Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Chain

I believe that the best part of music, aside from how it makes you feel, is the evolutionary aspect. Watching artists, genres and messages evolve over time is without a doubt one of the best ways to track history, trends, and social culture. Examining music under a microscope, you can always find its origin and you can certainly always find a connection to some sort of musical heritage. Here is a great example of watching a song blossom into the opposite of what it began as - covering generations, three genres, and three totally different attitudes.

Say - Method Man feat. Lauryn Hill (2006): Remember this? This song walked me to school, drove me to practices and snuck into the house past curfew with me. It had that catchy hip-hop beat, the back-to-basics sampling of a female crooner and the calm and cool rhymes of a former Wu Tang member.


So Much Things To Say - Lauryn Hill (2002): Method Man took his sample from Hill, who in her beautiful but controversial MTV Unplugged performance played "So Much Things To Say" - a cover of a song penned by her deceased father-in-law, Bob Marley. Hill, who at the time of the performance had driven herself into exile based on what she felt was pretentious and overbearing control of her life by her management team, treated this performance as her comeback and chance to introduce new material. The material for the live album 2.0 strongly divided critics, due to its equal parts fascinating and bizarre nature; a collection of songs that seemed extremely biblical, a total diversion from Hill's previous work with The Fugees and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and the first signs of her intention to retract from the spotlight.



So Much Things To Say - Bob Marley (1977): The original seed that bore this whole chain, however, was planted by Marley himself. Marley penned "So Much Things To Say" for the album Exodus which was released in 1977. The album, which has ranked on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums list, featured other legendary roots-reggae tunes like "Jammin'" and "One Love".

As Fleetwood Mac said (although in regards to their band incest...): "You can never break the chain."

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