Friday, July 24, 2009

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



ROCK Sex thinks that love is for everybody.

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

ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO -"If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night) (1994)



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

BILL WITHERS -"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 And Lisa:

ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO -"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:

QUEEN PEN, with ME'SHELL NDEGEOCELLO -"GIRLFRIEND" (1997)



The taunting chorus is based on the nyah-nyah singsong of children. That same rhythm was used by Sly And The Family Stone in "Everyday People":

"...and so on and so on and scooby-dooby-doo-bee!"



© Tym Stevens



See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

-SLICE TONES: Sly Stone & His Infinite Influence!, with 5 Music Players


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