Recently I was enjoying some funk & soul classics when Curtis Mayfield inevitably came up.
The former lead singer of The Impressions is known for a number of hits, with the group and as a solo artist, but there’s one song that even those unfamiliar with Curtis Mayfield have probably heard before.
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
The prominent horns from Move On Up were sampled by Kanye West for his 2006 single Touch the Sky, which also features a radio debut by rapper Lupe Fiasco.
Mayfield is truly one of the greats, a pioneer in funk/soul and socially conscious R&B. He’s a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; inducted as a member of The Impressions in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist.
Kanye is known for sampling his fair share of soul records in his earlier production days, so even though Touch the Sky was produced by Just Blaze it’s no surprise to hear this classic melody on a Mr. West track.
Kanye West ft Lupe Fiasco – Touch the Sky
What’s your favourite Kanye West sample? Whether it’s from one of his own songs or something he produced for another artist, let me know in the comments below!
My first introduction to Percee P came while I was getting to know various songs by Lord Finesse. One of those songs is more of a battle, where Lord Finesse goes verse for verse with Percee P over the classic James Brown Funky Drummer sample.
I was immediately enamoured with the nasty flow and clever lyricism on display, and from that day forward whenever I saw one of their names on a track that I was unfamiliar with, I made sure to give it a listen.
So you better believe that recently when I spotted the new-to-me song Percee P ft Pharoahe Monch – Lung Collapsing in the Related Videos sidebar on YouTube, that I clicked on it with the force of a thousand air flares!
My only disappointment is that Pharoahe Monch doesn’t have an actual verse (he only does the intro), but otherwise this track delivers just what I wanted: a classic early 90s beat with Percee P slinging metaphors with astonishing flow and pace.
Percee P and DJ Ekim – Lung Collapsing [lyrics]
For those who like to know the story behind the music, here’s a short interview where (description from YouTube):
Percee P talks about being on Big Beat Records in 1992.. Mentions Now They Wanna See Me, Lung Collapsing Lyrics, Putting Heads to Bed release.. Yes You May.. Stretch & Bobbito.. T Ray… Lord Finesse.. Big L.. Pharaohe Monch.. DJ Eclipse.. Tells story about being with Akinyele and Nas and recording with MC Serch “Here it Comes Again” and a Unreleased version of “Back to The Grill”.
Check back next week for more #MusicMonday goodness! Feel free to share your recommendations with us too!