Who remembers this song? If you grew up in the 80s, the chances are you danced to this at your school disco, dance or prom, or you actually went out to Woolworths, Our Price (remember that???) or Sam Goodys (for my American peeps) to purchase it. California-born teenager (she was 15) and redhead Tiffany Darswich released this now classic pop track on label MCA back in 1987. The song stormed to the top of the charts in the UK, US, and many other countries, with its catchy chorus and synthesised drum production.
I watched this Unsung episode on Heavy D and the Boyz the other night. I really like this doc series as it covers interesting acts, not usually the focus of music documentaries. Also, I like the way that this shines a light on the contributions and stories of the other members of the group, in particular Eddie F, who is an extremely accomplished and respected producer.
The loss of Heavy D is still one strongly felt in the music industry, and seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
R.I.P to the ‘overweight lover’, and to one of the ‘boyz’, Trouble T.Roy (Troy Dixon), who died at age 22 after a tragic fall back in July, 1990.
My favourite Heavy D and the Boyz tune is Got Me Waiting. I remember rinsing this in the hi-fi system back during my college days in 1994!
Now That we Found Love – Heavy D and the Boyz (1991)
They Reminisce Over You (Tribute to Trouble T.Roy) – Pete Rock and CL Smooth (1990)
80s heartthrobs Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan reunited on stage this Friday to perform their classic old school hit Especially For You, which was a dream come true for thousands of nostalgic fans who had gathered at London’s 02 Arena to watch them and other acts from Stock Aitken and Waterman’s Hit Factory, for a night titled Hit Factory Live – Christmas Cracker.
I haven’t really gotten into this whole Psy phenomenon – you know the Korean dude who has received 760 million views on Youtube, after just a few months, for his unique dance video Gangnam Style, making it the most viewed video in Youtube history???? But that all changed after seeing his American Music Awards performance with 90s rap superstar MC Hammer at the weekend! The two got together to perform a mash-up of Gangnam Style and Hammer’s 1991 hit 2 Legit 2 Quit! Hammer was on top form as he revived some of his old moves, as well as taking on Psy’s signature dance, almost like he was thinking: ‘The world is watching so here’s my chance to shine again!” LOL! But there’s no denying, he’s still got it! And seeing both men sporting Parachute Pants (or as we called them in the UK Aladdin pants) for the show, which Hammer made famous in the 90s, topped things off! This is a must see!
I was a Hammer fan back in the day, one of my proudest moments is when he started following me on Twitter! LOL! Do you think Hammer can make an official comeback, would you buy his new music???
Paula Abdul made many 80s and 90s babies dreams come true recently when she resurrected her animated partner in crime MC Skat Kat (from her global 1989 hit single Opposites Attract), for a recent performance on US TV show Dancing With The Stars!
The performance featured a medley of some of the former American Idol and X-Factor judge’s biggest hits from back in the day, including Straight Up, Forever Your Girl, Cold Hearted and of course Opposites Attract, all from her multi-platinum-selling 1988 album Forever Your Girl.
‘This was a concept I had wanted to do for years,’ she said as she introduced the performance in a pre-recorded VT, when it aired on Tuesday (November 20th, 2012) night. ‘I call it the dream medley because anything can happen in a dream, and this is Paula’s dream so anything does happen.’ Check out the performance below!
Original Opposites Attract video!
With MC Hammer and Paula both in the headlines this week for making brief comebacks, which other old school stars would you like to see back on the scene???
I spotted this over at Necolebitchie.com last week and it made me smile. Brandy who is on the promo trail for her new single Put It Down (featuring Chris Brown) took it back proper old school stylee! I was a big fan of Brandy’s I Wanna Be Down video when it first came out back in 1994 and it was funny to see her revisiting that dance from the video. Also, seeing her rapping along to the remix of that song, made me a little sad that she has retired her rap alter-ego Brand-Nu, before she even really got started with it, as she can spit!
If like me you have been glued to the car crash reality TV mess which is Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, then you will be well aware of a certain Stevie J, an Atlanta-based producer/songwriter and the show’s resident bad boy. Pitched in the show as someone who has female artists literally fighting each other to work with him, in this instance former stripper and his side chick Joseline and trouble maker Karlee Redd, who are both portrayed as showing extreme thirstiness to get studio time with the music maker. In the case of Joseline, it’s to the point where Stevie, or ‘Steebie’, as she calls him in her thick Puerto Rican accent, can literally treat her like he owns her, even getting her to abort their baby, coz her being pregnant didn’t fit in with his plans.
Watching this show, it is hard to remember sometimes that Stevie J, who used to date rapper Eve, was once one of the hottest producers in the game, working with Diddy’s famed 90s production team the Hitmen and played a huge part in creating some of the biggest hit songs of the 90s. Website madamenoire did a recent post to remind us of his talents (outside of juggling women), and even though he hasn’t has a major hit in a long time you can’t deny his back catalogue is pretty impressive!
I’ve been meaning to write this since the beginning of the week, but better late than never, right? Rather than pen a overall review, I thought I’d list my favourite things about the very insightful documentary, The Art of Rap, directed and presented, by Ice T. Hope you enjoy!
1) The stories and anecdotes.
My favourite of these stories being KRS1′s hilarious revelation that he became an emcee after being an innocent bystander in a rap battle. According to him, one of the emcees turned to the crowd, picked him out and started dissing him hardcore about his attire. Well, Chris wasn’t having that. He defended himself, buried the guy and the rest is hip hop history.
2) The greatest sounding voices in hip hop didn’t come naturally… At first.
MC Lyte is one of the most respected females to ever touch the mic, and has arguably the most recognised and projecting voice of any female rapper ever. However, she didn’t start out this way! Lyte reveals in the doc that it was down to much coaching from Lucien George Sr (the father of the brothers from 90s hip hop crew Full Force), which helped her developed that big unique voice we now all know and love! There are similar interesting stories to do with voices included in the footage from Chuck D and Muggs from Cypress Hill, but I’ll let you watch the film for yourself for those.
3) Rappers are fans too!
I loved hearing Redman gassing about Eminem, and then Eminem reminiscing that after hearing a verse from Naughty by Nature’s Treach (as an upcoming rapper), it depressed him and forced him to rethink his own approach. But it was all down to the love of how good he thought his rhyme was! Elsewhere, Dougie Fresh reciting lyrics from his heroes Melle Melle and Kool Moe Dee was a joy to watch – he was like any other fan, giddy with excitement! In addition, I’m sure Snoop Dogg’s perfect rendition of Ice T’s Six In The Morning, was one of the reasons why the Dogg Father’s slot in the doc was one of the longest included!
4) Rappers and writers/journos – we got so much in common.
This comparison is nothing new, but this film took me back to the reason why I started writing in the first place, and reignited my creative juices – thanks Ice T! I started writing as soon as I was able to string sentences together, from stories at primary school, which my teacher regularly read out to the rest of the class to plays which I would perform with my friends in the playground! Like a rapper, I get off on story-telling and documenting my experiences through words! Hearing Rakim and Eminem get all technical about how they write their bars, made me lean over to my bestie as we watched this in the cinema, and before I has a chance to say anything he said: ‘You can so relate, can’t you?’
5) Dr Dre has only spent two weeks out of the studio in 27 freaking years!
Damn! That tells anyone with half a brain that success doesn’t come easy! Also, if you love what you do, you will never really work a day in your life – it is clear that Dre spends so much time in the studio because he simply loves being there!
6) Joe Budden’s rhyme
This was one of the standouts for me in the entire doc. And I didn’t see it coming. This is not because I don’t rate him… But I guess if someone asked me (pre-watch) who I thought was going to leave a lasting impression on me after watching the doc, Joe Budden’s name wouldn’t have been in my top 50, put it that way – I just haven’t really considered him like that in years, if at all. Granted, I know Slaughterhouse are doing great things and his credibility as an emcee has had a resurgence due to that project, but this one verse made me want to go and check them out a bit more thoroughly. What I also took from that is that there are so many dope rappers out there, but because of politics, wanting to go mainstream, losing their way/hunger/mojo (we’ve all been there) and trying to hard to follow trends, they kind of let go of that original flavour they first came with! If every emcee out now rhymed with that fresh mentality and heart they first possessed when they entered the game, we may have less superstar rappers but we’d have a lot more modern-day classic material – just my humble opinion! The business of hip hop turned a lot of good emcees in to not great rappers! Personally I blame a lot of that on the fans – coz a lot of times the wider audience doesn’t support what’s actually GOOD, and emcees/rappers need to eat!
7) Don’t get it twisted about Ice T, AND this dude’s address book is crazy!
Anyone knocking Ice T’s credibility in the game, due to forays into project such as the reality TV show Ice Loves CoCo, which follows the relationship with the self-professed original gangster rapper and his Barbie-bodied wife, should know that a leopard rarely changes his spots! Ice T knows hip hop and the fact that a lot of credible people wanted to be a part of this project shows that Ice has that respect! What I said in my above post is true, but like Joe Budden, that original talent, swag or flavour is always there in someone, even though you may not see it, due to them moving in a total different direction, gaining more success or maturing. But hopefully once in a while you still get to see that come out! Snoop Dogg has almost become a bit of a caricature to the mainstream media, but when you see him doing what he does best, there is no doubt that the original Snoop Doggy Dogg is in the buildin’! Holla!
8) New York and L.A have some beautiful skylines. For Real!
The connecting shots for the doc largely consisted of beautifully shot footage of new York and L.A Skylines. Simply stunning!
10) Not everybody’s got it like Biggie, so just ‘do you’!
Treach was spot on when he said something along the lines of : ‘so many rappers boast about not writing down their lyrics and it shows, coz their rhymes are whack!’ The truth of the matter is, who cares whether you write stuff down or not, if it sounds dope then I’m sure most fans don’t care either way. But those emcees/rappers who are trying to prove something to everybody by deliberately not jotting down your lyrics and coming up with whackness? In the words of Jeru Da Damaja, ‘You’re playing yourself!’
10. Grandmaster Caz
I’m not afraid to admit I wasn’t really familiar with this cat before watching this, but I’m glad this doc gave me a flavour of what he is all about. He is a beast lyrically and an all round funny dude! Just my type of man! Another artist I look forward to digging deeper into.
A Lil Gripe…
As with everything, there are always going to be things that everyone thinks could have been better, my main gripe in this documentary is I wasn’t too hot on Raekwon, Ras Kass and Q-Tip’s inclusion, and not coz I don’t like them as artists, the opposite in fact. I just felt the weight they have bought to hip hop, and the part they have played in terms of the art thus far was not reflected in the best way. I totally understand the lack of time and trying to squeeze everyone in, but I still believe that if the right questions where asked, or the right edits included, this could have been achieved. With something called the ‘Art of Rap’, some of the best to do it should have been asked more directly about the actual art, their art – coz some of us students really want to know that stuff!
There have always been boy bands – teenage phenomenon’s with overly styled hair and cheesy dance routines, who are flocked by millions of young girls everywhere they go.
It is one of those facts of life we have come to accept.
But The Police, well, they were a MAN band. Yes they did have the millions of young female fans and were a phenomenon (thankfully the cheesy dance routines were a no-no and their hair was just blonde) but they were men.
One of my favourite songs of all time period is Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s I Wonder If I Take You Home. Whenever I hear it, it instantly takes me back to my childhood. I still remember hearing it for the first time in 1985 while on a school trip at the final day disco! And it still remains a tune which gets rinsed in the clubs till this day. And is a staple tune, during summer barbecues!