I wasn’t older than four or five when I saw my first episode of All That. At the time, I really didn’t care much for the musical acts. I really just tolerated them. But every once in a while, you get caught in a Wikipedia wormhole, and you start to realize things about childhood.
Like, holy sh*t, Nickelodeon preconditioned me to love Hip-Hop.
Nas? Outkast? Ice Cube? Some of the biggest names in 1990s Hip-Hop* rang out the end of every episode of All That. Amazing for several obvious reasons. Also kind of sad, if only because it’s difficult to imagine anything like this happening today. “Alright, kids. Thank you for rockin’ with us. Now put your hands together… for… Migos!”
Nah, not happening.
Take a trip down memory lane with the following highlights*, in celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary. Forever live the ’90s.
Outkast – “Rosa Parks”
Irreverent and fun, “Rosa Parks” was arguably Outkast’s first mega-hit. It worked as well on the kids show as it did on the radio.
Aaliyah – “Age Ain’t Nothin But A Number”
The deceased songstress wowed the crowd with a lively rendition of “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number.” Yes, we know the list said “Hip-Hop,” but this performance deserves mention for getting a few of us through puberty at least.
Da Brat – “Fa All Y’all”
The message of Da Brat’s hit might have gone just a bit over her young audience’s head, but it was a Top-40 single, so snaps for more press.
“Ice Cube – We Be Clubbin'”
Yup. Ice Cube. Talmbout clubbin’, in front of a bunch of eager 12-year-olds. Probably a better alternative to other songs in Cube’s catalog.
Nas – “Street Dreams”
Considering the love that “Street Dreams” was getting on the radio (it climbed to 22nd on Billboard), it shouldn’t surprise that Nas blessed the All That audience with a remix.
Heavy D – “Big Daddy”
This New York pioneer came out swinging with the live performance of his Waterbed Hev single.
Mya Ft. Silkk The Shocker – “Movin’ On”
Technically, the clip only features Mya, but Silk’s verse is heard while she entertains us by dancing and shimmying across the screen. Do you see anything wrong with that? We thought so.
Run DMC – “Christmas In Hollis”
Never a bad time to educate the youth on hip-hop’s roots.
Tony! Toni! Toné! & DJ Quik – “Let’s Get Down”
The soulful Oakland trio teamed up with the legendary DJ Quik for this highlight.
* — Some noteworthy acts didn’t have videos online. Craig Mack performed “Flava In Ya Ear” during the first season. That actually happened.