Muni Long’s song ‘Made For Me’ is the 2000s era R&B banger I didn’t even know I needed
OPINION: A social media trend introduced me to Long’s 2023 single, and now I cannot stop listening to this song that was made for me (pun intended).
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
I’m not one of those people who bemoans the current state of hip-hop and R&B. I’m able to enjoy much of the music that’s released nowadays and ignore, without judgment, the music that is not intended for me. Music has changed so much since I was younger — something that I’m sure my parents also felt — that it would be insane for me to get stuck in my era as the one that matters most.
With that said, every now and then a current artist drops a song that is so reminiscent of the era of music I hold near and dear that I can’t help but listen on a constant loop as a sign of nostalgia and appreciation. Such is the case with a song that I heard while perusing Instagram one day: Muni Long’s “Made For Me.”
While doing my daily Instagram scrolling for videos of pets doing funny things, friends teaching me about new things and checking my DMs for the neverending stream of memes that my sister sends me, I saw a video (on mute at first) of some young man strolling down some street somewhere singing his heart out. He took a hat off an older gentleman’s head, which I thought was staged but upon rewatching the video, I think that old man was just as annoyed as he looked. Anywho, when I unmuted the video, I heard a song about lost love and heartbreak that had the early-and-mid 2000s swing that allowed singers to go on vocal runs that had you singing at the top of your lungs in cars and elevators. I had no idea whose song it was or if it was even recent — social media tends to pull songs from decades ago back into the zeitgeist.
Anywho, I surfed the comments for the artist — Muni Long. The song, “Made For Me,” was released in September 2023. It was written by Long and produced by the team of long-time collaborators and hitmakers, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox. Of course. This song sounds like one they forgot they had on a hard drive in 2004 while making Mariah Carey’s “Emancipation of Mimi” album. Or maybe they went with “We Belong Together” instead of “Made For Me.” I don’t know, but if you were to tell me they produced and arranged this song 20 years ago, I’d believe you. It’s a jam today so you know it would have been a jam back then.
It’s so good that I have even considered making my own video singing with my whole heart. I want to go outside and stand in the rain, Ray J’s “One Wish”-style, and give my entire soul to singing the chorus of this song. I want to put on a jersey of a player that never existed and some XXXL jeans with some Nike Air Force Ones and pretend it’s 2003, and the person I love won’t return my calls … or spin the block as the kids say nowadays.
I have had this song on repeat well over 100 times so far in the past few days since I first heard it, and I don’t see that ending any time soon. I keep thinking about who could have sung this song back then. I could hear Brandy hopping on a remix with Muni Long and KILLING this song because of her vocal layering and stacked vocals. Or Monica because of the sheer power of her voice. I can even hear Mariah Carey singing this song. Muni’s version is amazing, and I love it. I just hear my 20s when listening to this jam.
Also, I‘d be remiss if I didn’t point out how the video adds to the experience because Muni kills her ex (who has moved on) and makes a robot version of him with his head, effectively ruining another family’s life, but hey, love makes you do crazy things, no? Seriously, the video is creepy AF; shouts out to Luke James, who plays the love/death interest in it. The video made me think of “Made For Me” in an entirely different context; now I can ALSO see this song as a prime-level stalker jam. Either way, “Made For Me” is the perfect throwback jam, and I’m so glad it exists. I will sing it at karaoke and nobody else will have a chance.
Twin, where have you been?
Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest), but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said: “Unknown” (Blackest).
Make sure you check out the Dear Culture podcast every Thursday on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, where I’ll be hosting some of the Blackest conversations known to humankind. You might not leave the convo with an afro, but you’ll definitely be looking for your Afro Sheen! Listen to Dear Culture on TheGrio’s app; download it here.
Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.