Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What the hell is "HipHop Soul??" Is there such a thing? Is this just another one of those unnecessary labels that the music industry has given to urban music to further segregate the artists? The phrase is not the Webster's Dictionary, but I actually have two definitions for the phrase: 1) Whenever a rap artist and a R&B/Soul artist collaborates on a song. 2) When an R&B/Soul artist utilizes a bonafied hiphop beat/sample already used by a previous hiphop group or artist. So, what was the first hiphop soul record? Hmmm, this has been debated over the years, but I would have to say the first song that really mattered using this format was Method Man's classic, "All I Need Remix" feat Mary J. Blige! This song changed the game, and crowned a Queen of HipHop Soul all at the same time?? Everybody knew this would be a great remix, but I don't think anyone really knew the impact it would have on the music as a whole? From the moment this record was released, Mary J. Blige was crowned the Queen of HipHop Soul, and she still hasn't been dethroned after all these years in the music industry! Many cookie-cutta bimbos have tried to challenge the queen for her spot on the throne, but up to this point no one has even come close. Instead of being original, most of the wanna-be royalty ends up barely following in her footsteps!

The reason I like HipHop Soul is because it offers me the best (sometimes) of both music genres. Since, I love hiphop and soul music, what can be better than having both at the same time? The key to a good record is getting rappers that can actually rap, and singers that can actually sing!! Sounds easy, but that's not always the case? Back in the early 90's when this form of music was thriving, everybody was doing collaborations with one another. Every new singer had some partially known rap artist spitting nonsense over the beat with hopes of becoming more successful because of it? I could tell some of the collaboration records were done just for the sake of having two big names sharing space and time. There was usually no chemistry or vibe between the two artists, and the record suffered from a lack of focus and passion. After listening to many collabos over the years, I have realized that if the two musical powers that come together for a project don't really like each other, or they don't work well together the record usually stinks? Can you say R. Kelly and Jay-Z on "The Worst of Both Worlds" album? Then they tried to remix the first crappy album (for money) and repackage it as a new project called, "Unfinished Business," which was even worse than the original, if that's possible?? If you bought either one of these wack albums, yo fault!! What a musical massacre!!!

Honestly, having a big name sharing a record with a lessor known artist can give them a big boost in sales? How many times have you bought a record or album of an unknown artist, because they had collabos with some of your favorites? We all have. So, when artists have that kind of pull, they make the needy pay big bucks to use their talents on a track! You need Fat Joe or Jadakiss on your record be ready to pay atleast 5 figures, but if you need a Jay Z/Mary J. Blige type of artist..make it 6 figures! Some of the major artists are so discreet that they will only work with certain people no matter how much you try to pay them, which I think is good for the longevity of their careers? Working with wack artists can definitely pull down the value on your musical stock in some cases? I must admit that I have heard way more good hiphop soul tracks over the years than bad ones. Seems like every urban album has atleast one major collabo track on it. Hell, LL Cool J's new album, "Todd Smith" has more collabos than solo records? Is it me or is LL becoming a little fruity in his old age? Where are the tracks for the hiphop heads.....?? OK, I won't go there in this post....I'll save this convo for a later date!

What would this post be without a mix to tie things altogther? I saturated this mix with some of the hiphop soul tracks I have really enjoyed over the years. As usual, narrowing down the songs for this mix was difficult, but I did what I could do....when I could do it! I blessed you with some classic Mary Blige collabos since she is the focus of this post! Plus, they're dope! Some of these tracks you may have heard before and others you may have not? I like to throw in a few exclusive gems just to keep you folks guessing? Checkout the tracklist.....

HipHop Soul Mix Tracklist:

1-SoundNexx Intro
2-All I Need (Razor Sharp Mix) - Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige
3-Rainy Dayz - Raekwon feat. Ghostface & Blue Raspberry
4-Stressed Out (Saadiq Remix) - A Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith & Raphael Saadiq
5-Count The Ways - Slum Village feat. Dwele
6-Street Dreams (Remix) - Nas feat. R. Kelly
7-Sky's The Limit - Notorious B.I.G feat. 112
8-My Mind - Big Pooh feat. Darien Brockington
9-You're The One (All-Star Remix) - SWV feat. Jay-Z, Mr. Cheeks, Busta Rhymes, Trigga Tha Gambla & Smooth Tha Hustla
10-No - De La Soul feat. Butta Verses
11-Sincerity - Mary J. Blige feat DMX & Nas
12-Freak-N-You (Remix) - Jodeci feat. Raekwon & Ghostface
13-Come Close (Bajou Remix) - Common feat. Mary J. Blige
14-The Notic (Soulidace Mix) - The Roots feat. D'Angelo & Erykah Badu
15-Beautiful (Blackstar Remix) - Mary J. Blige feat. Mos Def & Talib Kweli
16-Dicipline - Gang Starr feat. Total
17-Loungin (Remix) - LL Cool J feat. Total
18-Don't Wanna Be A Player (Remix) - Big Pun feat. Joe
19-What It Is - Busta Rhymes feat. Kelis


Leave the titles of some of your favorite hiphop soul tracks in the comments, so I can check them out!


nova said...

Ha!! A lot of these are my favorite songs. *dap* Major props on the Gangstarr/Total track. I think if anyone came close to embodying the MJB hip-hop soul swagger as a group, it was Total. They may not have had the pipes, but they definitely had the right idea.

And on that note "Can't You See" by Total and Biggie is one of the ultimate hip-hop soul joints.

MosaicThump said...

I like what you are doing. Keep up the hard work. Look in on me sometime....


a spiritual revival of decades old underground funk | m o s a i c t h u m p

SoundNexx said...

Nova - U are right, that Can't U See cut is a definite classic as well! Gang Starr was my group back in the day, and that track with Total is definitely one of my favs!

Mosaicthump - Thanks for dropping thru!

Anonymous said...

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harme1 said...

ahh so grasshopper- "All I Need" definately did up the ante for hip hop / r&b collabos they walked with a grammy for that if I'm not mistaken -but I hae to give it to Chaka Khan and Mellie Mel for the first collabo that mattered - "I Feel For You" I may be showing my age a bit here - but that one still rates high on my charts.


SoundNexx said...

Harme1 - Chaka Khan and Melle Mel definitely had a classic record with that one! Hmmm, since u are taking it back to the 80's, let's go back even further... "I Feel For You" dropped in late 1984, but in late 1983 there was another classic record called, "Hey DJ" by The World Famous Supreme Team & Malcolm McLaren. It was later re-released in 1984 as a re-edit on 12" vinyl. This song has been heavily sampled over the years by various artists like the Beastie Boys, AZ and Mariah Carey.

Back in the early 80's rap was still in its infant stage, so classic songs like these got overlooked by the industry in most cases! Who knew we were on the brink of hiphopsoul revolution??

Kwame and Heavy D also have made some good collabo joints over the years as well.

MosaicThump said...

Man you have to come and check me out on myspace.. You know Detroit has all of the musical genre's sewn up!!!!!! Holla at me...


jay said...

the first time i heard the soul/hip-hop combo done well was with mjb and grand puba (on his album first "check it out" and hers later "what's the 411"). obviously the total list is endless.. i personally lean more to the jazzier less r&b side of things (d'angelo, eryakh, jill, bilal etc) but hey. peace, jay