R&B Music Blog

Earth Wind & Fire – September

Earth Wind & Fire – SeptemberWe’ve got that #FridayFeeling and to kick start our first #FlashbackFriday for month of February we must salute the legendary Earth Wind & Fire due to the sad news of the bands founder #MauriceWhite passing away this week.

This band has countless party anthems to choose from, but to pick one track that united every age group on the dancefloor, we’ve picked their 1978 classic ‘September’ for the feel good factor and to honor the legacy of the multi-instrumentalist and visionary Maurice White.

London RnB parties have always taken great pleasure in flashing back to some of the best funk, boogie, and rare grooves, to both entertain and educate the various age groups on the dancefloor, but when its comes to Earth Wind & Fire almost all demographics have heard and experienced the magic of their funky, disco filled anthems packed with trippy looking videos with psychedlic effects.

Earth, wind & Fire

September was produced by Maurice White and featured on their album ‘The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire’ compilation in 1978, which was combination of styles showcasing the bands creative and very funky talents. The album was certified as quintuple platinum selling over 5,000,000 million copies and winning a Grammy.

Maurice White

Maurice dug deep with ‘September’ to push the boundaries of Disco merged with R&B and lots of soulful vocals, layered with hamornies plus funky brass sections to lift the mood of anyone’s day whilst pack dancefloor’s worldwide. The single soared to number one on the US R&B charts and spent x8 weeks at the top of Billboard hot 100 certifying it as gold with over 1million copies sold and silver in the UK. September has been featured on TV shows such as Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Guitar Freaks computer game, commercials and Olympic ceremony’s. Maurice White was crucial to the success of Earth Wind & Fire and although he retired from the band 1995 due to suffering from Parkinsons disease which he was diagnosed with in the late 80s, the band continued to tour along with his brother Verdine White keeping his memory alive.

Earth Wind & Fire are truly a remarkable group whose album’s uplift the mind body and soul, with artisic egyptian artwork that vinyl collectors love to display amidst their catalougue of creative album sleeves. Maurice White can now rest peacefully, and his music will indeed live ‘Forever’. R.I.P (December 19th 1941 – February 4th 2016).

Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire

Usher – Chains feat. Nas & Bibi Bourelly33

Usher – Chains feat. Nas & Bibi Bourelly33The R&B prince is back with his new single which has a very strong social message and is different to his usual partying and love making anthems played across London Groove Soul Saturdays parties.

Chains singing about racial profiling and police brutality the star feels its his duty to highlight current conditions in America with so many black men imprisoned, plus black men and women being killed at the hands of police. The Atlanta native stated ‘Chains is my way of spreading light on the issues we face in our social injustice system, as artist we have to use our platform to spread awareness and inspire action’.

Singing about still being in bondage the star expresses on the chorus “we’re still in chains, you put the shame on us’. Addressing mass shooting during the verses he continues ‘moment of silence, American school and we in church too, shooting shooting shooting, we the prey’.

The song has very dark mood to it bouncing on a trap style beat packed with heavy 808s booming the lower frequency’s to ensure its playable in the clubs. Featuring Nas for a rhyme or two whilst naming individuals who have died is the perfect combination and fits the track nicely.

The video was premiered x2 days ago and showcases Usher getting harassed by police, where he eventually visits a church to attend his own funeral which was directed by Film The Future who also shot Rihanna’s BBHMM.

Although this song probably wont get much airplay or rotation on music TV, the subject is an important issue and we’re glad Usher has taken the time to support the cause in effort to highlight the need to make change.

Beyonce – Formation

Beyonce - FormationBeyonce has single handedly given the world its biggest #MusicMonday yet thanks to launching her new music video on Saturday evening then proceeding to steal the SuperBowl 50 halftime show from Coldplay on Sunday perfoming her brand new song, then if that wasn’t enough announcing her #FormationWorldTour hitting stadiums this summer.

Wow, (we need a moment to catch our breath), yes ladies and gentlemen, in the words of Queen B herself, it is most certainly ‘time to get in #Formation’.

Formation is the perfect #MondayMotivation anthem as not only is it a club banger that will easily be dominating London Groove R&B club nights at Yager Bar but also has a very strong ‘Pro Black’ political statement echoing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement throughout the song and visuals.

Beyonce is proving her strength, boldness, power and voice by finally showing the world where she stands on recent event racial events in America. Formation highlights the simple fact that she is still grounded and indeed very black, with lyrics such as “my daddy Alabama, my momma Louisiana, you mix that negro with that Creole, make a Texas bamma, I like my baby hair, and afros, I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils’.

Beyonce in her Formation video

Merging her message with a little sass and hip hop style bragging, Beyonce ads “earned all this money but they never take the country out me, I got hot sauce in band, swag”! Paying homage to her southern roots and perfectly timed for America’s Black History Month. The video proceeds to feature a litle boy dressed in a black hoodie dancing infront of the police with their hands up, a wall with graffiti stating ‘Stop killing us’.

Beyonce rides around in a car whilst hanging her head out of a window whilst embracing her braided hair, plus a variety of scenes with all black dancers with natural hair, afros, and more. The song is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It who created a heavy Trap beat, packed with 808s booming and brass complimented by Beyonce’s melodies for what is set to be one of the biggest party anthems this month.

The singer filmed the video across various New Orleans locations which also addresses the floods from years ago, and whilst making fashion statements, saluting classic black images and even Martin Luther King, the video ends with a strong political symbol of Beyonce drowning on top of a police car.

Beyonce on top of police car

Bey’s SuperBowl performance was brave enough to perform this song on the biggest world stage, incorportaing her dancers dressed as Black Panthers, plus making the Formation of an ‘X’ honouring Malcolm X, so we salute Beyonce for getting her message across ‘by any means necessary’, she SLAYS!

1 Of Tha Month – Bone Thugs N Harmony

1 Of Tha Month – Bone Thugs N HarmonyIt’s February and as we kick start the second month of the year 2016 it’s only right that we welcome the week with our #MusicMonday choice courtesy of Bone Thugs N Harmony – “1st Of Tha Month”.

Taken from their top selling album ‘E.1999 Eternal’ the Bone Thugs surely impressed music lovers with their second album under the guidance of NWA’S late great Easy E, representing for the West Coast the group dominated the charts with their tribute song ‘Crossroads’ dedicated to Easy E earning them a Grammy award in 1997.

Hip Hop heads and die hard music lovers across London Groove Soul Saturdays parties always make reference to this Bone Thugs N Harmony classic whenever a new month starts, so as today is Monday 1st February our #MondayMotivation is the laidback anthem “1st Of Tha Month”. Produced by DJ U-Neek who also produced the Grammy winning ‘Crossroads’.

1st of Tha Month was released on June 15st 1995 and samples Anita Baker’s “I Just Want To Be Your Girl”, plus makes an interpolation of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ by using the chant ‘Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, get up, get up, get up, get up, get up’ whilst motivating people on welfare to get up and get their start of the month welfare checks.

Bone Thugs N Harmony

Comedians such as Chris Rock made fun of this song during one of his stand up shows “n*g*as vs black people” calling ‘1st of Tha Month’ a ‘Welfare Carol’ whilst rappers such as The Game sampled the song and computer games like Grand theft Auto V featured it on their West Coast classics radio station.

1st of Tha Month was certified Gold selling over 500,000 copies and earned a Grammy Nomination with UK fans supporting the single to enter the top 20 of the UK Charts. The Video was laid back like the guys crusining in the back of the car with Krayzie Bone rhyming on the car bonnet, and 20 years later the crew continue to tour with this timeless material.

Despite many calling the song a welfare anthem, it actually motivates people to ‘wake up, get up’ and get money hence why it’s the perfect Monday Motivation anthem. Easy E didn’t only create a legacy with Ruthless Records by launching NWA to the world, he also left us with classic Bone Thugs n Harmony anthems with their unique style of rhyming with melody (although subtitles are always needed to decode the speed rap) lol.

Flashback Friday: JLO – Jenny From The Block

JLO – Jenny From The BlockThe final #Feelgoodfriday of the month is here which means its payday and people are ready to party like it’s 1999, so in true London Groove style we are throwing back JLO’s to 2002 party classic “Jenny From The Block”.

Produced by Poke and Tone of the Trackmasters, they gave Jenny an old school Hip Hop break to make her have another club friendly anthem that party people we’re familiar with and could gravitate to.

Featuring rappers Jadakiss and Styles from Bad Boys The Lox, Jenny sang about not letting fame change her, despite all her award wins, movies, and years as a dancer she’s still simply Jenny the girl from the homegirl from the Bronx.

The Trackmasters heavily jammed this song with samples, such as 20th Steel Bands “Heaven and Hell Is On Earth”, BDP (Boogie Down Productions) “South Bronx” and most famously the hip hop crew Beatnuts classic banger “Watch Out Now” although this song was shamelessly never credited.

JLo

For this reason the song had a mixed reaction from R&B and Hip Hop fans, with many thinking the song was foolish especially for rudely using the sample and placing what they deemed to be silly lyrics over the top, plus JLO’s wasn’t seen as an R&B diva, but to the majority of Pop and JLO fans this was a fun song, showing her laid back homegirl vibe. (Though the Beatnuts wern't too fond).

Having famously broken up with P Diddy, Jennifer was dating Hollywood actor Ben Afleck who actually looked rather dishing in the video which was shocking many as the ladies had never really viewed him as a hunk, but JLO certainly brough out a differently side of him and he was without a doubt the eye candy of the video chanelling his inner a young Elvis/James Dean type of look.

The moment when DJs play the song’s classic into courtesy of 20th Century Steel Band “Children grow and women producing, men go working, some go stealing, everybody’s got to make a living” the club always goes off, and the Beatnuts sample really drives the song which charted at at no.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 reaching no.1 in Canada, Hungry, and most top tens including no.3 in the UK. Jenny from The Block may be a sore subject with the Beatnuts who say “everything is our idea. If we never flipped that sample, there would be no Jenny From The Block." However its still rocks parties and everybody knows it’s the Beatnuts vibe so we will continue to party hard to it across London Groove parties in true old school style combining Hip Hop & R&B nicely.

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