First and foremost, for whatever reason -- they always disappear.For example, does anyone have any idea at all where Dionne Farris is hiding at these days? People loved her voice when she was in the rap/crossover group Arrested Development, then she went solo (and in doing so, inadvertently played a part in the breakup of one of my favorite bands, Atlanta based funk-rockers Follow For Now, who's lead singer/guitarist became Farris' musical director). Together they put out a great album called Wild Seed, Wild Flower, then added a few singles that showed up on film soundtracks, and then apparently evaporated into thin air, or went back in time to kill Sarah Connor, or something.
The same can be said for soulstress Angie Stone, who has an incredible voice and has done a lot of great albums, but frequently gets pegged as a one-hit-wonder because of her overall lack of radio hits. I wish I could say I knew of her before that song came out -- but sometimes that's how it happens. You hear the hit song on the radio or in some club, you start scratching the surface a little more and find an entire treasure trove of great music just about the same time that the artist themselves decide to fade from the greater public view, take their career in some different direction, or whatever.
Angie has a specific vibe, but there's no way someone that talented wouldn't haveThe other thing that continually happens to me with this kind of music is that when they build a new song using samples or a reworked theme from an older classic I'll eventually come across that original track somewhere, and end up liking it even more than the remake.
found her own niche in the current music scene if she had wanted to stick with it.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I've lost any love for this track:
But honestly, how can you not love the O'Jays?And here's the thing -- I love me some O'Jays (Love Train? For the Love of Money? Hell to the yes!)-- but until Angie snipped the riff for her song, I had never heard "Back Stabbers" before. If anything I owe Angie Stone a big thank you for tipping me off to it, even if it's become a song I sometimes listen to more than hers.
And it's not the first time it's happened to me either. Foxy Brown's (remember her?) "I'll Be" opening the door for me to the classic Rene and Angela track, DJ Kool's "Let Me Clear My Throat" -- which borrows just a tiny, tiny bit from Marva Whitney's "Unwind Yourself" that I literally stumbled across one day when I was flipping AM stations in a rental car on a road trip through Maine, or even the one that started it all, "Rappers Delight" by the Sugarhill gang and the song it came from -- "Good Times" by Chic.
The other odd thing that happens to me a lot is kind of the opposite, when I hear a track with a sample that I do recognize -- I tend to get a little angry at it for stealing from a track that was just fine on it's own. Mostly that happens when tunes get utterly co-opted by pop artists and other people think they wrote them.
I mean, at least when Hollywood remakes a movie you (usually) know they're doing it -- but unless they include some sort of vocal snippet, half the time the artists who use samples these days seem to want to pass them off as their own creations, which drives me up the wall.
I don't know -- Maybe it's just the way that I'm wired, but as much as I love hip-hop songs that are built off classic tracks from the past -- I tend to get tired of them after a while. Mainly I think because most DJ's and producers sample only a few seconds from a given track and then tend to loop them over and over -- and I get sick of the repetition (Queen's "Under Pressure" is an arching epic of a song that builds from beginning to end -- which was then sliced into a 10 second earworm for Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" that in a lot of ways has ruined the original for me by making me aware of how lackluster and boring the bassline actually is).Whenever I had a guitar in my hand in class, my students would always say "Hey Mr. Luft, play that Trick Daddy riff" -- which I would, even though it was like a knife to the heart for this old-school Ozzy fan to hear it called that way.
But those old songs -- the original grooves that the new tracks are built on?
Man, I could listen to those all day long.
[Listening to: The Clash - "Charlie Don't Surf" ]