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Throwback Tracks -- May 17, 2018


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- May 17, 2018

David R. Smith

Well I suppose it was inevitable; I missed a week. I knew something was amiss last Thursday but couldn't quite put my finger on it. And then it dawned on me about 2 days later as I was in the middle of a street hockey tournament. So I figured since I hadn't heard from anybody on the Twitter machine that either nobody, in fact reads this or you were all just patiently awaiting this week where there'll be more songs added to the list.

Well the latter half is correct. As a way of making it up to you, I'll be adding extra songs through the rest of this month to make up for it. A couple extras this week, a couple extras next week, etc. and we'll be back on track! 

The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.

At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible...which is totally hit and miss with oldies), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.

No Diggity - Blackstreet

This is another one of my favourite rap songs. I fell in love with it when it first hit the airwaves way back in 1996 and memorized every lyric.

Well... except the Dr Dre part. Because on the radio versions, they cut that part out. As such, I still don't have that part memorized! I know he starts with "It's going down fade to Blackstreet, my homies got..." and then I can't remember anymore. It's marginally annoying.

Anyway. This is a song that really, any child of the 80s basically loves. It kind of made hip hop alluring to those of us who didn't really care about hip hop because it was, well... good. 

O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature

One of the things about great rap songs is the use of great bass lines. This song is a prime example. After those first piano notes, really all we get is somebody walking a great bass line. 

The other thing great rap songs do is find different songs to sample in them. This song does a wonderful job of that with adding some Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 in here. It's a nice nod to the music that came before. 

Also, something I never noticed is the girl moaning pretty much through the whole verse. My god, rap music is dirty! (I realize nobody is shocked by this.)

Finally, I was going to say that this song was used best in the original Dundies episode of The Office, when Michael comes out rapping overtop of this song, However, the one link I could find to the video isn't available in Canada. So fuck you very much, NBC. (I don't normally cuss in TBT, but since it's rap month, if you're here, I expect you're not insulted by a bit of profanity.)

It's Like That - RUN-DMC

I was on the fence between this song and It's Tricky. Both songs are absolutely fantastic. But I elected to use this one because it was extremely prevalent at dances when I was at dances in Jr High and High School. Now, I realize that the song came out a year after I was born, but for whatever reason, it made a resurgence in my home town in the 90s. Probably because it's awesome. 

This is one of those songs that when I hear it, it instantly harkens me back to standing in a dark-ish gymnasium and seeing a circle of people standing, bouncing to the music and there was usually one or two people in the middle, attempting to breakdance. Looking back on it now, it was pretty lame. But when you're in the moment, and trying to fit in... it was pretty rad. 

Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J

Fun fact: at the beginning of this song, when LL says "C'mon man!" he was talking to the sound engineer who had been screwing up during the recording process. A frustrated LL said that and then the music kicked in, and magic was made. It's those little stories that make classic songs even more classic. (I have one about a Pearl Jam song I'll get into at a later date.) Here's a whole article on the album and the song itself. 

Like much of the music I love, my cousin Sean introduced me to this song. He was 4 years older than me, so just a little bit more in touch with what was going on in the world. So anytime we would hang out with the family, Sean would play the music he was listening to. I can still picture him singing along with this. This was another one of my early introductions to rap music. Oddly enough, I still don't love rap music, but there's the odd song that plays that gets its hooks into me. This was (and still is) one of them. 

Rapper's Delight - The Sugar Hill Gang

THIS SONG IS 14 MINUTES??? I had no idea! At some point in the future (and I might have alluded to this in past TBTs) I plan on doing the longest songs to be recorded month. I literally did not know this song could have been an addition to it. But, in the immortal words of Carly Simon, It's Too Late.

My friends and I discovered this song when we were in Jr High and loved it. At the time, I had no idea it actually came out in 1980. Talk about old school hip hop!

This is another example of a classic bass line. As soon as you hear that bass line kick in, you know exactly what song you're in for. And you get excited because I don't know I've ever met a person who doesn't care for this song. And if they don't like it, well... I'm not sure I want to be friends with them. (Although, I'm pretty sure my dad either has never heard this song, or wouldn't care for it. So that may make me a liar...)

What's Golden - Jurassic 5

Okay. Slightly cheating on this one; it came out in 2002. But this was literally the one song that I had requested to add to the list, so how could I not acquiesce?

I'm glad it was requested, too, because I'd never heard it before. And you know something? It's good! It's groovy! And I don't mean that in the 1960s hippie "groovy man!" sense. I mean it in the sense that it makes me groove. It's got a perfect beat, great but simple instrumentation, and the chorus is very well executed. I'm really glad it will (eventually) be added to a playlist because I'm going to enjoy the shit out of listening to it when it comes on!

Insane in the Membrane - Cypress Hill

Ahh Cypress Hill. This song came out when I was 10 years old. I'm pretty sure kids in my class were listening to it as soon as it came out. And I really liked the chorus, so I always tried to get my hands on this song/album, but for some reason my parents didn't feel comfortable getting me this song. Shocking right?

To this day, when I hear that high pitched note (whatever is creating it) I still love it. 

I also desperately want to hear this song in its entirety with the London Symphony Orchestra instead of just the little sample we get on The Simpsons. (Incidentally, this episode gets a lot of love here at the Guys From. You can tell because of how high it ranked in our Simpsons Countdown of the best episodes.) Also, somebody did try to remix the whole song with the orchestra, and bless them for trying, but the version was not good. The orchestra was too subtle and some of the strings were backbeating the song which was frustrating. (Sorry, my music nerd just showed a bit there...)