“Groove Me” by King Floyd (1970)/”Groove Me” by Guy (1988)

Here are two funky songs with the same title. Both songs pointed towards a shift in Black music. I can explain the difference in the two songs using Soul Train gifs, which is pretty awesome. Here’s a gif that, to me, exemplifies King Floyd’s “Groove Me”. It’s dirty, backwoods funky. Which makes sense, because King… Read More “Groove Me” by King Floyd (1970)/”Groove Me” by Guy (1988)

“Follow The Leader” by Eric B & Rakim (1988)

It’s rarely disputed that William Griffin (AKA Rakim) is the greatest hip-hop lyricist of all time. “Follow The Leader”, the first single and title track of his sophomore effort with DJ Eric B, represents the writer and rhymer at his apex. Everything that a rap nerd jizzes off of-complex verbiage, internal rhyme schemes, effortless flow-is… Read More “Follow The Leader” by Eric B & Rakim (1988)

“Don’t Be Cruel” by Bobby Brown (1988)

Bobby Brown’s ascension in earnest to superstar status began with summer ‘88’s “Don’t Be Cruel”, a truly inventive melange of funk and hip-hop. Back when singers sang and rappers rapped, songwriter/producers L.A. Reid & Babyface did a fantastic job fusing Bobby’s rap-informed persona with the melodic R&B that was their stock-in-trade. It also presented Bobby… Read More “Don’t Be Cruel” by Bobby Brown (1988)

“Domino Dancing” by Pet Shop Boys (1988)

“Domino Dancing” opens with one of the greatest couplets in pop music history: “I don’t know why, I don’t know how/I thought I loved you, but/I’m not sure now”. The remainder of the song finds Neil Tennant firing off angry missives towards a lover who is overly flirtatious towards other people. “Domino Dancing” also represents… Read More “Domino Dancing” by Pet Shop Boys (1988)

“Children’s Story” by Slick Rick (1988)

Slick Rick might be the greatest storyteller in all of hip-hop history. Seriously, the guy could have written screenplays, his mind was so vivid. “Children’s Story” is widely (and correctly) cited as one of The Ruler’s most intriguing and impactful stories. The tale of a stick-up kid who gets his comeuppance resonated with hip-hop (and… Read More “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick (1988)