The Washington Post

Destiny’s Child’s second album, ‘The Writing’s on the Wall,’ turns 15 today


Today marks the 15th anniversary of Destiny’s Child’s second album, “The Writing’s on the Wall.” Although the group’s profitable but less-memorable self-titled debut gave us the “No, No, No” remix, (a staple on any ’90s R&B playlist), it’s “The Writing’s on the Wall” that felt like our true introduction to Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett.

When “TWOTW” hit stores on July 28, 1999 — during a pivotal moment in girl-group history — it joined the ranks of TLC, Xscape, 702, Total, En Vogue and Blaque. Despite all the venerable competition, Destiny’s Child — these four girls from Texas — managed to swoop in and solidify a spot for themselves.

Unfortunately, some people seem to have forgotten the greatness that was Destiny’s Child — if we dare take as evidence a disturbing Yahoo Answers question from this Buzzfeed list of “29 Reasons Why Music Is Doomed.”  (A poster asked: “Is it just me or does Beyoncé look like that girl from Destiny’s Child? The resemblance hurts my head.” The answer to the “resolved” question? “Don’t know why you would ever think [that.]  [They] look nothing alike,” with a link to the Destiny’s Child Wikipedia page. I sincerely hope that was sarcasm.)

That is more disturbing than that time teenagers on Twitter were shocked to learn that the Titanic was real. It’s more troubling than watching kids react to a rotary phone. That is the kind of thing that can give one an epic case of the sads. There are Beyoncé fans in existence who do not remember Destiny’s Child? How could this happen?

We can thank “The Writing’s on the Wall” for classics like “Bug A Boo,” with such nostalgia-inducing lines as: “You make me want to throw my pager out the window/tell MCI to cut the phone poles”; two fed-up girlfriend’s anthems, “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name.” But DC’s second album did more than provide us with late ’90’s hits; it laid the groundwork for so much greatness, including:

“Beyoncé.” Both the album and the person. Had she not been the lead singer of DC, we may never have gotten “Partition,” “Drunk in Love,” “Rocket” or “No Angel.”

DC3. Destiny’s Child’s member shakeups were much-discussed in the ’90s and early Aughts. Luckett and Roberson were replaced by Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin — which was followed by Franklin’s swift departure from the group. Destiny’s Child slimmed down to three members, which was how they would stay until they went their separate ways in 2005 — but not before releasing a slew of hits along the way, including “Independent Women (Part 1),” “Emotion,” and “Lose My Breath.”

The inclusion of the word “bootylicious” in the Oxford English Dictionary.

James Fauntleroy on “Girls Love Beyoncé.” Drake’s 2013 single wasn’t the best release that the rapper gave us last year, but it did involve singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy’s covering Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.”

“Survivor,” which is still one of the best songs to blast whilst laughing at your haters. Also, it’s a pretty good track to play while on the treadmill, if you’re into that sort of thing.

The booty-pop from “Crazy in Love” video. It’s the first iconic dance move of Beyoncé’s solo career and the precursor to the “Single Ladies” dance and the “I woke up like dis” dance from “***Flawless.”

LeToya Luckett’s “Torn.”

Skye Townsend’s Beyoncé impressions. It doesn’t matter who does Beyoncé impressions now. Townsend, who was one of the first, remains the best.

The DC3 reunion during the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show a.k.a. the only reason I watched the Super Bowl in 2013.

Diplo’s “Drunk in Love” remix (which includes some NSFW language) and every other stellar DC remix that has ever hit the Internet.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Miss Manners: The technology's changed, but the rules are the same
Behind a famous and fast steam locomotive
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
How to survive a shark attack
What you need to know about trans fats
Play Videos
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Veronica Toney · July 28, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.