Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.
“N.T., Parts 1 & 2” by Kool & The Gang (from Cutmaster Swift Presents: The Breaks, Volume 2, 1999)
Prior to penning the wedding band anthem “Celebrate,” Kool & The Gang dropped some of the funkiest instrumental breaks this side of Parliament-Funkadelic. Originally featured on 1971’s Live at PJ’s, the “N.T.” actually stands for “No Title.” No points for originality there, but it more than makes up for it’s lack of an original title with its sprawling funk movements.
“O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (from Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials, Volume 11 (1979-1991), 2006)
I dare you to listen to this record without bobbin’ your head.
“Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder (from Songs in the Key of Life, 1976)
Seems as if we’re shuffling between the bedrock of hip-hop breaks and a hip hop classic. Where Kool & The Gang’s nameless jam supplied the breaks for Kool G Rap’s “Truly Yours” and Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” Stevie’s “Pastime Paradise” was the bedrock of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
“Gratitude” by Beastie Boys (from Check Your Head, 1992)
Ha! Here’s a funky bit of irony: track 16 on the Beastie’s Check Your Head, it’s a groovy little track called “Live at P.J.’s.” That aside, I’ve always loved this track.
“So Alive” by Love and Rockets (from Sounds of the Eighties: 1989, 1995)
Dammit, iTunes! You had me going.
What’s on your shuffle today?