3 Dope Songs to Kick off the New Year-Curtis Mayfield is Timeless

Curtis MayfieldWanted to kick off the new year 2014 with some much-needed inspiration and nourishment for our minds.. What better way to do that then by highlighting 3 Dope Songs by one of the greatest song writers of our time Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions which featured Fred Cash and Sam Gooden. Many said the timeless music they did was a sound track for the Civil Rights and Freedom Movements.. 40 years later what they wrote is relevant today..

It’s interesting to note that Mayfield and company hail from the Windy City of Chicago where the message they were trying to impart was for Black folks to survive, move on up and have compassion for each other.. Contrast that with the corporate backed message coming from Chief Keef who also comes from Chicago where he says he wants his new mixtape to raise the murder rate.. One has gotta wonder especially when you keep in mind, that both artists were and are on and distributed by the same label ‘Universal Music’.

Moving forward, each day we wake up we should hum this tune ‘We’re a Winner‘ in our heads and have it become a part of our psyche and identity the same way that ‘hustlin’, ballin’ and  ‘thuggin’ and have become ingrained…


Also related to that song is Move on Up which for this generation is associated with Kanye West because of how he sampled it for his hit song..Touch the Sky… But the original is pretty potent and we need to ingest these lyrics in 2014


This next song ‘Choice of Colors‘ was done in 1969 came at a time when the country was going through great social and racial unrest. There had been hundreds of riots/ rebellions all over the country in the wake of Dr King being assassinated and the protests against the Vietnam War being intensified. . Cointel-Pro designed by J Edgar Hoover and the FBI to dismantle the freedom struggles was in full swing and many artists were beginning to push the envelope and make profound statements with their songs.. They ranged from James Brown anthem ‘Black and I’m Proud‘ to Curtis Mayfield with this gem addressing racism..


Here’s a link to the historic 1969 Joey Bishop Show performance … http://www.eyeneer.com/video/r-b-soul/the-impressions/choice-of-colors

Curtis Mayfield and ImpressionsPerhaps the best known song by Mayfield and the Impression is this Civil Rights Anthem called ‘People Get Ready‘. It was done in 1965  and was the title track from their landmark album of the same name. Its been covered by over a hundred musicians and is considered one of the top records of all time to shape ‘Rock-n-Roll. Mayfield says the songs was inspired by his church upbringing.. I deliberately used the version that’s attached to the video of the Occupy Movement to demonstrate how pervasive the song has been and how something from the bowels of the Black community which gave a struggling people hope and inspiration has been used by so many others for the same purpose..Hopefully people listen to the words and apply them..


We’re gonna leave out with a bonus track that was done Live at the Bitter End in New York.. I want folks to pay close attention to the lyrics..’We People Who Are Darker Than Blue‘.. His message in this song is a good way for us to kick of the new year..