Nile Rodgers, recent Sound of Young America guest.
I would have slept with the Four Tops if they told me this song was about me.
One great song. One great sample. Three fantastic songs.
From the intro of the beautiful "Be Real Black for Me" by Donny Hathaway and past Sound guest Roberta Flack came two of my favorite hip-hop tracks: first M.O.P.'s "World Famous," then Scarface's "My Block."
Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, "Be Real Black For Me" (1972)
M.O.P. "World Famous" (1996)
Scarface "My Block" (2002)
I love Fresh Air's "rock historian" Ed Ward. He really nails it every time out - even when he covers stuff I know a lot about I learn something, and I'm never lost when he covers something I've never heard of.
He's had two great Fresh Air segments recently. This one covered the early days of Sly Stone (aka Sylvester Stewart), when Stone was still best known as a radio DJ and record producer. It even includes some rock records he produced (I had no idea, and I couldn't be a bigger fan).
This one covered another early-70s soul legend, Syl Johnson. I had no idea his career stretched so far back before his days working with Willie Mitchell, as the bluesier Al Greene.
Robin Thicke, "Brand New Jones."
Honorable Mention: Tweet "Oops (Oh My)"
As heard in the new Kanye & Jay-Z video. By the way, if you don't have a copy of Otis Redding Live at the Whiskey A Go-Go, you really should get on that.
Then, shoot, get Solomon Burke's Soul Alive, too. Just get both. Then send me a thank-you email.
I had some of the same feelings about Gil Scott-Heron's passing as Jay did. The difference, I think, is that Jay is one of the most thoughtful, brilliant cultural commentators we have, and I was busy working on this tweet about baby kangaroos .
This might be my favorite Bill Withers tune of all time, and this is an awesome arrangement. Don't miss our interview with Mr. Withers from last year, and check out the awesome documentaries Soul Power and Still Bill, both of which are stream-able on Netflix.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that Nate Dogg is dead at 41. The greatest singer in hip-hop history, though I suppose that's a bit of an odd distinction. If I might recommend a record to appreciate Nate beyond the expected, try his album "Music & Me," which features the track above, I Pledge Allegiance. It's a really solid LP, criminally underappreciated in my opinion, and this particular track, which features past TSOYA guest Pharoahe Monch, is one of the highlights. I also love "I Got Love," which I've also included above.
Below, I've included a Nate-heavy 213 track that always makes me feel fantastic, "I'm Fly."
Nate and his voice will be missed.