Friday, July 24, 2009

ROCK Sex: Bill Withers> Me'shell Ndegeocello> Queen Pen

ROCK Sex thinks that love is for everybody.


ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO
is a monster bassist, underrated singer, and passionate activist. She injected some serious organic Funk into the 90's with her gutsy debut hit:

MN -"IF THAT'S YOUR BOYFRIEND (HE WASN'T LAST NIGHT) (1994)



Her sound and politics hearkens back to the original early 70's Funk. Here's one of her inspirations, the evergreen BILL WITHERS:

BW -"WHO IS HE AND WHAT IS HE TO YOU" (1972)



Me'shell paid tribute to this by covering it with back-up from BILLY PRESTON and WENDY & LISA:

MN -"WHO IS HE AND WHAT IS HE TO YOU" (1996)




Me'shell's take on that song clearly opened up the possibilities of the sexual playing field. Soon after, the rapper QUEEN PEN extended that in this clever rethink of "If That Was Your Boyfriend", with able assist from Me'shell herself, challenging phobic attitudes about love and lust:

QP, with MN -"GIRLFRIEND" (1997)


The taunting chorus is based on the nyah-nyah singsong of children. That same rhythm was used by SLY & The FAMILY STONE in "Everyday People": "...and so on and so on and scooby-dooby-doo-bee!"

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