“The Past is Prologue”

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I’ve been called a bit of a “musical snob” at times and I’ve accepted that; in fact, I’d venture to say I’m rather PROUD of it.  Growing up in the era I did, having a mother with a love for Rock, Pop and R&B, deep Southern grandparents who listened to as much Black gospel as they did 60’s Soul and a father who was kind enough to introduce me to everything from Tupac Shakur to The Ohio Players to Cameo… well, let’s just say that I’m a bit of an eclectic.

My favorite MC of all time is Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def; I have immense respect for a few MC’s out there past and present, but as far as I’m concerned ‘Black Dante’ is the livest to ever touch a microphone (and nobody’s going to change that opinion).  His first solo single “Ms. Fat Booty” (from 1999’s ‘Black On Both Sides‘) is one of the first Hip-Hop tracks I ever learned all of the words to AND fully understood the context of.  It’s a modern-day love story of sorts, written from the perspective of a brother who starts off being content with enjoying a physical relationship with a beautiful woman, but inevitably catches feelings.  It’s witty, the flow is impeccable, and the production is phenomenal.

I knew next to nothing about music production in 1999, so the realization of which artist and what song was sampled for the track didn’t occur to me until much later; Aretha Franklin’s “One Step Ahead” was massaged into a thumping but relaxed soundtrack to one lustful man’s desire for far more than one beautiful woman was willing to give, and it worked.  So when I came across this version a while back, with the original track and altered production blended together, it immediately became one of those gems I caught myself listening to over and over.

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