The thing about hip-hop is that so many of the truly great songs have borrowed their hooks and baselines from classic funk and disco tracks most people won’t remember, or the new generation never got to hear. To think of a few off the top of my head, would you know that Eminem’s “My Name Is …” was Labi Siffre’s “I Got The …”, J Dilla’s “Dilla Says Go” used The Trammps “Rubber Band”, and Dr Dre’s “Nothin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” was most recognizable as Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Somethin’ Freaky To You” blended with portions of Kid Dynamite’s “Uphill Peace of Mind”.
Well Hip hop has done it again, reviving a relatively obscure classic deserving of a second spin. When Jadakiss released his album “The Last Kiss” on April 7th, I listened through and found myself drawn to the track “By My Side” which was noticeably different from the rest of the cuts. On closer inspection I found that indeed we had another case of under-appreciated disco.
Teena Marie never won any awards for her own songs, all of which were written, produced, sung and arranged herself from 1980’s “Irons in the Fire” and going forward. She was also Rick James’ protege and together they recorded some great tunes, but what she would ultimately be recognized for was the song “Oh La La La” which reached the top of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and remains her only #1 single to date. You may better remember this song re-interpreted as the chorus for The Fugees’ “Fu-Gee-La” in 1995, which incidentally remains The Fugees’ top selling single. But in her first release as writer, producer, artist and arranger, Teena Marie would hit the top 40 with this song, a true dancefloor jam, and respectfully brought back to life by Jadakiss for us all to enjoy again.
Teena Marie – I Need Your Lovin’