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.
Well, after more drama than we care to recall, this weekend’s Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony went off without a hitch (relatively speaking, of course). Sure, there were a few prominent no-shows —W. Axl Rose, Rod Stewart, Adam “MCA” Yauch, Izzy Stradlin— but those who were there very clearly had a blast.
This year, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro, the Faces, and, of course, Guns N’ F*cking Roses were inducted into the Hall. This year’s private ceremony was held in Cleveland, and clips of the performances that happened on Saturday night that are popping up on YouTube are getting pulled down without haste, presumably to get everyone to tune-in when HBO airs the ceremony in a few weeks.
That said, our favorite moment of the evening is easily to call out: Guns N’ Roses drummer, former Celebrity Rehab patient and longtime friend of That Metal ShowSteven Adler wore a TMS t-shirt to the ceremony! You can take a gander at it, in all its majesty, in our gallery below (and you can get one of your own in the TMS Shop on VH1.com).
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We’ve also got a joint interview featuring Steven and Matt Sorum for you below!
Who doesn’t love flashbacks, particularly to hip hop’s golden era of the late 80s and early 90s? Television and music in that era were so badass, and the fashion? Well, that had it’s ups and down. However, there’s no arguing that this era was when hip hop expanded from a genre to a global culture, and throughout it all, Yo! MTV Raps was at the forefront of the movement documenting classic moments of hip hop culture.
President Obama Sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”
No matter what you think of President Obama‘s politics, you at least have to admit — dude is cool. Here he is singing Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theatre in New York yesterday. [YouTube]
Swizz Beatz Is Apparently Not The CEO Of Megaupload
The latest update in the Megaupload FBI shutdown saga is that Swizz Beatz, who yesterday was named CEO of the beleaguered company, is actually not the CEO after all. He was just trying to be the CEO. Got it? [Media Beat]
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, ourVH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Your regularly scheduled Top 20 Video Countdown show is on a break until 2012, but be sure to tune into the Top 40 Videos of 2011 tomorrow evening when it airs on VH1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. This week Jim gives us his top 10 albums of 2011.
10.) Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation, Murs
Sometimes Murs’ albums have the propensity of being too laid back, but on Love & Rockets he strikes a nice balance, weaving between more chilled out tracks like “Remember 2 Forget” and heavier callouts like “Let’s Go.” The highlight of the album though is its closing track “Animal Style,” the boldest hip-hop song I’ve heard about homosexuality (which sadly, is traditionally never discussed in hip-hop).
9.) The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones
Indeed, this is the same Booker T. from Booker T. & the MG’s, an outfit responsible for making one of the greatest instrumentals in modern music: “Green Onions.” Jones’ trademark Hammond organ licks backed by The Roots’ rhythm section and legendary funk/soul guitarist, Dennis Coffey, play out splendidly on the all-too-fun covers of Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything,” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” and Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend.” And not to diss, but Lou Reed’s collaboration with Jones on “The Bronx” sounds better than anything he did with Metallica this year.
8.) Watch The Throne, Kanye West & Jay Z
At the beginning of 2011 word on the street was that Kanye West & Jay Z were going to release an album together, while Dr. Dre was set to put out the final recording of his stellar career. I was skeptical of both, but at year’s end I’m happy to say we did get a solid debut from hip-hop’s premiere super-group, although I’m still waiting for Dre’s Detox, which is quickly, or slowly, becoming hip-hop’s version of Chinese Democracy.
Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:
10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.
9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.
8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).
The 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will include hard rock veterans Guns N’ Roses, funk-rock stalwarts Red Hot Chili Peppers, bratty hooligans turned socially conscious hip hoppers the Beastie Boys, trippy sixties folk singer Donovan, English blues rockers Faces/The Small Faces, and the pioneering female folkster Laura Nyro. These groups will all be inducted during a ceremony held this April, one that promises to be one of the most emotionally charged and exciting RRHOF events in recent memory.
We’re speaking, of course, primarily of the tumultuous relationship between W. Axl Rose and (most of) the former members of Guns N’ Roses, a band whose explosive brand of hard rock changed the face of not only the Sunset Strip sound of the mid-80s, but also propelled them into a short reign as the World’s Best Band around the time of Appetite For Destruction/G N’R Lies/Use Your Illusion I and II. Thanks to a potent combination of too much fame, too much money, and too many drugs, the group imploded after a disastrous two-plus year world tour that concluded in 1993, and most of the band members have not performed together since. Axl addressed this issue on a recent episode of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, noting that he has mended some fences with bassist Duff McKagan and rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, but also intimated that he and Saul “Slash” Hudson are not on what anyone would describe as speaking terms. Can they put aside their differences for one evening, and maybe perform a few tracks? That, my friends, is likely a question that not even Hall organizers will have an answer to until the night of the ceremony.
Besides whistling, shouting-out famous musicians in song titles seems to be all the rage this year.
Here’s how they rank:
10.) “Marvin’s Room,”Drake
This dizzying, chilled-out tune seemingly has nothing to do with Marvin Gaye, except when you discover that the song was apparently recorded in a studio used by the late-great singer, aptly named “Marvin’s Room.”
9.) “Marvin & Chardonnay,” Big Sean (feat. Kanye West & Roscoe Dash)
Another ode to Marvin Gaye, this one, however, mentions him by name in the song’s lyrics.
8.) “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine,” Beastie Boys
Not so much a song as it as an outro for the Beastie’s latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Regardless, both musical acts from the 1980’s (Full Force and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam) are curiously shouted out.
7.) “I Need A Doctor,” Dr. Dre (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)
Don’t call Dr. Dre conceited for name-dropping himself in his own song title; he appears in less than a minute of the actual track.
Halloween is tonight, but if youâ€™re not an adolescent kid daydreaming of packing your pillowcase full of Snickers bars, youâ€™ll probably be out and about looking to celebrate. While youâ€™re stepping into your costume, click on these music videos that will surely entertain the ghoulish music fan within you:
10) Peaches, “Trick Or Treat”
If youâ€™re familiar with Peaches, then you know this trick-or-treating party is for adults only.
9) Lady Gaga, “Telephone”
Itâ€™s always Halloween in Gagaâ€™s world; soda cans in her hair only confirms it!
Last night’s episode of Bravo cooking show Top Chef: Just Desserts was Beastie Boys-themed, as contestants had to prepare concessions for a street art fair using ingredients mentioned in Beastie rhymes?two that they chose for themselves, and one each that was chosen for them by their competitors in the “Sabotage” round. (Get it?) The theme was occasioned by the appearance of guest judge Ad-Rock. While some of the desserts inspired by the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees looked potentially tasty, the real gem of the episode was the above web exclusive, in which Ad-Rock demonstrates his talents in the kitchen by revealing his top-secret sandwich recipe: peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, and a banana. What cooking brilliance! Also worth noting: he uses his hand to spread ingredients, and he thinks almond butter is kind of nasty. Read more…