There used to be a time when covering a hip-hop song was laughable. But artists like Tricky and the Barenaked Ladies covered songs like “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” and “Fight The Power” respectively, and it became a part of the norm, especially now that everyone has access to a camera and YouTube. XFM have put together a brief mix of hip-hop cover versions, created by Scroobius Pip’s Beatdown for XFM, and you may listen to or download both of them right now. Here are the track listings:
Ricky V Valentine Ghetto Classics (Grandmaster Flash, NWA, Outkast & Jay Z)
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra One Thing (Amerie)
Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Tribe Called Quest)
The Klaxons No Diggity (Blackstreet)
Taggy Matcher Get Your Freak On (Missy Elliot)
B.A Baracus Band – Mama Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J)
Sarah Winters Runaway (Kayne West)
Stereo Total Push It (Salt n’ Pepper)
Mato I Got 5 On It (Luniz)
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra Get UR Freak On (Missy Elliot)
Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo – Nothin But A ‘G’ Thing (Snoop Dogg)
B.A Baracuss Band Jump (Kriss Kross)
Mark Ronson All I Need (feat. Wale & Tawiah) (Mary J Blige/Method Man)
El Michels Affair Shimmy Shimmy Ya (ODB)
Booker T. Jones feat Questlove Everything Is Everything (Lauren Hill)
Alyson Greenfield Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio)
These are the track listing as shown on the Soundcloud page, I didn’t want to correct the credit for Salt-N-Pepa or the spelling of Lauryn Hill, but feel free to do it yourself. Also, I’m not sure how BLACKstreet and Amerie became hip-hop, who knows. Nonetheless, take a listen.
Good funk is good, great funk even better, and we all know that funk is its own reward. But occasionally there is a bit of mystery in the funk, especially when you’re not sure why it was made. Case in point, The Memphis Sounds.
There are a lot of soul and funk bands from around the world, showing their love of the music from the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s. Isaac Hayes is a legend, so it seems only fitting that the man is honored with what is essentially at tribute album. The Memphis Sounds are not from Memphis, but rather is a collection of musicians who normally find themselves in The Dap Kings, Antibalas, and El Michels Affair. It’s a mystery because the album cover looks like one of those cheapy cash-in covers Laff Records were known for, and nowhere on the cover does it indicate it’s an all-star album. In other words, you have to really dig deep to find out who The Memphis Sounds are.
Now that you know who the musicians are, perhaps it makes sense why some of these renditions would have fit perfectly on an Antibalas, El Michels Affair, or Dap-Tone LP, especially when things move into Afrobeat form. Some of Hayes’ best songs were merely renditions of other people’s songs, so what you are hearing here are new versions of Hayes’ own revisions. Sounds odd, but it works.
Sample junkies will find this album worthy, for there are enough funky moments that would be perfect for any new songs. It would be cool of someone released this album as a box set of 45’s, because it’s that cool. It’s the music of Isaac Hayes in rustic funk mode, and yes it is a bad mother.