Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Round 5: Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Vs. Pras, Mya & Ol' Dirty Bastard

Can you imagine if this was an actually fight?  My money would totally be on Dolly Parton.

Anyways, in 1983 Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton released "Islands In The Stream."  At this time Dolly and Kenny were two of the most popular celebrities in America.  The idea of them singing a duet was a dream come true for many fans.

This love song written by the Bee Gees exemplifies the genre of Country Pop which permeated the 1980s.  Wholesome, optimistic and catchy, "Islands In The Stream" may not be a well known song nowadays but for people who were around when this song first came out, they have never fogotten it.


"Ghetto Superstar" by Pras featuring Pya and Ol' Dirty Bastard is my favorite rap song of all time.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's the best rap song ever recorded, there's just something about this song that has always stuck with me.

From the soundtrack of the film Bulworth, this song sampled the chorus of "Islands In The Sun" which Mya sings (not very well, mind you) and has rap verses from Pras of the Fugees, Wyclef Jean's breakout group and the late 'Ol Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Adding an awesome infectious bass line and an undeniably funky beat, this song really gets you grooving.  Pras and 'Ol Dirty do their thing rapping about paranoia, power and life in the ghetto.

The Winner:

"Ghetto Superstar" is one the great examples of sampling done right.  The chorus is not simply lifted but is re-interpreted to create a completely different emotion.  "Islands In The Sun" is a beautiful song but it really sounds dated.  While the lyrics of "Islands In The Stream" are universal and timeless, the raps in "Ghetto Superstar" are relevant even now in our society more than ten years after its release.   

Next Week: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terell Vs. Amy Whinehouse

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