Although their self-titled debut wasn’t released until February 1998, it was in the second half of 1997 in which audiences got their first taste of the quartet. With the now fan favourite “Killing Time” being featured on the ‘Men In Black’ soundtrack and their first single, “No, No, No” (featuring Wyclef Jean) being released to chart success in late 1997, Destiny’s Child had the R&B foundations to stand out from other girl groups of the time.
“Killing Time” almost acts as the “Dangerously In Love“ before Dangerously In Love, with every live performance of the cut ending with a then fresh-faced Beyoncé ad-libbing her heart out to a dramatic climax. The sultry background vocals of Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett really add to the song, providing an almost tense atmosphere. Through their background vocals we fall even deeper into the story that Beyoncé sings to us: she tells us she’s been ‘waiting patiently’ but we can tell she been waiting for longer than she’d like to be: What should she do?
This sense of waiting is further emphasised by the ‘tick-tock’ of the percussion throughout the song. Again this draws us in, we are now in the same position – killing time waiting for the return of…? We don’t know.
Recently featured on the Destiny’s Child collection Love Songs – and therefore possibly displaying the song to a whole new audiences who are only familiar with DC3 – “Killing Time” is one of DC4’s best cuts, often overlooked due to the chart success of their sophomore album The Writings on the Wall.
The first official single fairs much better in comparison. “No, No, No (Part 2)” was a hit in the US, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Official UK Charts. Reportedly recorded in just under 1 hour, the fast-paced rapping/singing style became signature for Destiny’s Child being repeated on their singles “Bug-A-Boo” and “Say My Name.” In addition to this, DC had the help of the recently Fugee-less Wyclef Jean, a hip-hop heavyweight who would definitely give them a level of credibility needed to break into the R&B scene of the 90’s.
Although the music video isn’t their most iconic, it still holds a special place in my heart. If I was on a swing set I would always break into “every time I see you and your boys…”. There was a clearly a sense of unity in the group which can be seen in the video. These don’t look like four girls who have just been thrown together, you can see that this is their years of hard-work and friendship coming to fruition.
Even with the break-ups, member replacements and later success, there is no way to you can discredit the foundation that Destiny’s Child was built upon. Although the current members still acknowledge “No, No, No” as their debut single, I would love for the first album to get more shine. It may not be the best but, as anyone can see, it was the stepping stone for greatness.