it cannot live and breathe outside the George H.W. Bush Administration. And if you have any doubt, check out Brown’s rap. Let’s get serious — not one person in the world is listening to this song right now except you, and you probably never will again.
Dopeness: 2 out of 5 Birkenstocks
’90s No. 1s Revisited is a regular feature on “Was It Dope?” where we walk through every No. 1 song of the 1990s on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in order, give it another listen, and answer two critical questions: Was it dope? And does it hold up?