Game Changer Story Songs 8-9

1311 Meisha and 'Chelle Uprizing Kinna Way!

   Song eight was a radical juxtaposition from the traditional Gospel song that preceded it on the disc, LOL. Kinna Way is Hip Hop. A Blues guy doing Hip Hop? Yup.
  In the late 90’s my bass man Charles Calloway brought in Dr. Dre’s new album 2001. It was R and B, and Hip Hop/ Rap. I loved the fresh beats and immediately started devouring more artists like Ice Cube, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, and Master P. My main man was Heavy D- a big man what can dance!
  New beatz started appearing on Wrong Side of tha Blues and later on My Paper’s Low. Kinna Way is not a Hip Hop Blues song, it is Hip Hop, period. Love the genre, it has influenced my music and I can express myself in it.
  Kinna Way is a fun, hook-up song, a dance joint. Engineer Jimmy helped me get the drums and bass in the paint, so the groove was sick.  I had some ideas on how I might put it out there with some extra vocals, but still felt it needed something else.
  Behind the scenes: I had hooked up with Jimi Kozmik Stewart, (who killed the bass on Side Piece,) and he was doing a great job playing live with the band at BTL shows. I wanted to show some love and support him with his Hip Hop group Uprizing, and I stopped out to catch one of their shows.
  When Shelle and Mai, the group’s female vocalists, came out and did Juicy Fruit, they NAILED IT! Right then I knew what Kinna Way needed! Then MC Mai came out with a blazin’ rap and, stick a fork in me, I was done! Droppin’ beatz!
  I brought JacQuai Nichols and Mz. Meisha to Greaseland to do the back up vocals. I coached them on what I wanted, and they did a very professional job. But a good producer also knows when to step out of the way and let the artists do what they do. Their asides and improvs were priceless! Freestyle fo’ sho.’
   For direction on MC Mai’s Rap skillz, I asked only that there be no curse words, no mention of me, and that she make it HERS; from the perspective of a young, empowered female and what that queen looks for in a hook up. All I can say is Dayum Girl! She spit it, brought it, and just hammered it.
  If you ever have a chance, be sure to catch an Uprizing  show, and tell them Bluesman said hey.
  Song nine is Shake! (whatcher mama gave ya.) It is my tribute to the fine, sexy ladies that have come out to bust a move on the dance floor with us over the years. “First you shake it way up high, then you shake it way down low..” I have many, many great memories and some pretty good visuals too, lol
  It is also my tribute to Swing Music.
  We do more concerts and festivals these days, as opposed to bar and restaurant gigs, but either way, I always know when we are really getting to an audience when we see the dance floor get crowded. The highest compliment anyone has ever paid me is when the rhythm is locked in SO tight, that folks have to jump up out of their seats and boogie!
  I am dancing up there on stage, by the way, so I get into the act as well. The song gives me a chance to stretch out and play slide over a good, old fashioned Swing beat.
  Many long, languid summer afternoons during my elementary school days were spent playing my parents old Swing 45’s of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. This music is in my very core musically, and I love rockin’ out to it.
  Back story: I fondly remember my parents coming out to some of my early gigs. They weren’t quite sure just what their #2 son was doing with his career path, smh, but they wanted to show support.
   As happens sometimes at shows, everyone is tapping their feet and enjoying the rhythm, but no one wants to be the first up on the dance floor. My Mom and Dad had no such inhibitions, and after a couple of songs, they were up there cutting the rug, jitterbugging to a Swing Blues. The rest of the crowd ate it up and rushed onto the dance floor to join them.
  Priceless memories. As the Duke said, “It don’t mean a thang, if it ain’t got that SWANG!” Get out there and shake whatcher mama gave ya.   😉

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