“Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake feat. Majid Jordan (2013)

Drake is the cause of more internal conflict for me than he should be. I initially found him quite charming, and still do from time to time. But there’s a level of posturing that occurs with just about every hip-hop artist that goes from nothing to something, and it’s particularly grating coming from Drake. I… Read More “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake feat. Majid Jordan (2013)

“Her Town Too” by James Taylor & J.D. Souther (1981)

There aren’t too many divorce songs floating around in the pop single universe, so that’s one thing that makes James Taylor’s “Her Town Too” (a duet with singer/songwriter/Eagles associate J.D. Souther) special. The song is sung from the perspective of a friend who is watching the female half of a couple get ostracized from her… Read More “Her Town Too” by James Taylor & J.D. Souther (1981)

“Heaven Sent You” by Stanley Clarke (1984)

Stanley Clarke came to prominence as the bassist for jazz supergroup Return to Forever, but by the time “Heaven Sent You” came out in the summer of ’84, he’d already branched out beyond jazz into adult contemporary pop and soul. The album “Heaven Sent You” appeared on, Time Exposure, found Clarke dipping a toe into… Read More “Heaven Sent You” by Stanley Clarke (1984)

“Heaven Help Me” by Deon Estus (1989)

Deon Estus was a premier bass player, having apprenticed until legendary Motown session man James Jamerson. Estus’s talents were noticed by pop duo Wham!, and he was hired by the duo and became an integral part of their touring band. Deon appears prominently in the “I’m Your Man” and “Edge of Heaven” videos. Following Wham!’s… Read More “Heaven Help Me” by Deon Estus (1989)

“He Comes” by De La Soul feat. Ghostface Killah (2004)

One major way that hip-hop is different from all other types of music is that a single verse can turn a track from good to “holy shit”. Case in point: Ghostface Killah’s absolutely bonkers verse on De La Soul’s 2004 album cut “He Comes”. Trugoy and Pos are great rappers; by 2004 they’d come a… Read More “He Comes” by De La Soul feat. Ghostface Killah (2004)

“Got To Have Your Love” by Mantronix feat. Wondress (1989)

Mantronix was a hip-hop outfit led by DJ Curtis Mantronik. Originally, Mantronix’s music was firmly old-school electro rap in the “Planet Rock”/Whodini vein. As times changed, so did Mantronix’s sound. By 1989, Curtis’s crew had undergone personnel shifts, a label change (to Capitol from indie Sleeping Bag) and a sonic renovation. “Got To Have Your… Read More “Got To Have Your Love” by Mantronix feat. Wondress (1989)

“Got ‘Til It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell (1997)

“Got ‘til It’s Gone” has to be one of the least safe lead singles to be released as the first single from a highly anticipated pop project. Janet Jackson was coming off the twin triumphs of 1993’s janet and a 1995 greatest hits collection when she began to prepare what became The Velvet Rope. For… Read More “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell (1997)

“Gold Digger” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx (2005)

Sometimes a thing that can seem a little too obvious and on the nose can actually work. Case in point: Kanye West and Jamie Foxx going back to the well for “Gold Digger”. To backtrack: Kanye’s breakthrough moment as an artist was as a guest artist on Twista’s “Slow Jamz” (Twista was credited as the… Read More “Gold Digger” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx (2005)