Songs You May Have Missed #532


Bobby Bland: “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” (1974)

If ever an artist should have been forcefully prevented from sampling a song of a previous era, that artist would be Jay-Z, whose unholy appropriation of Bobby Bland’s soulful ’74 ballad checks most every box on the offensive lyric checklist.

The real crime here, in addition to that of artistically spinning silk thread somehow into a burlap dress, is that young fans of the Kanye Wests and Jay-Z’s of the world are typically uninformed as to the true source of inspiration, and come away with the impression that their favorite rap artist has created, when he has merely synthesized.

It is not true to say that all the best music was created in decades past. But the rap genre seems to be making the most convincing arguments that it was.

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