“Hey Mama” by Kanye West (2005)

There are lots of “mom dedication” songs in the annals of Black pop music. They didn’t start with hip-hop, either. The Intruders’ “I’ll Always Love My Mama”, The Spinners’ “Sadie”, even Jermaine Jackson’s utterly banal “Oh, Mother” all predated rap music’s popularization of open-hearted paeans to mama. One of the most, if not the most,… Read More “Hey Mama” by Kanye West (2005)

“Hey Joe” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966)/”Hey Jude” by The Beatles (1968)

Believe it or not, I did not listen to very much classic rock radio growing up. My folks pretty much kept the dial on R&B radio (with occasional excursions into reggae and adult contemporary/easy listening) and, left to my own devices, I did the same with a heavy concentration of whatever was on the Top… Read More “Hey Joe” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966)/”Hey Jude” by The Beatles (1968)

“Here Comes The Sun” (The Beatles, 1969)/”Here Comes The Sun” (Nina Simone, 1971)

It makes sense to start a new year (and a new decade!) with a song that symbolizes new beginnings. There’s a reassuring feel to “Here Comes The Sun”, almost as if George Harrison was trying to talk himself out of a dark mood. Turns out, George was indeed trying to improve his mood. He was… Read More “Here Comes The Sun” (The Beatles, 1969)/”Here Comes The Sun” (Nina Simone, 1971)