Ok. I was going to wait a couple of days before I’d publish this, but I said f*ck it. It’s not like I have a limited amount music to write about 😀 I was skimming through my list of songs I want to write about and decided on one of the very few old school hip hop groups I USED TO like. They’re called the “House Of Pain.” Do you remember these guys? I say “used to like” because their music went from fun dance music to street gangster (which I’m not a fan of). They were really hot in the early 90s. Actually, to be honest, I only favored this ONE particular song because it was more like dance/party music than hip hop in my opinion. The song was called “Jump Around,’ released in 1992. I heard nothing like it before. It was like my body was forced to move and dance on it’s own when I heard it. I think you can still rock this song if you had a 90’s party. I lot of non-hip hop fans used to dance to this too. I found this club edit by Micky Slim. It sound kind of hot, it’s like an EDM version remix.
I have another reggae gem for you guys today. I know that I probably sound like I’m complaining already, but you don’t know how much it bothers me that I can’t find chart information for many of these awesome classics. If there is a national database of some kind, I’m sure they’d charge me a bunch of money to access it. I think what I’ll start doing is sharing number of Shazams instead. It’s not chart information, but at least it may (or may not) show song’s popularity. Reggae legend Phyllis Dillon released her interpretation of a song called “Perfidia” in 1972. As my grandpa used to say with any reggae he really liked, “the song is sweet man!” 😀 Her song has been Shazam’d 28,174 times to-date. It is one of my most favorite so song from Phyllis. If I’m not mistaken, “Perfidia” comes from the Spanish word “Perfidy,” which means someone or something that cannot be trusted. It was written by Alberto Domínguez, and first recorded by a very famous musician named Xavier Cugat in 1939. The song instantly became a huge hit. Linda Ronstadt also did a beautiful version of the song as well; but I never heard her sing it in English tho.
Throughout my blog, I’ve written extensively about both my gripes with people beatin’ up on Spotify, claiming low payouts to artists, and YouTube that gets away with not paying any royalties to artists at all. It’s an issue that baffled me for years.The truth of the mater is, I think both technology and entertainment are moving at such a fast rate, that people including the music industry still doesn’t know the right direction to take. Everyday there is something new to think about with regards to technology and the music business; aside from spending loads of money protecting artists’ copyright. Today, I’m still not sure if I still think whether or not YouTube has helped to ruin the music industry even further. But one thing is unfortunately clear; artists are both forced to monetize on YouTube because of piracy, and because YouTube does not pay royalties. Many artists see monetizing as a good thing… But I don’t…. ‘Cause it means that both artists and the industry is doing it because you don’t have much of a choice in reality. I also don’t think this is good for new artist as they struggle to get followers. Most would not make any money until one person out of a 100,000 views decides to buy something. Get it? If YouTube were paying royalties, you could have made $400 or more instead of a single YouTube follower that made you a $20 or lower commission (depending on who your partner is, and your audience) from monetizing. If you’re not going to make YouTube pay royalties, then you should be encouraging your fans to use Spotify and iTunes streaming.
At the same time, YouTube is also serving some benefit. One huge benefit is Shazam’s use of YouTube. So even if you’re not subscribed to a streaming service, you can still scan a song and have a YouTube link available. However the loss is, YouTube is not really a music discovery service. I really believe this is simply a misinterpretation between the younger generation and the old. Just because YouTube has almost every music ever created, that doesn’t make it a “discovery service.” Why? Because often times you have to know what you’re looking for to search it. Services like Spotify & iTunes use powerful and complex proprietary algorithms that learn your taste in music. To people of my age group, that’s “heaven sent,” as these services serve you with songs you haven’t heard in decades, or songs you would never hear again otherwise, cause you don’t remember it. YouTube gives you suggestions primarily on association, and popularity of videos. Plus, as someone who’s gone through a lot of health problems when I was younger, watching too much music videos isn’t good for us. You need to get something like Spotify, to get better music, and also to insure that you stay mobile and active. So, now that the music industry has accepted YouTube for what it is when it comes to music, copyright appears to be less and less an issue (indirectly). Movies are another matter. Then again, with YouTube’s new subscription services, one never knows what’s going to happen in the future.
I have another great reinterpretation for you today. Reggae sensation Barry Biggs rerecorded a smash #1 hit written by the legendary Kashif, for legendary singer Evelyn Champagne King; the song is called “Love Come Down.” I love Biggs version of “Love Come Down,” and the background music is so different, you couldn’t tell that it as Kashif’s song, until Biggs started singing the lyrics. Biggs turned this hot dance disco, in to a smooth, groove, reggae song. To my understanding, his version of the song hit number 5 in the Netherlands. I could not find any further chart information I’m pretty sure it had to rank high in the UK.
Oh my goodness!! Every time I hear this song, I laugh my ass off!! Even @ 4-5 years old, I didn’t know what it really meant, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious. One of the things that was interesting about 70s/80s culture, parents took an active position making sure both television and radio was clean, and that nothing was encouraging their children to have sex (or that sex was ok). Yet, this Jungle Fever was as freaky and dirty as they came; not only that, the song hit #8 on the Hot 100 Charts, and stayed relevant for about 15 weeks. Most if not all their album covers were sexually explicit. Now, I don’t recall anybody making a big stink about this group, but then again, it could have been that I was way too young too remember.
I absolutely love Sade’s music! But honey, when she released her smash hit “Sweetest Taboo” in 1985, THEN when I saw the video for it, I thought she was of the baddest bitches in music! I never saw a woman of color ride a horse like that before! It was as though she was a professional Jockey or something. Sade’s Sweetest Taboo came from her album “Promise,” and was written by Helen Adu Ditcham. The song shot to #3 on the R&B charts, and stayed relevant for about 20 weeks. This was such a cool song, anybody from any age could groove to this song. According to some articles I’ve read, she’s supposed to be working on a new album. However, she does have a single from Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” sound track called “Flower In The Universe.”
WOW!! Look what I found buried in my collection! Yo! If you don’t remember these guys from back in the day, something is wrong.. 😀 You know, I could be wrong, but speaking only from the best of my memory, I think this was one of the biggest, and last hit we got from Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five. This amazing and flamboyant group released a rap song called “Beat Street Break Down,” for the 1984 movie “Beat Street,” Starring Rae Dawn Chong, and Guy Davis.
Now, to be honest I don’t remember much from the movie. I don’t even remember whether I liked it or not. I do remember however, hearing all the straight boys going bananas over Rae Dawn Chong. Personally, I didn’t think she was all that much of a brilliant actress, and her looks were average. I just couldn’t understand the infatuation str8 men had for her. Anyway 😀 The soundtrack was amazing tho, another song that became my favorite was “Us Girls,” by Sharon Green, Lisa Counts & Debbie D. Sadly it’s not on Spotify, but do check it out on YouTube.
When we talk about the history of hip hop, you can’t leave out GMM & TFF! They played a pivotal role in helping to make hip hop popular the way it is today. But on the other hand, from my perspective, I didn’t really experience their music as just hip hop either. It was more dance mix in with pop, and I think that added a lot of diversity to their music.
This song was one of many hits that truly represented what the late 80s was like. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” was released from Whitney Houston’s second hit album “Whitney.” The song peaked at #1, and stayed number one for two weeks. This was a really fun song, and I loved this song, but the music video always seemed weird to me. I really didn’t like those wigs she wore in the video. I don’t know, I just didn’t think they were suited for her. Then again, that was “the 80s look.” A lot of hits came from this album, including “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” Which also peaked at #1, and stayed there for a whopping 3 weeks. This was probably my most favorite song from Whitney. I’m still made that we lost her. It still hard for me to accept we will never again hear new and amazing songs from her ever again.