Banter on Tulips and a Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z and John Coltrane, Outkast and Othello.


And, in this corner...

Now playing: "The Food," Common / "Imaginary Player," Jay-Z
So admittedly, I’m negligent y’all… I haven’t had time to write with this lengthy commute, long hours and yada, yada. Lol. So, grab a spot on the couch and let’s get reacquainted, shall we? How was your week? Catch the UPN lineup on Monday? Hear that Jennifer Hudson will be filling the shoes of Jennifer Holiday in “Dreamgirls”? That girl can blooow! I can’t wait...

The mild weather here in the Apple has put me in a delightful mood today. I came into work listening to a radio battle between Prince and Michael Jackson. You know my soft spot for old-nose Mike, but I realized that sometime between “Purple Rain” and “Human Nature”, that I was really torn. Two of the greatest geniuses of our musical time and we have to pick a winner? Impossible… (Okay, you twisted my arm. Mike still wins but only because Prince was contraband growing up in my house.)

Listening this morning reminded me of how many other heavyweight match-ups (old school of course) there could be. So, get out your dusty 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs and gasp…I-Pods and tell me who’s the best of these fantastic four. I’ll post the winners later this week.

Sisters with Voices — Chaka Khan vs. Patti Labelle
Anyone who’s heard Patti belt out “Lady Marmalade”, “Isn’t it a Shame” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” could join me in the first pew of her Pentecostal On the Way to Jordan, By the Way of the Cross, up the Rough Side of the Mountain, Holiness Assembly Church of Labelle. Lol. But listen to Chaka blow on “I’m Every Woman”, “I Feel For You” or “Hollywood,” and you just have to chant, “Chaka. Chaka. Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan!” So, whose chops do you bank on?

Battle of the Baritones —Isaac Hayes vs. Barry White
I swear every time my dad played “By The Time I get to Phoenix” I’d complain. The song took so long to get started, I’d say, I could get my petutie to Phoenix before Isaac was finished. But they didn’t call him “Black Moses” for nothing. Listen to his take on the Jackson Five’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” or the theme from “Shaft” and you’ll be ready to join him on the mountain. Lol. But, Barry White, who would probably beat Luthah as the man responsible for starting the most black families in the U.S., was just an icon. His rap on “So Much To Give” is one for the ages. Not to mention his classic, “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up.” So musically, who truly gives it up?

Dolce Duets — Tammi and Marvin vs. Roberta and Donny
Listen to Tammi and Marvin sing “Heaven Must Have Sent You From Above, or “You’re all I Need to Get By” and you realize why they were rumored to be together. Their voices blend together perfectly, their enthusiasm matched only by the pounding percussion of Motown’s house band. The duo, who both prematurely passed, thankfully left their legacy for us to still enjoy. So, fortunately, did another guy who left us too soon — Donnie. When he sang “The Closer I Get to You” with Roberta and my fave, “Back Together Again”, there was no question that their best moments were performing together. The hard question is which duo triumphs?

Get in the Groove — Parliament-Funkadelic vs. James Brown
Sing it with me y’all…“With the groove our only guide, we shall all be moved. [Feet don’t fail me now!]” When George Clinton begins his incantation on “One Nation,” you fall under the power of his cloak of many colors. Head starts bobbing. Feet start tapping. Dance, the funk summons you. Lol. And don’t even crank up “Flashlight” or even think about playing “Atomic Dog” lest you want to get mauled by a pack of Ques. But does the President of Funk stand a chance against the Godfather of Soul? He who jammeths to “Super Bad” or “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time” has often been thought to jammeth the best. But James against the intergalatic funktasticness? You be the judge.


At November 21, 2005 12:50 PM , Blogger Lori said...

Sheesh. This is TOO hard to choose!!

Being a Philly girl, I have to go with Ms. Labelle. But only by a hair.

Barry White.

Tammy & Marvin. Especially when you know they had something going on behind the scenes...

James Brown. HIT ME!

Please, don't make me choose again!

Great post.

At November 21, 2005 2:19 PM , Blogger Will said...

OK. I'm game for this one. LOL

As long as we're talking in their prime, I gotta go with Chaka just for her catalogue alone. Lubb me some Patti, but she was always more of a screamer to me.

I could listen to the Shaft theme over and over again, but ummmm, again (lol), Barry's catalogue gives him the edge in my book. "My First, My Last, My Everything?" Oh, yeah. Barry got it.

Donnie & Roberta. Their chemistry shone through every duet and, like you said, it's evident that working together brought out the best in each performer. (This was the toughest choice, by far.)

And I'ma have to go with James Brown with my final answer. Only because while it's true that Parliment could make you dance, James would get on the good foot and show you how it's done.

Gimme some more of these ... LOL

At November 21, 2005 6:14 PM , Blogger Britjam said...

well, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan
Barry White.
How can I choose between between the dolce duets? But if I must its Marvin and Tammi. I listen to them and imagine I am Tammi. And last but not least I have to "get down" with James Brown

At November 22, 2005 9:07 AM , Blogger Maverick said...

Chaka Khan, Barry White (much better singer than Isaac), Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, and James Brown...

At November 22, 2005 1:03 PM , Blogger Nerd Girl said...

Definitely Chaka Khan. I'm with Will - Ms. Patti screams too much for my tastes.

Barry White.

Tammy and Marvin. Love, love, love the way these two sounded together.

Parliament. Don't pull my card, but J.B. is another screamer to me.

Enjoyed this. Now excuse me, I've got some old CDs to dig up!

At December 06, 2005 8:53 AM , Blogger rcknrobin said...

girl, where you been?

At January 16, 2006 1:38 AM , Blogger Mahogany Elle said...

Sorry I didn't get a more decisive vote, but here are the winners: Bombastic Barry White
Tammy and Marvin
Chaka Khan
James Brown

Thanks for responding! I will think of some more soon :)


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