If we were to put together a complete list of songs that sampled the work of James Brown, it would easily run over a thousand songs. Of course, the magic that he made on wax is why RollingStone.com labeled him “the most sampled man in the biz.” No one executed funk and soul the way James Brown and his band did.
The man, perhaps best known for classic hits like “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Say It Loud,” would have turned 79 years-old today. With that in mind, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to the Godfather of Soul! In honor of this special day, we’re giving you this list of 10 incredible songs that never would have been if it wasn’t for the work of JB.
Ye and Jigga were watching the throne alright. James Brown’s musical throne, that is. Along with the Otis Redding (how noble of them to name the song after him) sample of “Try a Little Tenderness,” Brown’s “Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth on You” can be heard right when Kanye appears to be beautifully screaming. Yep, that’s James Brown screaming all over a smash record by two of hip-hop’s biggest stars.
There’s something about Waka Flocka Flame that gets you mad amped for no reason. The new video for “I Don’t Really Care,” directed by Taj, is no different. Trey Songz joins Waka for a flossed out record in which they want everyone to know they’re balling, and have money, and chicks everywhere. But being “baller of the year” didn’t illicit the usual club scene video where stacks of money are thrown in the air. Instead, in this treatment, Waka is a businessman —albeit an illegal one—responsible for the heist of a back alley art auction. Hostages are tied up and art is smashed. We’re not quite sure how the art being destroyed correlates with Waka’s big payoff, but we’re rocking with it.
This week we are joined by TMS alum; Frank Hannon (Tesla), who is our guest musician for the week, Michael Schenker, and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam). In the clip we have for you above, the guys start talking about The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (Eddie’s favorite), and McCready excites the guys when he tells them that Pearl Jam has been talking about holding out on accepting their entrance to the RRHOF until Kiss gets inducted. How rock n’ roll would that be? Watch the new episode of That Metal Show this Saturday at 11 p.m. ET/10 CT on VH1 Classic.
Ed’s debut album, +, was released in the U.K. in September of last year, where it entered the charts at #1 and has sold over 1 million copies to date. It is being released here in the United States on June 12, but Ed is currently in the midst of a barnstorming tour of the United States to get the word out in advance of its street date. When we spoke to Ed down in Austin last month, he compared his singer-songwriter sound to other British artists like James Morrison, Damien Rice and David Gray, but we think that he belongs just as much to the burgeoning “realwave” movement, alongside acts like The Civil Wars, Dawes and Mumford & Sons. Decide for yourself by checking out Ed Sheeran’s entire You Oughta Know Live set, including his single “The A-Team”—which, we should note, has nothing to do with Mr. T—a song that went all the way to #3 on the British charts last year.
In the hip-hop game, rare is the artist who is just as successful rapping as they are at running a business. Well, Rick Ross is successfully balancing both as he continues to add to the growing all-star roster of his record label Maybach Music Group (MMG), an imprint under Warner Bros. Records. AllHipHop reported the latest addition to join MMG is former B2K member Omarion, who has had a solo career as an actor and singer for nearly 10 years since the group split. Yesterday Ross announced the news at a press conference moderated by Rap Radar‘s Elliott Wilson at New York City’s Eventi hotel. Per AllHipHop.com, before “Maybach O” (Omarion’s beloved new nickname) was presented, Ross revealed the dates of projects from Omarion’s new labelmates, including Meek Mill, Wale, Teedra Moses, Masspike Miles and, of course, the boss himself–Ross! Read more…
B.o.B. continues to think outside the box with his sophomore album, Strange Clouds. Elements of various musical genres —from hip-hop to jazz to country— can be heard throughout. The singer, songwriter, rapper and producer skyrocketed to success with his two monster smashes “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes”, both crossover tracks that featured somewhat unlikely artists singing the hook (Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams, respectively). Based on how commercially successful each of these songs were, it seems as if B.o.B. is eager to try replicate their success, as he’s recruited a number of collaborators for tracks on his new album. Whether they are household names like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, or newcomers like Lauriana Mae, the variety of artists on the album is quite impressive. We ranked each of the songs that feature other artists, and it’s not what you’d expect.
9. “Strange Clouds” feat. Lil Wayne – We don’t know what’s up with Weezy, but his flow hasn’t quite been the same since he got outta the joint. A song about partying, drinking and smoking all night has to have an element to it that makes the listener want to partake in the fun. We don’t know if it’s believable here.
8. “Out Of My Mind” feat. Nicki Minaj: We’re getting an outer space vibe on this one. And is it just us or did B.O.B. slightly sound like Ludacris? Either way, Nicki does what she does best on this track. She plays with different animated voices, she raps, she sings. Repeat. It’s fine, but it’s nothing transcendent.
7. “Arena” feat. Chris Brown and T.I.: It’s Chris Brown and T.I., folks! Not sure that much else needs to be written other than with this trio we’re certain it will be a fan favorite.
One of the biggest hits of last summer came courtesy of Selena Gomez & The Scene, a track in which she promised a paramour that she would “Love You Like A Love Song” (a song that we kept hitting re-pe-pe-pe-peat on over the last year). Now, just in time for Summer 2012, the bubbly pop singer Colbie Caillat has just released the video for “Favorite Song,” another ditty that uses the metaphor of a song to represent a growing relationship. Only this time around, the singer is comparing herself to a song (as opposed to her object of affection), asking/promising that “You can turn it up and play me all night long.” Of course, this is Colbie Caillat we’re talking about, not Rihanna, so that line is nowhere near as dirty in the context of the song as it reads on the page.
Adding to the friendly, summer-y vibe of the song is Common, who contributes two verses, one in which he pronounces “The winner of the Best Duo is us” (meaning, him and Colbie). We love the confidence, and we have a feeling that listeners will likely end up agreeing as we make our way into Song Of The Summer season.
Rebecca Ferguson might not be England’s answer to Aretha Franklin, but she’s just about their version of Fantasia Barrino. Pregnant at seventeen and then again two years later, the now twenty-five-year-old Ferguson first made waves across the pond as the runner-up of the 2010 season of the UK edition of The X-Factor, and hasn’t slowed down since. Tuesday night marked the occasion of the soulful chanteuse’s first-ever New York performance, ahead of the May 29th stateside release of her debut album, Heaven.
And what a performance it was. Looking glam in a modish and scalloped black-and-white sleeveless dress, Ferguson sang five songs off Heaven, in addition to a sizzling cover of Drake and Rihanna‘s “Take Care” (see video below) that brought some Miami heat to the proceedings. Her opening number was the anthemic original “Glitter & Gold,” followed by “Shoulder to Shoulder,” “Take Care,” “Teach Me To Be Loved,” “Nothing’s Real But Love,” and finally “Run Free,” a standout on the album that was equally exuberant in a live setting.
Like a true rockstar in training, Willow Smith trollops through Paris in the “Do It Like Me (Rockstar)” video she released via Twitter. The 11-year-old child star tweeted to her 1.9 million followers, “This video is so old but I still love it … enjoy #phyfie #rockstar.” In the video she performs and parties through New York City and Paris, showing us how cool she is, and how uncool us commoners are. Who else dances to music blasting from the chunky ol’ school boombox with the Eiffel Tower in the background? We’re so not cool. The video is super exhilarating, showing her boisterous personality, not to mention her edgy haircut and trendy but age appropriate wardrobe. And it wouldn’t be a Smith production if big brother Jaden didn’t make a cameo.
Riding the coattails of the her megastar parents, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, is not what this actress and signer had in mind. Hey, we’re happy with that decision because we will jump up and down swinging our tresses to “Whip My Hair” any time we hear it. In what JustJared.com is reporting as the first video she ever made she sings, “When I take off shades, don’t be shocked by my age. I’m taking over the game. Now will I scare you? Will I scare you?” Of course you won’t, Willow. Rockstars are born to be rockstars. Rock on! Read more…
When musicians are preparing to release a new album, one of the necessary steps on the promotional docket is the album listening party. Most of the time, journalists and other music executives are invited to either a rented out club or a conference room at the record label headquarters to hear the new tracks. That tactic is certainly effective, but doesn’t always lend itself to really “experiencing” the music in the fullest sense of the word. Record label veteran Usher, who has been churning out albums for nearly two decades now, must’ve sat through more than a few boring listening parties over the years, so he decided to step his game up now that he’s getting ready to release his seventh studio album, Looking For Myself. Instead of holding court in some conference room somewhere, Usher instead collaborated with the off-Broadway Fuerza Bruta cast for a one time only night of interactive surprises.
This past Friday night, April 27, a group of invite-only guests gathered in the heart of NYC’s Union Square at the Daryl Roth Theater, unsure of exactly what to expect from this unlikely mash-up. For the unfamiliar, Fuerza Bruta — which is Spanish for “brute force” — is sort of reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil in that they both have incredibly athletic performers, but Fuerza differs in that there’s more crowd participation in the program. This particular show began with “Climax” blaring through the speakers, when Usher suddenly appeared on an elevated treadmill wearing a crisp white suit paired with a turquoise tie, accented with bright socks. Usher ran and ran at top speed until he was noticeably out of breath and perspiring. At first, it was unclear who or what he was running from, but then, out of nowhere, a loud “bang, bang” sound rang through our ears, and Usher fell over with a blood drenched shirt from two apparent gunshot wounds. (Perhaps at that moment he reached the climax the song alludes to?) Like Superman, he quickly jumped back to his feet, removing the shirt (thankfully he had a clean tank top underneath) and presumed running, only this time he was joined by a partner. The two ran while dodging chairs and running through paper walls.