I’m Goin’ Down – Mary J. Blige (1994)
I was watching Little (rough year, okay?), and the two main characters were singing this in what’s actually a pretty funny scene, and so I had to look it up. Of course it’s a cover and the original was done by Rose Royce. I dig the MJB version more though. Fun fact: Cam’ron samples this on “Oh Boy“.
I Can See the Sun in Late December – Roberta Flack (1975)
I forget where I actually first heard this unfortunately, but I remember seeing it on YouTube and adding it to my Shazam playlist. A very cool thing here is that my brother realized that at the 6:18 mark, is used in a DMB song. Stefan plays a little bit of it on “Two Step” at Central Park. And now that I think more about it, maybe I saw a tweet from Stefan or someone who shares a lot of old performances and they said it was an interpolation? Either way, great tune.
Let Me Prove My Love to You – The Main Ingredient (1975)
I was listening to a friends’ playlist on Spotify and this song came on and I recognized the hook/riff and realized it’s sampled in Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name” which is one of her best! I’ve loved The Main Ingredient ever since I first heard “Everybody Plays the Fool”.
Fool For You – Alice Smith (2013)
While having lunch at LMT, this song came over the speakers. I thought I recognized it, so I Shazam’d it but it couldn’t catch it. Later I realized that it’s a Ceelo Green cover. Both versions are really great!
You Can Win – Bileo (1979)
My cousin Ryan texted me he heard this song in a store in London and thought that I’d enjoy it. He was very right. But does anyone else think it kind of sounds familiar? I can’t put my finger on it!
Nature’s Call – Shaun Escoffery (2014)
same as above. Check Shaun out for sure!
Sure Don’t Miss You – The Dip (2019)
Can’t remember where/how I heard this one. So fun though. If you were the one who put me on to this song, please remind me!
My Song – Labi Siffre (1972)
I Got The… – Labi Siffre (1975)
A friend from work, and fellow CE contributor, Emma Tav had “My Song” on her Insta-story and I instantly recognized the Kanye sample. Then she told me to listen to the Em sample. Love finding out samples!
Happiness – Billy Lawrence (1994)
I was listening to “Love U So” (which samples Teena Marie’s “Square Biz” and Rose Royce’s “Ooh Boy”) from Ma$e’s Harlem World album, and Billy is the featured artist. So I went to her Spotify page and this was her most streamed song, with only 146,000 streams! I think it’s a really good song, sounding like a classic 90’s female R&B song. Wish she had more hits though, love her voice!
Never Never Never – John Holt (1973)
This was in a Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify and I really really liked it. Groovy, summer-y, easy listening. Turns out John Holt as a ton of fun songs. This ended up being one of my most listened to songs of the year.
Sara – Fleetwood Mac (1979)
In making an Autumn Vibes playlist, a friend said to add this even though I had like 8 other Fleetwood Mac songs.. Holy crap! This song rocks! Literally blasting it in my head phones as I write this.
Homesick – The Marcus King Band (2018)
This came from Sammy too, she was a big influencer on my music this year. Big ups to Sammy! Another group I’d love to see live.
Weekend – Wet Willie (1979)
“Disco Fridays” (see Pt. 1) eventually turned into “Dance Fridays” and a different coworker sent this song over. It was perfect for shutting down on a Friday.
Riviera Paradise – Stevie Ray Vaughan (1989)
Great tune I had never heard from SRV. Sometimes when you’re in a mood and a song like this comes on and it just hits you right.
I Forgot to Be Your Lover – William Bell (1969)
This I found out was the sample Luda uses on his song “Growing Pains” that I really liked.
Set My Soul on Fire – The War and Treaty (2017)
Are You Ready to Love Me – The War and Treaty (2018)
Throwing these in Soul, but they could also be considered Folk. “Set My Soul On Fire” came from Sammy, but then I listened to more of them and found “Are You Ready to Love Me”. Is it me or does SMSOF sound strangely familiar? Can’t think of what exactly it triggers for me but Ry says it kinda sounds like “Fever”. I can see that
Ok I just wanted to mention one more song/group I started listening to in 2020, but from a song that came out this year…
Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy) – The 1975
What is The 1975’s deal?!? Why are they so good? This song sounds so cool and I just don’t get it – they’re a pop band from England that sound like they’re trying to break into the R&B scene. But go through their catalog and you’ll see that their also jazzy, and pop-y and funky and so soulful. Their range is incredible. I’d love to see them in concert sometime!
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I liked writing it and sharing it with you. I’d love to know if you had heard/known any of these songs before or if you like anything that might’ve been new to you!