With every trek to the library, my walk is devoted to deciding the soundtrack to that day’s study session. Music is crucial in setting the tone: Am I going to be productive or spend most of my time bobbing along to summer hits of the ’90s? Sitting down to browse through my Pandora stations and, with some luck, actually beginning to work, I land on Beyoncé radio. Bey is usually reserved for estrogen-fueled gatherings, perfect for empowerment, but not so great for studying.

Feeling indulgent, I select the station and let the first few songs play. The mix is largely made up of ’90s and early ’00s hits from groups such as Destiny’s Child and TLC. I find myself becoming nostalgic for a time in which strong all-girl groups ruled the radio. The longing is not entirely legitimate since I never got to really experience this era in the first place. For example, I was only four years old when “No Scrubs” came out, and songs of this genre are almost universally seen as classic throwbacks, even if it technically means throwing back to infancy for some. There is something innately infectious about this female-fueled genre that is missing from today’s popular music scene.

While there is no denying the positive impact of powerful women in music today, the dominance of girl groups has shifted to that of powerful solo artists. Names like Rihanna and, ironically, Beyoncé have replaced these older groups in favor of solo acts. Along with this shift in performers came a change in subject matter. The focus became less on producing bouncy tracks that celebrated independence and more on sexuality and, arguably, a higher dependence on men. Not to say that these subject matters were absent in popular hip hop of the time (we all remember “Goodies”) but that they have become more of a driving force behind sales and popularity.

With that in mind, I propose a return to the bumping female hip-hop group. There is something far more impactful and entertaining about a group of women performing together rather than a solo diva as the center of attention. Imagine if Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Alicia Keys decided to band together to create a super group — I think we would all buy tickets to that show. The perception of women would shift back to one of a united front instead of a competition. This kind of positive image is greatly lacking in music today, and its absence gives younger female audiences the impression that the only way to be a strong women is to do it alone.

Aside from any social implications of girl groups is the fact that their music is just plain fun. There is a reason that songs like “Say My Name” and “Jumpin’, Jumpin’” still get a reaction out of people. Groups of the ’90s and early ’00s took the best aspects of music at the time and improved upon them. The combination of R&B sound, hip-hop beat, killer vocals and feisty lyrics could result in nothing less than timeless widespread popularity. There is no denying that it is hard to stop listening once you start. Bringing back this lost art form would once again fill the airwaves with fabulous female harmonies and soulful sounds of another era.

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