This is someone who almost qualified for my “The One-Hit Wonders” series, but they did go on to have a little more success in the 2000s decade. As I have said before, it wasn’t really until around 1997/1998 that I started to listen to music commercial radio stations more regularly, and this means that I remember a lot more songs from this era from much lower down the chart that only got a little airplay before they left the Top 40.
This is one that stood out to me more than most because it was rather quirky. Imani Coppola is an American singer, who must be unique as someone who is a rapper who also plays the violin (one critic called her genre “folk-rap”). In February 1998 “Legend Of A Cowgirl” was released, which reached no. 34 in the UK, and no. 36 in America. I did like this one, and it never occurred to me at the time that there was a sample used all the way through.
Put it this way, when I finally heard Donovan’s 1966 hit “Sunshine Superman” for the first time, I was rather surprised, it was already familiar. And the video was another one to be directed by McG (who was also behind “The Way” by Fastball’s video that I looked back at recently). “Legend Of A Cowgirl” was taken from her first of 15 albums “Chupacabra”, but that didn’t even make the Top 100 in the UK.
It seems that the only other single released from the album was “I’m A Tree”, which was also rather unusual but didn’t chart in the UK, and once again I was rather pleased to discover that Imani had blue hair in the video, what a terrific achievement. I presumed that was it as far as Imani’s pop career in the UK went, but I was pleased to realise that this isn’t the case, as we did eventually hear more from her.
In February 2001 she was the guest vocalist on “You All Dat” by The Baha Men (yes, they did have another hit after “Who Let The Dogs Out?”), and this reached no. 14. And in August 2008, just over a decade on from “Legend Of A Cowgirl”, Imani returned to the chart again, this time as part of the duo Little Jackie, with “The World Should Revolve Around Me”, and this also reached no. 14. So she had three Top 40 hits in the UK, but her first one will always be my favourite of them.