“Bi” by Living Colour (from Stain, 1993)
Will you look at that! The boys in Living Colour lead off the Friday Five for a second week, with this week’s entry again shining a light on social commentary. “Everybody loves you when you’re bi…” croons Mr. Glover with a wink and a nod. I’m not sure why, but I recall this song being more funky that it actually is. Maybe there was a remix?
“Always on Time (feat. Ashanti)” by Ja Rule (from Exodus, 2005)
Raise your hand if there is at least one Ja Rule tune in your library. For what Ja lacked in lyrical skill he certainly made up for in “earworm” factor. That is to say Mr. Rule was probably one of the whackest MCs to get over on the general public, but he did so with such pretty window-dressing that it almost didn’t matter.
“Labels” by GZA/Genius (from Liquid Swords, 1995)
“We form like Voltron and GZA happen to be the head.” While ther members of the Wu-Tang Clan have gone on to significant commercial sucess, its (easily) most skilled MC has never found his niche. He’s released a handful of records in the last 20 years with only two—1995’s Liquid Swords, and 1999’s Beneath the Surface—have move over 500K units. I’d be willing to bet more people are going to hear that new Wu-Tang record than GZA’s last, and that’s a damn shame.
“These Beats Are Made for Breakin'” by The Chemical Brothers (from Elektrobank, 1997)
The Chemical Brothers were always good for releasing singles chock-full of worthwhile b-sides. Man, I miss singles.
“Needle Hits E” by Sugar (from Besides, 1995)
Another ’90s-centric Friday Five has come to pass, this time on a pretty dour note. Mould’s songwriting in Sugar always skewed towards the dark side, with a bright and poppy sheen over it. “Needle Hits E,” which originally appeared as a b-side on the “Helpless” single, is a plea to a “brother” to pull himself together. How this one got relegated to a b-side is beyond me, but clear indication of how great the material written for that first Sugar record really is.
What’s on your shuffle today?