“Can You Feel The Beat?” by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force (1985)

One thing I’ve always wondered: how come Lisa Lisa’s voice sounds so much different on “Can You Feel The Beat?” than it does on…just about every other song she ever put out? It’s way more nasal and monotone. Weird.

I love a lot of freestyle music, but I’m from New York and that shit is in my DNA. Lisa Lisa was the first freestyle artist to be nationally known. Case in point; my very midwestern mom jammed to LL&CJ (WFF)’s first album in the car all the time. You can’t underestimate the fact that she (and Full Force) took a sound that was squarely from the streets of New York and blew it up. And that sound was straight up NYC for their first (and definitely best) album. Its success definitely led to a more streamlined, dance/pop sound for their remaining three albums.

You also can’t underestimate the fact that Lisa Lisa was the first Boriqua music star since Jose Feliciano in the ‘60s and the first female Puerto Rican pop star ever, I think. Lisa set the stage for the J. Los, Camila Cabellos and the Bruno Mars’ of the world. She needs more props.

Finally; has anyone figured out what Cult Jam actually did? Is my dude playing a cello in the video? You know and I know ain’t a damn bit of cello in that song.

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