You know, last year about this time I believe most of us were exhausted from such a long election and an outcome that we are still reeling from. And we all were ready to say goodbye to 2016. Well, I’m afraid that I almost want to relive 2016 at this point…at least Obama was still in office. And honestly…I sometimes turn on the TV and turn it right back off. Racism, sexual harassment, Wendy Williams butchering names and gossip….I just want this Bizarro World to stop and return back to a place where facts are important and integrity lives.
So, I decided to close out 2017 with some commentary on the past 365 days.
Up first to start my mix is (in my opinion) the best Hip Hop look at race relations. Now, I’m sure many will be offended at the use of the n-word and trust me…the music video will really get you mad, but I think if you listen to the context it will definitely give you something to think about. Joyner Lucas’ “I’m Not Racist” hits the nail on the head in summing up the attitudes in the U.S. right now.
Another important song of 2017 has been “1-800-273-8255” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara. It almost seems like we take a positive step forward when it comes to human rights and equal rights…then someone like “45” comes along and knocks us back four or five. Between giving a thumbs up to racists across the land, calling victims of sexual assault liars and advocating discrimination against the LGBT community many have felt lost in this past year. And many have committed or attempted suicide from the bullying and pressures of this environment. So, when I saw the music video for this song I felt like Logic grabbed the torch from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
So, I felt I needed to use my remix of their hit “Same Love” as my third selection for this mix. And I always love Mary Lambert’s vocals on the hook. Congratulations to Austrailia on voting Marriage Equality into law!
Although Rihanna’s album “Anti” was critically acclaimed it didn’t really produce any major hits for her. I really enjoyed the remixes for “Sex With Me” and “Love On The Brain”, but I’d have to say that she did her best work on other people’s records for 2017. “Wild Thoughts” with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller was huge. And I believe the new N.E.R.D. track featuring Rihanna called “Lemon” is not only going to be a big hit to start off 2018, but it will move her into a new lane in Hip Hop since she raps. And welcome back N.E.R.D. We’ve missed you.
I don’t think any other artist expressed more of how many Americans felt about the Commander and Thief than Snoop Dogg when he took to social media to say “F#%k Trump!” after LaVar Ball refuse to thank him for getting his son out China. Between “45’s” war against Colin Kaepernick and the NFL for not penalizing protesting kneels many felt that the this man has undermined African-Americans at every turn with his actions in his first ten months.
So, my Artist of The Year is Snoop Dogg. Unlike Kathy Griffin he has been unapologetic and has continued to reshape his brand this year. His latest single with Chris Brown & O.T. Genesis, “3’s Company” is definitely Old Skool Snoop. I’m lovin’ that you and Martha Stewart are doing a cooking show and your “Joker’s Wild” game show is brilliant! Bravo, Mr. Broadus! Keep doin’ you!
Jennifer Lopez didn’t have any major crossover hits, but I was glad to see she did some latin recordings in 2017. But I was even more pleased to find that her classic “Get Right” with Fabolous got a little makeover by Three Gee. Why did we have to wait so long for this one? And congrats on snagging A-Rod!
Every knows I love anyone or anything that gets under Taylor Swift’s skin. And Calvin Harris is still a great House and Club producer. I’m sure Taylor wishes that she had his skills to help rebrand herself. ‘Cuz let’s face it…a rapper she is not! So, I had to included Calvin’s “Panda Bounce”. Keep shown’ Ms. Swift how it’s done!
Do you remember that 90s Dance song called “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. Well, apparently Ultra Nate & Quentin Harris do. And they have done a cover as Black Stereo Faith. And David Morales has done a remix of it. And as much as I hate to admit it, I kinda like it.
In such contentious times, it is always important to hear a message of hope and inspiration. If you don’t live in New York City you probably haven’t heard of Coby Koehl. But for those who have lived there or even had the pleasure of sharing a stage with him you know of his powerful and heartfelt vocals. His latest single “Vogue Is My Religion” preaches of LGBT rights and equality for everyone.
One of the documentaries that really stuck out for me this year was “Whitney: Can I Be Me”. Probably because it revealed a lot of behind the scenes troubles that Whitney Houston experienced. And when I heard that Barry Harris was doing a new remix of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” I knew that it would be a great track to include in my closing mix of 2017.
On a more Pop note, I finally found a mix of Shawn Mendes’s “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” that I would actually play for a floor. The Dark Intensity remix was made for me! I personally think Shawn is a little too squeaky clean for me but I think he is perfect to fill the void where Justin Bieber left off.
And to continue on that Pop note, Barry Harris came to the rescue again with a new remix of Ariana Grande’s “Break Free”. One of the genius things about Mr. Harris is his ability to not only sample a classic track but to also incorporate it into his remix to make it more of a mashup. In this case, Barry has infused Peter Heller’s “Big Love” with “Break Free”. It works so effortlessly and brings this song down to a comfortable House speed. Love it!
And as I always try to remind my readers and listeners that we have to appreciate our past in order to create our future. So, I choose the Cazztek remix of Snap’s “The Power” to remind everyone that even though it has been a rough year for most of us we still have the power to change our destiny. Stay woke and definitely pay attention to the midterm elections. We cannot change the situation we are in if we don’t act and be persistent in voting out the politicians who have allowed a mad man to reshape our values and views of what is acceptable behavior. Let’s vote dignity and common sense back into Congress so we can fix the Oval Office. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction. Which side of history do you want to be on?
And to close out my mix I chose the Endor remix of “Two Fingers” by Dan Caplen. Simply…”I don’t really f#%k with you” is the lyric that I send to the idiot in the White House. Be sure to stay tune for my RELENTLESS 2017 REWIND MIX…