In an effort to further explore the myriad and "Komplicated" musical tastes of the modern "post-Black" denizens of the world, we present Spin City, which will feature recommendations from some of the world’s finest DJs, Joining resident turntablist DJ Jedi, we're proud to present the musical musings of Brutha Gimel (also known as Gimel Hooper), a double threat who not only is well known for his skills on the wheels, but also as a spoken word artist of considerable renown and one of the co-founders of LA's long-running venue Da Poetry Lounge. We now present Gimel's favorites for this week …
The 90's Salute party was cool last night but not quite what I had hoped. My lady said people were too cool and too cute to make it pop. At one point she sent me a text asking me to play "They Don't Dance No Mo" by Goodie Mob. That was funny. Sooooo …
This week I'd like to dedicate to the the the 1990's when it was still okay for men and women to sweat on the dance. The early 90's in particular, embodied a genre of hip hop and R&B music where dancing was encouraged. It was a time before you had gangster's saying things like, "gangster's don't dance we boogie" or "I'm in the club doing the same ol' 2 step". I like to call it "The Feel Good Era." My intension is to remind people what a partying felt like before booty popping became the primary entertainment.
- "Motownphilly," Boyz 2 Men
Following his success with the New Edition spin off group Bell Biv Devoe, Michael Bivins thought it would be a good idea to sign another boy band with outstanding vocal talent. Not only did Boyz 2 Men have the vocal pipes to carry any melody, but you could strip away the instruments and they'd just recreate the melody. Speaking of the beat, "Motownphilly" opens with a driving drum pattern specifically designed to get a reaction out of your feet. When I play this song for any grown up party today, the response remains the same. That is what we call timeless music.
- "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," TLC
Early 90's R&B music was probably best known for for the introducing the New Jack sound. Boyz 2 Men held it down for the boy bands while their female equivalent had to be TLC. I know. I know, you you can make a case for En Vogue but they weren't geared for the youth. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" was the first single released from TLC's debut LP Oooooo! On the TLC Tip. I love this song for its dance track. The party tone in the rhythm and the girls being forward about their pursuit to get busy with their man kept me interested.
- "OPP," Naughty By Nature
For anybody over the age of 30, I don't have to explain why I love this song but I will anyway. If you take a Jackson 5 track and loop it over a drum beat, you better produce a hit. I won't act like it was that easy. When you listen closely, you will also hear some added piano chords and a bass line which gave OPP that extra "ooomph" to make you wanna do the little jump Treach was doing in the video. Treach as the lead rapper in Naughty By Nature had just the right tone to his voice and the rap skills to pull off the racy stories in the song. He had everybody studying the lyrics in this song even the prudes. Let's be honest, they were dead wrong for the subject matter.
- "Back and Forth," Aaliyah
Just to be clear, aggressive weren't the only sound pumping in the jeeps in the early 90's. There's was also the mellow smooth grooves from artists like Jodeci, Mary J Blige, H-Town and everybody's favorite little sister, Aaliyah. Produced by R Kelly, Aaliyah had a style and look many young ladies admired. Her breakout LP Coming of Age put her on the map and in the hearts of many Americans. "Back and Forth" as a single had us doing just that, moving back and forth as well as side to side on the dance floor. I recall a lot of people doing that gun pointing reggae dance or the turn your hand over with your palms open move. Watch the video. You'll see what I'm talking about.
In addition to checking out Brutha Gimel out tonight at Da Poetry Lounge, "all of my people out there interested in the thespian arts check out this upcoming event I'm spinning."
Barring unforeseen challenges, Brutha Gimel's Spin City should be waiting for you, right here on Komplicated.com, every Tuesday afternoon.
[Source: Brutha Gimel]