Monday, January 26, 2009

No Idea's Original

The fundamental truth of this Nas song title keeps hitting home in various guises.

I've been listening to George Clinton's Computer Games LP from 1982 and it was sounding really familiar to me. At first I couldn't work out why. And no, I'm not referring to the countless hip hop tracks that have C grade singers warbling in a pseudo-Clinton tone on the hook (Snoop's various weed carriers and hangers-on are responsible for most of this, by the way).

Remember when Andre 3000 came out with Hey Ya the other year and everyone went bat shit ("Oh my god, he's so creative and unique!")? Everyone from Eminem to Jay Z were singing the praises of Dre because he was bringing 'something different' and not saying the same old cliches etc.

Well, one listen to Computer Games will disabuse you of that notion. Some of the phrasing is exactly the same. And I'm not saying this to discredit Andre 3000 (I love the dude, and met him back stage in Sydney a couple of years ago when I was touring with J and Missy - he's a real gentleman). I'm sort of coming at this from the other angle - everybody bites other people's stuff, so I wonder who in the heck George Clinton was borrowing from?

Just a thought.

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