Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hard Times: A Classic Revisited

While at one of my favorite spots, which is where I DJ at on Thursdays and any other day i'm booked, my long time friend named Troy who is a bartender there played a few tunes on the digital jukebox. I started buggin' when I heard the opening and asked him who it was that did this remake of this Soul classic by Baby Huey & The Babysitters, which is also a staple amongst producers who have sampled this tune in many Hip-Hop classics. Turns out it was The Roots featuring John Legend off their new album Wake Up.

Personally, i'm not really a fan of John Legend. I had been seeing Questlove tweet about the album hundreds of times and never really gave it a second thought seeing John's name attached to it. After hearing this (finally), i'm still not a fan of his, but have to give props for his delivery. As usual, the legendary Roots Crew killed it with their superb musicianship.

Baby Huey (born James Ramey, August 17, 1944 - October 28, 1970) was influential in Hip-Hop after many rappers started mimicking his style of self-referential rhyming. Huey was signed to Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas' Curtom Records. In 1969 Baby Huey & The Babysitters recorded The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, which contained "Hard Times", "Listen to Me", and "Mighty Mighty Children", have been frequently sampled by hip hop producers. The album was released posthumously after Huey suffered a heart attack and passed away.

The Original Baby Huey & The Babysitters version.

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