Saturday Sample Session- Black Sheep

Black Sheep…

Made a lot of noise when they popped on the scene. The group was an affiliate of the Native Tongues, which included the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul.

After getting together in 1989, Black Sheep debuted in 1991 with the hit song Flavor of the Month and later released its first album, ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, which gained them praise and recognition in the hip-hop community for the album’s unique rhythms and intelligent lyrics. 

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing charted three times on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1992 with The Choice Is Yours (Revisited) (#9), and Strobelite Honey (#1). Black Sheep was also featured on the remix of Vanessa Williams’ single Work to Do (#8). 

Their debut album was certified Gold in 1992 and The Choice is Yours was a bonafide party song. Even in the south, “pick it up pick it up pick it up!” had everyone on the dance floor jumping.

But Black Sheep disappeared as quickly as they came. They released a second album in 1994 with generally poor reception and lackluster sales. They parted ways the following year.

Similak Child wasn’t released as a single, but it’s the dopest use of samples on the entire album.

Les Fleurs

Minnie Riperton left Rotary Connection in the early 70’s. She met jazz composer Ramsey Lewis who originally wrote a more laid back version of this song. It became the opening on Riperton’s 1971 debut album ‘Come To My Garden’.

Though it didn’t garner commercial success, it’s still considered a masterpiece by fans and critics alike. This is why Riperton’s work is so important. With the help of Charles Stepney’s orchestration Riperton’s version of Les Fleurs “turns into a grandiose, soaring classic with a gentle rocking rhythm, soaring vocals, and glorious, swelling orgasmic orchestration”.

A Song About Being A Flower

I couldn’t have described this song any better, so I linked the quote in case you want to check out the piece on Songbar. The instrumentation isn’t the only thing noteworthy about Les Fleurs. The lyrics paint this song as a hippie flower track literally about being a flower:

Will somebody wear me to the fair?
Will a lady pin me in her hair?
Will a child find me by a stream?
Kiss my petals and weave me through a dream.For all of these simple things and much more a flower was born
It blooms to spread love and joy faith and hope to people forlorn

Inside every man lives the seed of a flower
If he looks within he finds beauty and power

Ring all the bells sing and tell the people that be everywhere that the flower has come
Light up the sky with your prayers of gladness and rejoice for the darkness is gone
Throw off your fears let your heart beat freely at the sign that a new time is born

She repeats the verse in French. Les Fleurs is a beautiful song. I’ve played it for a few friends and all of them had the same reaction. They grooved through the verse but were immediately thrown off by the chorus. Me? I loved it. Still do.

What do you guys think about this song?

Check out the original original version below

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