Classics: De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) (Tommy Boy)
“Hey, how R U doin’? Sorry can’t get thru. Why dontcha leave yer name and yer numba, and I’ll get back 2 U?!?” I suppose none of us has forgotten the intro of De La Soul‘s 1991 smash ‘Ring Ring Ring’!
Although credited as sampling Fat Larry’s Band ‘Act Like You Know’, ‘Ring Ring Ring’ has been built on The Whatnauts‘ ‘Help In On The Way’ among other elements. As a matter of fact, ‘Ring Ring Ring’ is one of the most clever montages ever done in the history of music. With the bass in the introduction coming from Lou Johnson‘s ‘The Beat’. The drum from The Honey Drippers”Impeach The President’. Meanwhile the chorus of the song uses the lyrics and melody from Curiosity Killed The Cat‘s ‘Name And Number’.
The second single from their 1991 released ‘De La Soul Is Dead’ album, ‘Ring Ring Ring’ is one of their signature cuts.
– Hip-Hop trio De La Soul saw the light back in 1987 on Long Island, NY. Born from the reunion between high school mates Posdnuous, Maseo and Dave who formed a group, they came to the attention of producer Prince Paul.
They most likely made themselves a name for their versatility, as displayed on their sampling. The quality of their lyrics. Not to mention their contribution to the evolution of Jazz Rap along with Gangstarr. Their debut-album, ‘3 Feet High and Rising’, is widely seen as a Hip-Hop manifesto.
De La Soul are the second longest standing Native Tongues Posse group after the Jungle Brothers. In 2006, the threesome won a Grammy for their collaboration with Gorillaz on ‘Feel Good Inc.’
– Singer, drummer, producer Larry James gave birth to Fat Larry’s Band back in the mid-70’s in Philadelphia, PA. Consisting of Larry La Bes (bass), Douglas Jones (sax), Alfonso Smith (percussion), Ted Cohen (guitar) along with Freddie Campbell and Terry Price (vocals), they released most of their albums on WMOT/Fantasy Records.
They came to wider recognition back in 1979 with the Disco funky ‘Lookin’ For Love Tonight’. They scored their biggest successes 3 years after, with ‘Zoom’ and ‘Act Like You Know’, both taken from their ‘Breakin’ Out’ album.
FLB also made some impact on the Hip-Hop scene with N.W.A., Jungle Brothers and Run-D.M.C. among others sampling ‘Down On The Avenue’, from their 1976 ‘Feel It’ album. Not to mention De La Soul who built the classic ‘Ring Ring Ring’ on the bassline of ‘Act Like You Know’.
Two extra albums saw the light after their departure from WMOT, respectively on Virgin then Omni Records. But the group failed to maintain the attention. They eventually disbanded, following the sudden passing of Larry James from a heart attack on Dec. 05, 1987 at the age of 38.
– Baltimore, MD-based Carlos Herndon, Garnett Jones and Gerard Pinkney gave birth to The Whatnauts back in 1969. They released their debut-single – the socially conscious ‘Message From A Black Man’ – the year after on A&I International. Then, they signed a record deal with Stang Records where they released 3 albums, from 1970 to 1972. Their biggest classics from then are ‘Please Make The Love Go Away’ and ‘I’ll Erase Away Your Pain’ in 1971. And last but not least, the memorable ‘Girls’ credited to Moments & Whatnauts.
They might be best remembered by the younger generations for the 1981 released ‘Help Is On The Way’ with mixing work courtesy of Tee Scott. A cut given an extrapolation the year after by Fat Larry’s Band on ‘Act Like You Know’. But also sampled by De La Soul on the memorable ‘Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey) in 1991. Not to mention Deni Hines on ‘It’s Alright’ 4 years after. Then Beverley Knight on ‘Greatest Day’ back in 1998…
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