Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Old school's back in session, kids. After being plagued by technical issues and a terrible bout of pneumonia, I'm finally back in the game, snitches. It's time to get your learn on with the next episode of the infamous Cover My Ass series...let's do work...
"You Are My Sunshine"---Dyke & The Blazers (zShare)
"You Are My Sunshine"---Dyke & The Blazers (savefile)
*"You Are My Sunshine" is widely recognized as one of the state songs of Louisiana, due in large part to the tune's association with Jimmie Davis. Davis was a country music star who also served two non-consecutive terms as the state's Democratic governor. He recorded the song in 1940 for Decca Records, and used to sing it frequently at rallies while on the campaign trail. He even went so far as to ride around on a horse named Sunshine, but that's another story for another day...
Davis and Charles Mitchell were credited as the tune's songwriters, but according to most accounts, Davis actually bought the rights to the song from Paul Rice. In fact, both The Pine Ridge Boys and The Rice Brothers Gang had recorded and released the tune several months before Davis put his version on wax. Over the years, numerous theories have emerged to explain the song's origins, but there's no disagreement over the fact that Jimmie Davis was the first to make it a hit record.
*Since Davis popularized the tune, hundreds of renditions of the song have surfaced. Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, and Aretha Franklin are just a few of the artists who've released cover versions of the track.
*If I can be honest, I generally hate this song with a passion. There's something deeply cynical and perhaps even unAmerican about disliking this tune, but that's never dissuaded me in the slightest. Nothing personal...something about it just makes me feel an uncontrollable urge to purge, and that's putting it poetically.
Bearing that in mind, I was understandably shocked beyond belief the first time I heard Dyke & The Blazers' ridiculously funky twist on the song. Not only do I think it's an outstanding cover, I can listen to it repeatedly without so much as a hiccup. That may sound like somewhat of an unconventional endorsement, but what can I say? That's about as real as it gets, soul children...
"Hard To Handle"---Patti Drew (zShare)
"Hard To Handle"---Patti Drew (savefile)
*Written by Otis Redding/Alvertis Isbell/Allen Jones; Redding's version was released in 1968, the year following his untimely death in an airplane crash. It can be found on The Immortal Otis Redding LP.
*A popular version of the song was recorded by The Black Crowes in 1990 on their Shake Your Money Maker LP. Their rendition reached #26 on the US charts and rose to #45 in the UK. Other renditions have been offered by such artists as The Grateful Dead, Tony Joe White, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Dynamo's Rhythm Aces.
*Patti Drew's amazing cover was first released as a single on Capitol Records in 1968 (b/w "Just Can't Forget About You"). It also appeared on her I've Been Here All The Time LP the following year.
"Fever"---King Curtis (zShare)
"Fever"---King Curtis (savefile)
*I posted Patti Drew's cover of this tune in an earlier installment of the series, so you can check out some of the song's history here.
*If you think you've never heard King Curtis (born Curtis Ousley) play, you're probably wrong. The celebrated saxophonist was constantly in high demand, being invited to work with Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Sam Cooke, Eric Clapton, Nina Simone, The Drifters, Wilson Pickett, The Shirelles, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Mann, The Coasters, Solomon Burke, and many others.
*In addition to his work with other artists, Curtis also released many of his own records, which included successful singles such as "Soul Serenade", "Memphis Soul Stew", "Ode To Billie Joe", and "Soul Twist". He was also an accomplished musical director and record producer.
*Curtis recorded many wonderful covers over the years, including "Whiter Shade Of Pale", "And I Love Her", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Get Ready", "Green Onions", "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours", and "In The Midnight Hour". His outstanding rendition of "Fever" appeared on his Old Gold LP in 1961.
*On August 13, 1971 Curtis was stabbed to death in his heart with a knife outside of his apartment building in NYC. His presence in the music industry has been greatly missed ever since.
"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"---The Sweet Inspirations (zShare)
"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"---The Sweet Inspirations (savefile)
*Written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn; released by Aretha Franklin in 1967 on her I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You LP. That same year, William Bell and The Sweet Inspirations both released their renditions of the tune.
*The song has also been covered by Willie Nelson, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Brenda Lee, Joan Baez, Cher, Lulu, Marva Wright, Dionne Warwick, Sinead O'Connor, and quite a few other recording artists.
*If you've been hangin' with me for a while, then you should already be somewhat familiar with The Sweet Inspirations. The group (which initially was led by Cissy Houston, Whitney's mama) made an invaluable, yet commonly unrecognized, contribution to soul music's rich legacy. If you are unaware of their work as backing vocalists or as recording artists in their own right, let me suggest starting with this chronicle of their illustrious career.
"Yesterday"---Marvin Gaye (zShare)
"Yesterday"---Marvin Gaye (savefile)
*Okay...it feels a bit strange to keep making reference to my own writing, but I explored the history of this tune in the third edition of the series when I featured the Bar-Kays' instrumental rendition of the song. I dug up a few interesting facts about the track for that post, so it may be worth looking backward if you happened to miss it the first time.
*As I mentioned previously, there are more versions of this tune than there are crazy thoughts in Tom Cruise's head. It's literally unfathomable...
Marvin Gaye recorded his stunning take on the song in 1969, and it appeared on his That's The Way Love Is LP the following year.
"You're All I Need To Get By"---Dionne Warwick (zShare)
"You're All I Need To Get By"---Dionne Warwick (savefile)
*Written by Nikolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson; recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in Hitsville USA in Detroit in 1967. Their version was first released as a 7" single on Tamla/Motown in April of 1968 and later appeared on their You're All I Need LP. The song went to #1 on the Hot Soul Singles charts, becoming one of the longest running R&B hits of 1968.
*The song was actually recorded separately by the two singers and later overdubbed by Motown's engineers to make it a duet. At the time, Tammi Terrell was recovering from surgery on a malignant brain tumor and was also bound to a wheelchair. The tumor ultimately resulted in her death on March 16, 1970. She was only 24 when she passed away.
Many rumors abounded after Terrell's death and have been circulating ever since. Many speculated that her illness was worsened by domestic abuse from her live-in boyfriend, David Ruffin of The Temptations. There have also been reports that Terrell and Gaye were having an affair, but neither of these notions have ever been definitively confirmed.
Whatever the truth may be, there's little argument over the fact that Gaye went into a kind of self-imposed isolation after Terrell's death. At the very minimum, he struggled intensely with the loss of a good friend and vocal partner. He returned with what is considered to be his best album of all time, an insightful and socially conscious masterpiece in the form of his What's Going On LP.
*Ashford & Simpson produced the song and also provided backing vocals on the track.
*This tune inspired and was interpolated on one of hip hop's greatest love joints of all time, "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By" by Method Man and Mary J Blige.
*The song has been covered by artists such as Diana Ross, Nancy Wilson, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Sarah Dash w/ Patti LaBelle, Kenny Lattimore & Chante Moore, Michael McDonald, and Mark Ronson.
Dionne released an exceptional rendition of the tune in 1969, appearing on one of her best LPs, Soulful. For those of you who only know Dionne since she went batshit crazy and became a psychic friend, you are truly missing out on one of the greatest soul vocalists of all time. As this fine cover should indicate, in her day she was absolutely golden.
"(If Loving You Is Wrong)I Don't Want To Be Right"---Bobby "Blue" Bland (zShare)
"(If Loving You Is Wrong)I Don't Want To Be Right"---Bobby "Blue" Bland (savefile)
*Written by Homer Banks, Carl Hampton, and Raymond Jackson; first recorded on 1970 by The Emotions and Veda Brown, but their renditions were shelved.
*As most of you should know, the song is a tale about an illicit love affair. Depending upon the vocalist, it's sung from the point of view of either the cheating husband or the mistress.
*The song enjoyed the most commercial success when sung by Luther Ingram, whose take on the track topped the R&B charts and climbed to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Ingram evidently first heard Veda Brown's version while hanging around the Stax headquarters in Memphis and decided he wanted to attempt his own take on the song. His rendition featured some minor changes, such as a slower tempo and additional instrumental effects, but Ingram claims the record was cut within about 45 minutes.
*Isaac Hayes, Millie Jackson, Rod Stewart, Percy Sledge and David Ruffin are just a few of the other artists who've released a version of the tune.
*While most covers of this song undeniably end up falling into the category of insipid balladry, Bland managed to squeeze enough heartache and blues out of the tune to somehow make it more palpable than most of the other versions I've heard. It appeared on His California Album in 1973, an LP which has been re-issued in recent years.
"Suspicious Minds"---Dee Dee Warwick (zShare)
"Suspicious Minds"---Dee Dee Warwick (savefile)
*Written by Mark James (aka Francis Zambon), who recorded and released an unsuccessful version of the tune. James had originally worked on the song with esteemed songwriter/producer Lincoln "Chips" Moman, who later convinced Elvis Presley that he could turn the song into a hit. It had been several years since Elvis had enjoyed a successful single, and his cover of the tune was intended to revive his flailing career.
Elvis recorded the song during his legendary Memphis sessions early in 1969, and it was first released as a 7" single on August 26 of that same year. His version would end up being a great success, reaching #1 on the US charts and #2 in the UK. It ended up being his last number one song in the US prior to his death.
*After Elvis' success with covering the tune, many other artists followed suit---Thelma Houston, Candi Staton, and Fine Young Cannibals just to name a few.
*Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne's little sister) released her rendition in 1971 on Atco (b/w "I'm Glad I'm A Woman"). It was only a minor hit for her, peaking at #80 on the Billboard chart and #24 on the R&B charts.
I have no intention of launching into a discussion about my personal feelings on the subject of Elvis. Perhaps that could/should be the topic of its own post one crazy day. Elvis is one of those things like religion, politics, and money that easily sparks mad controversy and gets many people's tempers heated to an absolute boiling point.
However, I don't mind saying at all that I personally prefer Dee Dee's version every time. Although she clearly didn't have the staying power of her enormously talented sibling, I think of Dee Dee as being greatly unappreciated. Elvis, on the other hand, is like the trinity. He's The King, personal Jesus, and Holy Spirit of gas station sightings according to millions of people around the world. That's all well and good, but as you know, it's fully programmed into my DNA to root for the underdog.
Apologies in advance to those who prefer sequined jumpsuits and grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I concede without you saying so that I am somewhat of an ass.
"Light My Fire"---Ebony Rhythm Band (zShare)
"Light My Fire"---Ebony Rhythm Band (savefile)
*Written by The Doors; guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote the majority of the lyrics, but lead singer Jim Morrison lent a hand in penning the second verse.
*This was the song that truly catapulted The Doors into stardom. It topped the US charts for three weeks in July of 1967, and peaked at #7 on the UK charts. The single sold over one million copies and was the first #1 hit for their record label Elektra.
Executives at the label thought that the album version of the song was too long to play on the radio, so the guitar solos were edited to considerably shorten the length. Ultimately, this decision increased sales of their self-titled debut LP, since it was the only way that fans could own the extended mix of the song.
*The chord progression in the song was inspired by John Coltrane's "My Favourite Things"
*According to many sources I've read, Morrison had an intense love/hate relationship with the tune. He got tired of singing the track at their concerts and live shows, and some said that he was bitter about having so little to do with writing the group's signature song. As it turns out, "Light My Fire" is the last song Morrison sang live before his death on July 3, 1971 in Paris. The Doors' last public performance was at the Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970.
*Probably just about everyone has heard a cover of this song at one time or another, considering that such a wide variety of artists attempted to put their own twist on the tune. Renditions have been offered by Jose Feliciano, Erma Franklin, Nancy Sinatra, Jackie Wilson, Clarence Carter, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Shirley Bassey, Isaac Hayes, Young-Holt Unlimited, Booker T & The MGs, Massive Attack, and many others.
The Ebony Rhythm Band's cover of the song is remarkable, and quite different than any other take I've ever heard. The group's style is reminiscent of The Meters at times, but far less bound to conventional song structures. Many of their recordings come across as free flowing jam sessions, which adds to the overall excitement and unpredictability of their trippy funk and psychedelic soul sounds.
I generally encourage people to dig for the original vinyl version of most recordings, but there is an added bonus with the CD reissue of Soul Heart Transplant: The Lamp Sessions...an alternate take on their rendition of "Light My Fire". Whichever means you prefer, I'd definitely suggest making an effort to add this LP to your collection.
"Eleanor Rigby"---Kim Weston (zShare)
"Eleanor Rigby"---Kim Weston (savefile)
*Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney; the two would later offer somewhat differing accounts in terms of who actually contributed more lyrics to the song.
*The track was recorded by The Beatles in 1968 at Abbey Road Studios in 1966. It appeared on a 7" as the B-side to "Yellow Submarine" and on their Revolver LP.
*None of The Beatles played their instruments on this tune. An octet of string players were hired in as session musicians to record the track. Consequently, the group avoided playing the song live. Paul McCartney performed it on his Back In The US tour in 2002, but he replaced the strings with the help of keyboards.
*Tommy Steele sculpted a famous statue of Eleanor Rigby and unveiled it in 1982. He dedicated the work of art to "all the lonely people".
*Legend has it that Father McKenzie was originally Father McCartney. Paul supposedly decided that the reference may offend his father, so he picked the name out of a telephone book.
The name Eleanor Rigby was originally to be Daisy Hawkins. McCartney eventually scrapped this idea as well. As he recounts it, Eleanor was derived from an actress named Eleanor Bron and Rigby came from the name name of a store in Bristol.
In the 1980s, however, a gravestone for a woman named Eleanor Rigby was located in Liverpool. Not far away in the same cemetery was a memorial for someone by the last name of McKenzie. McCartney argued that the strange coincidence may have been a product of his subconscious, as he and Lennon had previously hung out in this particular graveyard when they were younger. Regardless, Eleanor Rigby's gravesight remains a Mecca for Beatles enthusiasts all around the globe.
*The tune has been covered by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Young-Holt Unlimited, Richie Havens, Jackie Wilson, The Four Tops, Jackie Mittoo, Gene Harris, Count Basie, Booker T, Junior Reid, and a host of others.
*Kim Weston released her version on her 1970 LP, Big Brass Four Poster. In writing this post, I became rather disappointed with myself for never having written about Ms. Weston's transcendent vocals at any previous point. You know how I love to champion underappreciated soul sistas, and she undoubtedly fits the bill.
What sets her rendition apart for me is the raw emotion behind it. Many of the other covers I've heard somehow diminish the song's intensity in one way or another. Weston, on the other hand, recorded a take on the tune that was simply electrifying. While her version is quite distinguishable from the original, she seems to have grasped the song's meaning and implications in a way that many others seemingly did not.
To compensate for this oversight, let me assure you that more of Weston's material will be surfacing here in the very near future. Shame on me.
Bonus mp3 (zShare only):
"What I Seen"---Talib Kweli
Although this song (produced by Kanye West) was on the leaked version of Kweli's The Beautiful Struggle, it wasn't included on the retail version. Since the joint samples "Eleanor Rigby" it seems evident that sample clearance issues were involved, although any further information that my readers may have is certainly welcome. The track was originally called "Lonely People", and has appeared on mixtapes and on the limited edition vinyl single pictured above. This mp3 is ripped from Kweli's Focus bootleg, on which the joint was renamed "What I Seen".
If you've never heard this, you're definitely overdue. This is one of the most solid joints Kweli's ever done, and although that's only an opinion, I feel strongly enough about it to present it as indisputable fact.
Remember this? Kweli spit the rhymes from "Lonely People" on an episode of Def Poetry Jam:
Method and Mary J's classic video for "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By":
Word From Your Moms:
You, too, with the still soul
have your mission, for beneath the
dashing, noisy waves must ever
run the silent waters that give the tide
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Every once in a while, I actually venture into the stratosphere beyond Souled On to check out what's happening in other realms of the worldwide interweb. Here's an overview of what's been goin' down elsewhere in the universe at large...
This may not require much of a stretch of your imagination, but I used to be a pretty big Star Wars fanatic when I was a short shit. My family still ridicules me because I used to have major problems sleeping without my Chewbacca pillowcase. I realize that's pretty twisted, but now that I've encountered these people, the burden of my shame has lifted tremendously. It's always refreshing to discover that there are people way crazier than you could ever hope to be. Amen and hallelujah for that...
Before I set childish things completely aside, I also have to mention this illuminating article about the secrets behind some of the best-loved toys ever created. The inventor of the Slinky was a total nutjob and Captain Kangaroo single-handedly saved Play-Doh from extinction. Huh. Who knew?
Speaking of nutjobs, am I the last person on Earth to find out about The Church Of Google ? Although they may not have enough converts to justify placement on the Big Religion Comparison Chart, they have generated nine indisputable proofs to justify their bizarre contention that Google is God. Sorry, Googlists. I'm all for religious freedom, but worshipping a search engine is just...ummm...unforgivably wacko.
Also falling into the category of absurdity is Natalie Cole trippin' out about Amy Winehouse winning big at the Grammy's this year. The "Unforgettable" songstress was evidently irritated that the troubled artist was seemingly rewarded despite her highly publicized bad behavior. Winehouse has undoubtedly gone overboard with her substance abuse, but seriously, Nat...where the hell would popular music be without illicit drug use? Geezuz...I shudder to think...
While we're on the subject of drugs, I had to chuckle at how pissed off this cop was about being served marijuana in his Whopper. Damn...you should have really been a lot more mellow about the whole thing, dude. You must have gotten some crappy dirt weed mixed in your beef or somethin'...Besides, the slap-on-the-wrist sentences handed down to the culprits were somewhat predictable in light of the fact that the presiding judge looks as if he's been eating potburgers every day since Vietnam. Duh, homie.
Also in the news, 50 Cent verbalized his support for Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton. I haven't given a damn about Fiddy's political opinions since...well...the beginning of time (or at least since he expressed his inexplicable affection for George Bush). However, I still resent Bill O'Reilly calling the rapper a pinhead. Apparently it really does take one to know one. Don't worry though, soul kids...50 made sure he fired the last round of shots in this great meeting of the minds.
I haven't really featured a favorite visual artist in quite some time, so allow me to put the spotlight on someone who's very worthy of your attention. My man Gabriel Romo contacted me several months ago to express his appreciation for Souled On. Out of curiousity and respect, I checked out hERMANO, Romo's revolutionary labor of love. Needless to say, I was completely blown away by the man's talent and phenomenal vision. Hopefully you'll find a way to support his hustle (at least buy a shirt or sumthin', cheap-o)...this guy is the undisputed TRUTH.
Music, art, and politics may sometimes make strange bedfellows, but in certain instances they blend together seamlessly. Head over to los amigos de durutti to check out how Barack Obama has inspired Shepard Fairey to create some new Obey posters (proceeds benefit Obama's campaign). You can also download "Yes We Can (Obama) For America", a rallying cry from famous Barackians (Obamites?) such as will.i.am, Common, John Legend, Tatyana Ali and Herbie Hancock.
Which leads us directly to the place you really want to be...wherever there's good music. Here are just a few of the places where I fell into the groove:
My homie Vincent from Fufu Stew has been dropping some killer mixes lately. He recently did a dope hip-hop mix that was posted at The Stew, in addition to doing a guest drop over at The Hook And Sling. Funk and soul fans will definitely want to check out his mix at The Hook, especially because it features some of his very favorite 45s. That's saying a lot when you have as many crates as Vincent does, so don't sleep.
"(I Want To Be) What Ever It Takes To Please You" is a great song by Ruby Andrews that was also recently featured at The Hook And Sling. Included in the same post is a link to my homie DJ Prestige's Ease Back Guest Mix.
Also, for the funktionally-inclined peoples in the place to be, Pres recently dug out a dusty gem that he posted over at Flea Market Funk. I've been playing the hell out of this track for the past few days..."Detroit" by Paul Humphrey and His Cool Aid Chemists. I'm convinced I have ADHD as it pertains to music, so listening to something for this long without interruption is actually quite a feat for me.
Yet another outstanding mix comes by way of my friend Colin from In Dangerous Rhythm. He compiled a selection of deep soul tunes that is phenomenal from beginning to end. As always, Colin pulled out quite a few records I'd never heard of in my life...
While I'm braggin' about my internet fam, let me just say that the most recent material I've heard from my man Zilla Rocca has made him an even greater force to be reckoned with in the hip hop community. Hit up From Da Bricks to download "Pages Of The Past" so you can hear his skilled delivery for yourselves.
Speaking of FDB, Dan Love has been turning up in many different corners of the internets lately. At Oh Word he recently featured an insightful megapost deconstructing the samples used on Nas' legendary Illmatic LP. Dan's gift for writing is worth the price of admission alone, but he was also generous enough to share a motherlode of the original songs that were sampled on the album.
Additionally, Mr. Love was one of several bloggers who participated in a massive beat drop over at Metal Lungies, paying homage to the work of J Dilla. I was invited to participate, but I don't even deserve a late pass since I realized later that I had accidentally forgotten to reply (I owe you one, buhizzle). My memory lapse certainly didn't jeopardize the quality of the post in the slightest, as this turned out to be an amazing journey through some of JD's finest material. If you are interested in learning more about Dilla or collecting tracks from various phases of his career, you definitely won't want to miss out on what this post has to offer.
Also on the Dilla tip, stop by Audiversity to d/l Flying Lotus' remix of "Game Over" (Dabrye feat. JD and Phat Kat).
This week I participated in the happenings over at I Hook A Beat Up by donating a track for heads to sample. After agonizing over my decision more than I really needed to, I finally settled on a personal favorite of mine---"I Get My Groove From You" by Bobby Patterson. The results should be posted by later tonight, so make sure you at least pass through to vote for the best flip that's submitted.
Larry at Funky 16 Corners recently featured a track by Denise LaSalle called "Keep It Coming". LaSalle is one of the many underappreciated divas of classic soul, so it was a welcome change of pace to see her getting some recognition.
Pete Rock's new joint with Redman ("Best Believe") is available via Nah Right. As much as I've been anticipating Pete's NY's Finest LP, the tracks I've heard so far haven't exactly blown me away. I'd probably be less disappointed if I was merely looking for consistency, but I guess I keep waiting for somebody to put out an album that significantly raises the bar...something that really makes me wanna get up and slap yo' mama, ya know? Errr...okay...so maybe you don't.
That said, I concur with Jeff Weiss that eMC's The Show is probably the best hip hop record to drop so far in '08 (I have another contender in mind as well, but more about that later). Stop by Passion Of The Weiss to read an insightful and razor-sharp review of the album, and cop a couple of standout joints from the LP as well.
For those who are still hopelessly fiendin' for the golden years of hip hop, be sure to keep your eye on Wake Your Daughter Up and When They Reminisce. Travis and Eric are collaborating on a dope "I Love The '90s" series that will take you waaay back and make you feel old as fuck at the same time.
Something else I'd momentarily forgotten...how freakin' fantastic Moistworks is. There is such an overabundance of music blogs on the scene at this point that I rarely get around to visiting my old favorites anymore. For the most part, I'm not missing much...the shelf life for blogger creativity is generally relatively short-lived (hey...we're underpaid, underappreciated, and always under pressure). Moistworks, however, has remained surprisingly consistent in both quality and content. No matter what your personal taste in music is, it's worth passing through there at least once a week to clean up on the cornucopia of fine mp3s they offer...a truly remarkable triumph after a few solid years of gettin' bloggy wit' it.
My pal DJ Blueprint shared a fine piece of wax this week at this is tomorrow... a tight lil' B-side groove called "Sophisticated Funk" by John Roberts.
HHG recently featured an illuminating interview with one of my favorite commercial beat wizards, the almighty Just Blaze.
Visit The Stepfather Of Soul to download "Lay It On Me", a stunning slice of Chicago soul served up by the duo Maurice & Mac.
HeavySoulBrutha Dave B. has been sharing some exceptional material over at Put The Needle On The Record, including the tracks by Willie Hutch and Chico Hamilton that he featured in this particular post. You should definitely do some further exploring while you're there...there's some wonderful music available in honor of his blog's first anniversary.
Last but never least, check out this mini-retrospective by cousin Fresh @ 33 Jones about the importance of "The Name Game" and "The Clapping Song" by Shirley Ellis to the evolution of hip hop.
After all was said and done, I realized that I sincerely need to make cleaning up my blogroll a top priority. If you're not there and you should be, please drop me a comment or an e-mail. If you're new to the blogging business, I'll be happy to check out your spot for you...but you probably won't get linked for the first few months. It takes most people about that long to determine what a pain in the ass this is...namsayin?
Because the soul children deserve to be spoiled beyond belief, I wouldn't even think of ending this post without droppin' a few gems. So here's what my homeboy Chewbacca and I are pimpin'...
Chewie's Choice Cuts From The Crates:
"Sit Down And Hurt For A While"---Denise LaSalle (zShare)
"Sit Down And Hurt For A While"---Denise LaSalle (savefile)
Larry got me reminiscin' about how much I love Denise's voice. Another soulful masterpiece from her collection.
"Blow Your Own Mind Pt. 1"---Aaron Jerome w/ Kathrin deBoer (zShare)
"Blow Your Own Mind Pt. 1"---Aaron Jerome w/ Kathrin deBoer (savefile)
BBE Records has some outstanding upcoming releases, not the least of which is Aaron Jerome's exemplary and pleasantly eclectic debut, Time To Rearrange. Citing quite a few classic jazz and soul artists as inspiration, Jerome makes music that's as much of an honorary ode to the past as it is a hopeful nod towards the future.
"Where I'm Going (instrumental)"---Scribbling Idiots (zShare)
"Where I'm Going (instrumental)"---Scribbling Idiots (savefile)
The Have Nots is a pretty strong album, but lately I've been listening to the instrumentals a lot more than the vocal versions. This beat by Supreme Keys is a definite "mood piece" for me, but when I'm in the right mental frame, it's verges on perfection.
"Soul Glo"---Akrobatik (zShare)
"Soul Glo"---Akrobatik (savefile)
This is the aforementioned contender for my favorite hip hop album so far this year. For the most part, it's dope that Ak is back, with the exception of a few minor flaws. My greatest source of irritation is this: where in the hell did he find American Idol reject Brenna Gethers, and what evil entity possessed him to put her on the mic? That...just...wasn't...very...gangsta.
On the real though, Absolute Value is a great album. Buy dat shit.
"The Wobble"---Dyke & the Blazers (zShare)
"The Wobble"---Dyke & the Blazers (savefile)
If you think this has something to do with a lesbian and some suit jackets, you need to get your learn on, kid...
"Got The Feelin"--Dave Pike (zShare)
"Got The Feelin"---Dave Pike (savefile)
I'm on a tireless mission to find every record with Dave Pike on it that I possibly can. I'd never heard of him until several months ago, which is the sort of thing that explains why I keep my head buried in the crates ...always.
Word From Your Moms:
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."---Douglas Adams (from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy)
Thursday, February 07, 2008
"Ain't No Sunshine"---Lyn Collins (zShare)
"Ain't No Sunshine"---Lyn Collins (savefile)
*Sampled on "Don't U Know" by ODB and "Splish Splash" by Cappadonna
"A New Day"---J.C. Davis (zShare)
"A New Day"---J.C. Davis (savefile)
*Sampled on "Project Jazz" by Hell Razah/MF Doom/Talib Kweli
"Sir Duke"---Stevie Wonder (zShare)
"Sir Duke"---Stevie Wonder (savefile)
*Sampled on "Footprints" by A Tribe Called Quest and "Let's Get Busy Baby" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
"Sugar Man"---Rodriguez (zShare)
"Sugar Man"---Rodriguez (savefile)
*Sampled on "You're Da Man" by Nas
"I Can't Stand (To See You Cry)"---The Escorts (zShare)
"I Can't Stand (To See You Cry)"---The Escorts (savefile)
*Sampled on "Don't Cry" by J Dilla
"Mr. Cool"---Rasputin's Stash (zShare)
"Mr. Cool"---Rasputin's Stash (savefile)
*Sampled on "We Fly High" by Jim Jones
"Peace And Love: Movement IV (The Encounter)"---Mandrill (zShare)
"Peace And Love: Movement IV (The Encounter)"---Mandrill (savefile)
*Sampled on "Two Words" by Kanye West/Mos Def/Freeway/Harlem Boy's Choir
*Sampled on "Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us)" by Talib Kweli
"Little Green Apples"---Monk Higgins & The Specialites (zShare)
"Little Green Apples"---Monk Higgins & The Specialites (savefile)
*Sampled on "Code Of The Streets" by Gang Starr
"Pieces Of A Man"---Gil Scott-Heron (zShare)
"Pieces Of A Man"---Gil Scott-Heron (savefile)
*Sampled on "What A Niggy Know" by KMD
"Make It Easy On Yourself"---Jerry Butler (zShare)
"Make It Easy On Yourself"---Jerry Butler (savefile)
*Sampled on "Jedi Mind Tricks" by Lupe Fiasco
Stevie Wonder playing "Superstition" live on "Sesame Street". Programming for the soul children just ain't what it used to be:
A captivating and energetic live performance by Mandrill in 1971:
Bonus mp3s (zShare):
"Jedi Mind Tricks"---Lupe Fiasco
From Fiasco's Fahrenheit 1/15 Part II: Revenge Of The Nerds mixtape...
"2 Words (Dert Remix)"---Kanye West/Mos Def/Freeway/Harlem Boy's Choir
This has a whole different vibe than the original. Some of you will love it, some of you will hate it, and most of you simply won't give a damn either way.
Before I wrap up this edition of SOS, a word to all of the talented DJs, producers and beatsmiths who pass through here on a regular basis. I want to thank all of you for sending me your beats and remixes. My inbox has been flooded lately, so please don't be offended if you haven't heard back from me yet. I commit to you that I will listen to everything you send my way, but understand that time is often a factor. Most of you will hear back from me eventually, and I will be asking some of you for permission to post your work in future posts.
I'm still getting American Gangster remixes, which is a'ight as long as you're pretty damn sure that what you've got excuses the fact that you showed up so late for class. I've also been hearing from many other talented hopefuls in the form of MCs, graf writers, bands, vocalists, and transsexual trapeze artists. You never know---if your talent is convincing enough, I might just decide to write about how well you work the tightrope some day.
As always, holla at your friendly Scholar at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, if you haven't heard yet, there are some pretty big things goin' down over at the new beat battle blog, I Hook A Beat Up. Every Sunday a new track will be offered up for producers to use as a sample to flip for a beat. You have a week to turn in the dopest effort you possibly can, and the results will subsequently be posted and judged by a diverse panel of hip hop heads from various corners of the internets (visit the spot for a complete list). Submissions will be ranked and scored accordingly, and a public vote will be held each week as well.
All props due to What It Is from Tree Beats for getting this shit started and for inviting me to be one of the regular contributors of the sample sources. I'm planning to get pretty dusty diggin' up some good material, so make sure you get your collective ass over there and represent.
Stay up, fam...
Word From Your Moms:
Freedom's a road that's seldom traveled, watch hell unravel
Right before the eyes of the soldier who fell in battle
The single mother who raised her daughter to bear the sacred water
And not take the hand of every man who make a offer
To black kids wishin they white kids, when they close they eyelids
Like, "I bet they neighborhood ain't like this"
White kids wishin they black kids, and wanna talk like rappers
It's all backwards it's identity crisis
The industry inside us is vipers with fangs trying to bite us
Drug suppliers is the health care providers
We cakin, makin narcotics outta household products
We ain't workin out 'til we exorcise the demons that's inside us
Plus they seem to just provide us with enough rope to hang ourselves
Enough dope to slang ourselves, enough toast to bang ourselves
It's officially nigga season, these niggaz is bleedin
That's why I'm spittin freedom
We had enough of trigger squeezin
Talib Kweli (lyrics from "Hostile Gospel")