THE MIX | Delving Through the Decades from Freestyle Into the Future
11.12.18 | "This playlist spans a few decades of music, starting with a fave genre of mine from the late '80s - "Freestyle." This is a style that came out of the Latin and Italian-American neighborhoods of New York that fused electro, R&B, funk, and Latin percussion. I've been obsessed with each one of these songs at different points in my career and they have influenced my writing and style. I have a lot more to add to this list but here is a sample platter for your ears. I hope you can find something you like here!" -Van Bobbi
About Van Bobbi
With a flair for fun and an element of just about everything, Van Bobbi makes this week's Music Monday a versatile gift for the senses. His love for pop, funk, R&B, and Afro-beat and his desire to blend the genres into something unexpected creates a vibe that's upbeat and inspirational.
"I hope my music inspires people to celebrate life and I hope it shields them from pain. I hope my music augments a given experience or situation. I hope it inspires healing," says Van Bobbi.
The video for "Kickdrum Heartbeat" shows off Van Bobbi's spiritual side with a primal passion. Drum-heavy and dance-worthy, "Kickdrum Heartbeat" will get your blood flowing.
Check out the video below:
The Breakdown of the Playlist
1. "Oh Shelia" - Ready for the World
"I absolutely LOVE this groove. The interplay and placement of this song's percussive delights are genius. And that slap bass- I mean, c'mon. I want to pop n' lock to this song, even though I don't know how."
2. "Sutphin Blvd" - Blood Orange
"Dev's soft voice lures me in; the airy guitar keeps me there. As the chords vacillate between somber and hopeful, it draws me so far in. This is the song to have in your ears while you wander to no particular destination."
3. "Uma" - Panama Wedding
"The first time I heard this I was on tour driving up the Oregon coast. It was the perfect backdrop for the green and gray landscape. The minimal and delicate elements and harmonic chorus wrap me in a warm audio Snuggie."
4. "Africa" - Toto
"At some point I'll probably (definitely) get a tattoo about this song. The first 30 seconds alone give me enough joy for an entire lifetime. From the synth to the drum work to the glorious climactic chorus, it might just be the best song ever written. I can actually feel the breeze of the Serengeti."
5. "Love Will Never Do" – Janet Jackson
"My production idols masterminded this song- Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They carved out a unique sound in this era that you can hear on that snare. Let's not forget Janet's light and vulnerable vocals that play perfectly against those hard hitting drums. This song makes me wanna eat corn dogs and fly down a water slide in the hot summer sun."
6. "Sex" – Cheat Codes
"I run to this song. It keeps my feet moving when my mind says stop. It's an extremely clean and modern production that pays well-deserved homage to Salt-N-Pepa (and don't forget Spinderella)."
7. "Holding Back the Years" - Simply Red
"I'm a sucker for blue-eyed soul. In my youth, this song spoke to me for no conscious reason—it's a simple two chords. As an adult, the lyrics speak to me. Also, he uses Latin in this song. Mick. What a guy."
8. "Sussido" - Phil Collins
"This is another example of the great '80s drums that I can't seem to get enough of. That slick groove and gated reverb on the snare is pure '80s British pop funk. Of course Phil is an incredibly talented drummer and songwriter. The nasty guitar and horn stabs make me wanna dance in my underwear with a few shoulder shimmies."
9. "Jumpman" - Drake
"Viral artist Drake always infects me. Without fail, I get hooked. I don't know if it's those OVO sounds or Drake's intelligent wordplay that keep me obsessed for weeks at a time. If you come to my house, You'll hear me say 'Alexa, play Drake' no less than three times a day."
10. "Wishing Well" - Terence Trent D'Arby
"First of all this guy had dope style in 1987. His vocal quality has a unique sandy texture that's compelling to me. Lyrically, this song is all over the place, I'm not sure it actually means anything, but I'm into it. This makes me wanna drink champagne and slow dance inside a candlelit hot tub."
Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.
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