Bust a Move
Writer(s): Marvin Young, Matt Dike, Michael Ross (see lyrics here)
Released: May 22, 1989
First Charted: July 15, 1989
Peak: 7 US, 9 CB, 22 GR, 16 RR, 9 RB, 73 UK, 17 CN, 11 AU, 13 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 45.0 video, 108.32 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Marvin Young (Young MC) was born to Jamaican immigrants in London in 1967. His family moved to Queens, New York, when he was eight years old. He was “a promising hip-hop writer/performer” TC who caught the attention of legendary producer Quincy Jones. Jones produced Young MC’s 1989 debut album, Stone Cold Rhymin’. It became a hit, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard album chart.
That was largely due to the third single, “Bust a Move,” a phrase “which means to take action of some kind.” SF It was Young MC’s first song to chart in the United States, going all the way to the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his only top-10 hit as an artist, but he also wrote the top-10 hits “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” for Tone Loc.
“Bust a Move” “follows a guy who seems hapless with women, but somehow keeps getting lucky.” SF It became “one of the great dance singles of the ‘80s.” TC It “may not have been heavy but it did spread the hip-hop gospel onto the pop charts” TC making “rap music acceptable for a much wider audience.” SF It was a “humorous, sexy invitation to shake one’s booty.” TC
The song is built on a sample of “Found a Child”by the Seattle-based funk group Ballin’ Jack. The drums are sample from RoyalCash’s “Radio-Activity.” There are also beats from Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band’s “Scorpio” and Bette Midler’s “Daytime Hustler” in the breakdown segment. WK The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea played bass on the song and appeared in the video. SF
The song has been featured in a variety of movies including Uncle Buck (1989), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), See Spot Run (2001), The Blind Side (2009), Up in the Air (2009), 17 Again (2009), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), and It (2017).
First posted 6/26/2023.