97 Words: “The First Night” by Monica

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

This song is part of our “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist. Check out the full list.

One hallmark of the marriage between R&B and Hip-Hop in the mid ’90s was when R&B women started flipping samples of classics on top of hard, Hip-Hop beats, lacing them with unmatched vocals and unforgettable melodies. Case in point, Monica’s “The First Night,” the second single from her sophomore album. Built on a sample of “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross, “The First Night” is the antithesis to The Boss’ submissive classic. Monica, instead, dominates in a man’s world — she’s found the cure. The remedy is her ability to set boundaries and own her sexuality. Monica doesn’t run.

Watch “The First Night” video, stream it, or purchase the single.

In celebration of summer, the staff at THE 97 has compiled a playlist containing some of our favorite summer songs, from then and now. Each day we will reveal one song, rotating daily between past and present with pairings from 1998 and 2023, for a total of 97 days/songs. Since we love nostalgia, we’re celebrating summer songs from 1998 as they turn 25, alongside new songs that we feel deserve some shine. Pairings could be thematic, sonic, or based connections between the artists.

Check out our full “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist here.

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.