Snoop’s ‘Thriller,’ Madonna’s ‘Secret,’ Boyz II Men’s Vanderpool Style: This Week In 1994

Snoop Doggy Dogg took to the silver screen this week in 1994 thanks to the
rapper’s mentor, Dr. Dre. The good doctor directed an 18-minute mini movie
starring Snoop based on the track “Murder Was the Case” from the
Dogg’s debut album, Doggystyle. The violent short film found Snoop
addressing his own mortality.

“I decided to put me a video together somewhat like [Michael Jackson's] ‘Thriller’ but with one of my songs,” Snoop explained. “So I took ‘Murder Was the Case’ ’cause it was the most visual song and we stretched it out and made it into an 18-minute video and it’s real deep. It’s like rated R. It’s uncut. It’s real. It’s me.”

Snoop made a point of noting, however, that the video was not a dramatization of what was going on in his own life at that time (the rapper was on trial for the murder of 20-year-old Phillip Woldemariam; he was ultimately acquitted).

“It’s non-affiliated with my case that’s going on, so I wanna make that known,” Snoop stressed. “This song was wrote before the case even occurred.”

Madonna had the hottest single in the country with “Secret,” which leapt from #30 to #4 on the Billboard singles chart. To keep the song hot in dance clubs, Madonna turned the tune over to one of New York’s hottest remixers, Junior Vasquez, DJ at the Sound Factory.

“They sent me a cassette of the song, just to get an idea what the song was,” Junior Vasquez said of the original mid-tempo cut, “and when it was 100 beats per minute I said, ‘Oh god, what am I gonna do with this?’ ”

Before tackling the club mixes, Junior and his engineers experimented with versions truer to the original. Then, in a move that had become commonplace, Junior wrote and produced all new music for the club mixes, only utilizing Madonna’s original vocals for the final product.

“I knew I was gonna do the house thing, but I knew right away we’d have to speed up the vocals,” he said.

“To do that we have to digitally manipulate her vocals, which is time compression,” engineer P. Dennis Mitchell explained. “It just digitally goes in and snipes out tiny little digital slices of the actual sound and squeezes it together so that her tempo is a new tempo but her pitch stays the same.”

“Isn’t that weird?” Vasquez asked. “She sounds exactly the same but she’s singing faster.

“Madonna’s different ’cause she’s like really on top of everything,” he added. “The house mix is just as important to her as what her original interpretation of the song is.”

The hip-hop/ doo-wop vocal group Boyz II Men took time off from topping the charts with their hit single “I’ll Make Love to You” to do some clothes shopping in New York City. MTV News tagged along and eventually figured out the connection between the group and Alex Vanderpool, the character on the soap opera “All My Children” for whom the group’s Nate Morris had taken his nickname.

Shawn Stockman: We’re just gonna show everybody what the Alex Vanderpool type of dress is about.

Nate Morris: Alex is a laid-back, chilled-out type of vibe.

Shawn Stockman: It’s all about being comfortable on and offstage and that’s what Alex is about.

Michael McCary: If they had four of these [shirts] in extra large we would buy them. Or four of these in extra large, the same identical shirt, we would buy them. It shows unity. Nobody sticks out or stands out more than the other.

Wanya Morris: For somebody else [these platform sneakers] might be fly, but I can’t vibe off of these.

Shawn Stockman: It’s just the extra like, three feet of heel that kind of throws the vibe off.

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